I was recently having a conversation with a friend of mine, when she dropped a bombshell on me, “You know you are going to have teenagers for the next 14 years.”
“Hold on,” I told her while frantically doing the math in my head. She was right. My youngest is five and the rest of them are spaced just perfectly to keep me in teenagers for a long time. I have already had teenagers for 6 years and I am adding another one in a couple weeks when my daughter turns 13.
Trying to wrap my head around this fact, I then realized that with 8 kids I will have a collective total of 56 YEARS of parenting teenagers! I am going to be navigating turbulent, hormonal, waters for a very long time.
I feel tired.
Up until my, (now former friend 😉 ) pointed this out to me, I thought I had done really well to survive the toddler years and to get all the kids mostly potty-trained! However, I just finished driver’s education with my 16 year-old and he successfully got his license, now my third born turns 15 1/2 September 12, so I can do it all over again! I don’t know how, but somehow this teenage thing had escaped my notice.
I am blessed to have pretty good kids though, and so far they seem to be on the right track. It is tricky to stay “Mom,” but also move into a more advisory role and let them stumble here and there. I try to remind them that they are actually young adults, and that this is a great time to learn about getting along in a big world while they still have a safety net under them.
As for me, well, I have to remind myself daily, sometimes minute by minute, that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” even raise teenagers for another 14 years!
P.S. For all my friends that might want to tell me about what comes after teenagers, no thank you! Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
A verse for the teenagers in your life: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12
A verse for the mothers of teenagers: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”