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I'm Not Crazy. I Have Teens.

Hello, my fellow parents! I am the new Mom on the block. Let’s start this relationship with a few facts about my life. My philosophy on blogging and “sharing my life with complete strangers” boils down to one simple idea. The more we share the honest truth about motherhood with each other, the less alone we will all feel.

I am a mom to three kids — two boys, a teen and a ‘tween, and an elementary school age daughter. I have been married for 18 years. I am also the owner of — or as he likes to think am owned by — a 90-pound Doberman. Needless to say, my house is loud. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The chaos, the fun, and the endless drama keep me energized and, yes, at times frustrated. It is a busy life, but it is our life. I am here to share it with you. Warts and all.

I used to think that the hardest part of motherhood was toddlerhood. I was sure it became easier as they grew older. I was wrong.

It doesn’t get “easier.” I don’t think parenting ever gets easier. It just changes. There was a time I was worried about potty training, now I worry about keeping my kids away from kids who use pot. I used to struggle with bedtime stories and getting the “little angels” to take naps and sleep through the night. Now? I struggle to get the teens awake before 2:00pm and keeping them from staying up all night.

Since I have been doing this teen thing for a few years, I think I can share a bit of wisdom with you. Here are just a few helpful tips to get you started.

  1. Learn “text speak.” Why? Because half of your conversations will probably take place between your cell phone and theirs. And half the time you probably won’t understand what they are saying. It is better to learn it than to continually type, What? Huh?, because your teen will mock you. Trust me.

  2. Accept mess. It will be there. It starts contained in their rooms and gradually creeps out into the rest of the house. I tame it with rakes, brooms, and threats of phone confiscation.

  3. Stock your pantry. Now, I don’t have teen girls yet but I can speak for the boys. They eat. A lot. I mean A LOT. My grocery bills rival my utility bills in the summer in Texas.

  4. All of those things you think you know — about life and growing up — you really don’t know anything if you ask your teen. I think this stage lasts until they have their own kids and find themselves dumb too. That is when you become the smartest parent ever. (At least my parents did.)

  5. Finally, they may grow taller than you, get deeper voices, and have t-shirts you can borrow because suddenly they are bigger than yours, but they are still your kids and need you. That one is the toughest to believe at times, but trust me. They need to know you love them, like them, and are still in charge. (Even if they refuse to admit it.)

I’m really not crazy. I just have teens. Give me your tips for keeping up with your teens. I would love to learn from you, too.


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