My Only Regret Is That I Don’t Speak Chinese

By on June 2, 2010

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.

Girl. 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.


And now? I just want her to go away.

But before you go all Judgy McJudgerson on me, just hear me out.


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.


  1. habanerogal says:

    I have news from the front lines of teen motherhood. Eventually they will come to a point where they realize just how obnoxious and life energy sucking they were and they apologize and or buy you a drink, either way it is a win in my books !
    .-= habanerogal´s last blog ..A Quickie Quitting Update =-.

  2. Allison Zapata says:

    Shauna Glenn. She is so lucky to have you as a mama. xoxo
    .-= Allison Zapata´s last blog ..Presenting: Luca as Milla as Joan =-.

  3. Peggy Brister says:

    The thing that bothered me the most of would bother me the most out of all that is the fact there are only 7 wrinkles. I am OCD about odd numbers. I don’t have a teen I have a pre-teen. I thought they were the worst. I guess the best/worst is yet to come. My 24 yr old son never had a horrible teen period that made me want to shoot him in the face or commit random acts of violence on strangers. I am thinking this girl child will probably cause me to commit felonies? Probably. Ok.
    .-= Peggy Brister´s last blog ..Don’t you just LOVE serial killers? =-.

  4. MJ says:

    Hang in there, girlfriend. You are an amazing person and a great Mom. The asshat that your daughter has become will go back to being sweet sweetness eventually. After she wrecks your perfect skin with wrinkles and your gorgeous hair with grey.

  5. Mike says:

    Raised one. the teenage girl is the worst form of hybrid, rabid, mutant, monster alive. Then they grow up and the ones who grew up with us, well we married them….damn shoulda seen this coming.

  6. Jess says:

    It’s why they’re born cute and helpless.

    They manipulate us into loving them, so when they turn into asswads we don’t throw them onto the nearest highway.
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..afternoon. =-.

  7. Trish says:

    I have the EXACT children you do. I have 15, 13, 10, 6 year old monsters!! It’s strange like you are writting about MY kids!! I have Two teenage girl daughters and another daughter thats not the spawn of satan YET and a little boy ugh. I used to be so frickin cute too : ( Maybe you should beat her with a wooden spoon. lol. I went through stuff with my oldest also. Things got better. I know it will get better for you too. hang in there. I don’t speak teenage girl either but I talked her, yelled and screamed at her so much that she just finally caved. It can only get better right? not worse?

  8. G. S. Lee says:

    The only thing worse than everything you just said is when you tell people, with that haggard ‘help me, please’ look on your face, that you have a 13 year old daughter and they say ‘Just wait, it gets way worse’ and you ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY WANT TO KILL THEM RIGHT THEN AND THERE!!! What the F is wrong with people that they must hit you when you’re already ROCK FUCKING BOTTOM?

    I hate people. No. Really. I. Do.

    P.S. don’t you think it’s a panic that I said Fuck twice and then said ‘What the F is wrong with people?’ Like saying the F word three times was gonna send me to hell? HEY, I”M ALREADY THERE DIDN”T YOU JUST HEAR ME SAY I HAVE A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL!!!!!! P.P.S. I have a seven year old girl too but I’m leaving home when she turns 9. Nuff said.

  9. bellawriter says:

    Hey there Shauna,
    I’m sooooo feelin’ your pain. I have five of the little sweethearts and two of them are teenagers, one of them is a girl. I also have a twelve year old girl who is already showing the signs of douch-y-ness that is to come in the next couple of years. And a ten year old girl, whom I still love because she still believes in fairies and all she wants are sleepovers.
    Teenagers SUCK batballs. Especially the girls. I know someday she’ll call me up to apologize (like I did to my mom after I had kids) and that day, instead of being all gracious and ‘aww thanks hunny, but you weren’t that bad’, I’m going to laugh in her face and point at her and then tell her she was the spawn of satan and the reason why my hair is gray. Then I’ll wish her luck with her kids. HA HA HA HA!
    Actually, I’ll probably just say thanks and then cry.
    Man, I’m too much of a softie.
    BTW, you’re wonderful and your daughter will go back to being wonderful too….someday. Probably when she’s old enough to appreciate wine at 2 in the afternoon.

  10. Susan says:

    I only have one, but you speak my soul. TESTIFY.


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