Welcome to the Dark Side: Stingers, Snarls and Bikes for a Single Mom of Teens

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Welcome to the Dark Side          

I think that a “Welcome to the dark side” kitchen banner should accompany a coupon for 2 year’s worth of massages and alcohol for all mothers on their daughter’s 14th birthday.  My golden-hearted sweet child of heart, love, prayers, consideration for others, and all-around awesome Christian pre-teen has turned into a blood-thirsty wasp.Image

Yes, I said that.  I don’t include pictures of her here, because she is beautiful and I am super-protective of her online.  However, there have been moments when I wondered if I would be the one to take her out before her 16th birthday.   She will be 15 in December, and I know it will get worse before it gets better…

She can sting me with the sharpest barbs…  Saturday, I asked her if she wanted help putting her Homecoming dress on, and she said “No, that is the last thing I would want or need right now”.  Ouch.  I asked if she slept well the other morning.  Her reply was “Yes, no thanks to you. You left my door open in the middle of the night”.  I didn’t touch her door and it was all I could do not to get in an argument that would have looked like a 4th grade spitathon. 


It is taking all of my patience, prayers, and walking out of the room when she blows up at me to survive 14.5 years of age.  “This too shall pass”, “It will get better”, “She is in a tough transition”, “High school is hard”, and finally “Was I this much of a bitch to my mom?!?!” all scamper through my muddled mind like a squirrel on crack when she pops me with one.  I need to adjust to this rolling roller coaster so dang quickly!  I am told to be a pillar of comfort, hold steadfast boundaries, and be the safe secure haven my teenagers can count on.  That is hard to do when you are hyperventilating from a swarm of bees that you thought were little cupid angels until just a few months ago!

Her brother is 16.25 years old and has made great strides in maturity, accepting responsibility, having a little etiquette, a sense of vulnerability (however, he still thinks he can eat a meatball sub sandwich with his hands, while riding a bike across town), and the ability to comfort someone when they are upset.  He is surprising me… “Mom, how was your day?” actually leaves his mouth several times a week!

I do not arrange my life around my kids and their needs any more.  They do need to budget their spending money and keep track of their shoes, homework, and phones.  But lately I have started talking to each kid alone, before my bedtime (which is earlier than theirs).  I channel that sweet mom who had 4 and 5 year olds and listened to them, no matter what they were saying, without giving them direction or judgment on their lopsided opinions of the world.  That was fantastic advice from a mom of 20-somethings who are not in prison, graduated from college, and have jobs.  She seems pretty sane too, for a stressed out working mother…

I thought that when kids got bigger and able to tie their shoes, get dressed, go on dates, and get across town on their bikes to a job that they didn’t need some quiet alone time with me anymore.  It turns out that they like it quite a bit, and so do I!  I am trying to remember that she is quote possibly digressing in the most painful ways into herself and this phase is actually more painful for her than me…Image

There is hope; we will prevail in love.  And we won’t give up on them.Image


    1. Yowza, 3 girls! You really are a Supermom!! I think any mom of teenagers, regardless of whether we are single, working outside the home, or whatever feels this pain of separation. I really mourned the loss when my son did his separation from me in a very angry and rebellious way last year. But she is doing it differently, with such venom. I keep trying to remember to preserve the relationship (i.e. not say what is REALLY on my mind!) so that in 6 years (!?) when she comes back there is something to come back to… So God, give me more humor about this, because I think that is the only way I will survive! : )

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