I recently came across this story of a dad in China who chained his 8 year old son to a light post and tried to auction him off. When I read the headline I was immediately outraged. I mean, what parent would do this to his child? Only the monster kind of parent, right?
As I read the article I learned that the boy’s mother had died three years earlier and the dad felt like he couldn’t care properly for the child and wanted him to find a good home.
Well that doesn’t sound so bad.
In fact, that sounds WAY better than how I feel as a mother right now.
I have four kids. And two of them are teenagers.
I know what you’re thinking. How could I possibly be old enough to have teenagers right? Because I look like a teenager myself, yes? YES?
Sadly, it’s true. I have teenagers.
They’re like the worst species of teenager EVER.
And recently my oldest (who is 16 and who is going to be the premature death of me) HAS ME STRESSED TO THE MAX.
I don’t sleep.
I eat too much.
I drink WAY too much.
I have bags under my eyes.
Today I counted seven wrinkles on my face alone.
I USED TO BE SO FRIGGIN CUTE.
And now? I just want her to go away.
But before you go all Judgy McJudgerson on me, just hear me out.
SHE IS DRIVING ME INSANE.
I can’t do enough. I don’t make the best decisions. I can’t seem to get it right. And all I want to do is pack my bags and run away from home.
But I can’t.
I can’t because this is the time my pain-in-the-ass teenage daughter needs me the most. It’s go-time. And it freaks me the fuck out.
I haven’t been here before. I mean, I’ve ‘been here‘ before, but only because I WAS her. I was her age and I was battling the same demons, facing the same decisions, living my life out loud like every second mattered.
I have no idea how parents get through this phase in life. I don’t begin to know… or what to say… or how to act… or…
All I know is I wish it wasn’t happening to me.
Don’t worry about shaking your head at me in disgust. I’m disgusted enough for all of us.
Parenting is not easy. Teenagers are NOT easy.
Love them too much? Let them fail and fall on their face? Watch as they suffer in silence?
I don’t know the answer.
My answer for everything so far has been to laugh and make jokes and deflect-diffuse-deflate.
I’m in uncharted waters without a life preserver.
Like a dad in China who wants his son to be OK.
Except I don’t speak Chinese.
And I for sure don’t speak teenage girl.
But I am here. I mean I’m drunk, but I’m here.