Sometimes I feel like an amazing mom. Other times I think I suck. Most times, I consider myself mediocre. Right now? I suck.
The eldest turned 12 last December and it’s been a whirlwind of new things for her since then. She went from a quiet, shy, private, little girl to a outspoken, passionate, private, young girl. She has branched out and connected with some people and have found some really good friends to explore this time with. She is still very much private as she only has a few she considers her friends. Most everyone else is an acquaintance. About a month ago she began reminding me that she will be thirteen soon. She also likes to refer to herself as an “adult” no matter how much we inform her she is anything but.
About a month ago, things have changed. I don’t mean anything insanely drastic. I certainly don’t suspect drugs, alcohol, sexual activity, or any reckless behaviors I haven’t mentioned. But there is a shift in her. And I am left wondering what to do next. For the sake of her privacy, I can’t go into detail. All I can say is that the child I was once very close to is no longer close to me. But that’s not even totally true. We still talk and talk often. But it’s much more challenging and argumentative. I am told often how hated I am. If I give her freedom, I am disrespected. If I take freedoms from her, I am oppressive to her. No matter what, I am in the wrong. Even though I know I am not and that I am the parent, it still hurts that part of me that had hoped for something so much better than what my mother and I experienced.
When I was a teen, it was awful. And for unknown reasons, my mother felt that the best part of my life was supposed to be my teen years. I still think that’s bullshit. I know how difficult it was dealing with the hormonal changes and new responsibilities and just the sheer demands to grow up. I figured that my acknowledgment of this difficult time would give me the edge on dealing with my own tween/teens. Oh how wrong I was. If anything, I am left still unsure of what to do or say.
I am hoping this is temporary. That maybe things will improve in time. But I hope that “in time” doesn’t mean once she hits 18 and moves out on her own. Because I have two more to go through all this with and I don’t know that my sanity can take it.