It’s Not All Bad. Promise.

Remember when you used to dream about being a parent? When you thought that a baby might be the ribbon on that ‘perfect life’ parcel. How did you imagine it would be? Delicious scented babies wrapped in warm fluffy towels? Happy girls in pig-tails, skipping along the road holding mummy’s hand? I’m willing to bet that it didn’t involve a screaming red infant whose flailing stiff arms make it impossible to wrap him up in anything at all, or the angry hot-headed toddler who refuses to get up off the supermarket floor (again).

I know one thing for certain, none of our (blissfully ignorant) daydreams crept anywhere the teenage years. I think there’s a very good reason why our brains seem to have a mental block with regard to looking too far forward; probably the same reason why we blot out the sheer agony of childbirth – the human race would die out very quickly!

The problem with writing a blog about family life, is that eventually your kids do grow up into the spotty, uncommunicative, clumsy species commonly known as ‘Teenagers’. If you’re not very careful, this means that your blog comes with a certain warning, complete with neon flashing lights: ‘Read at Your Peril’. It might also mean that anyone preferring to live in their own shiny bubble of happiness (rather than prepare for reality) will soon stop reading altogether.

BUT (wait for it) there are some massive pluses to living with teenagers. No really, there are.  In an attempt to jump off the running-down-teenagers band wagon, I want to do two things today: 1) encourage those of you who do persevere with my blog that life isn’t about to end once your kid hits 13; and 2) create a much-needed keepsake for those bad days (of which there are plenty).

Parenting Teenagers

  1. You’ll never see 6am again. Does this need an explanation? I thought not.
  2. You no longer need eyes in the back of your head. Teenagers don’t move all that much. When and if they do, it’s at the pace of a sloth.
  3. You can have a (relatively) logical debate. Remember those 3am ‘chats’ about whether pink is better than yellow? Gone, gone, gone.
  4. You never have to get involved in homework again. In fact when homework is going on, you will be banished from the room. Hoorah!
  5. You’ll always have a ‘back up’. Run out of nail varnish remover? Forgotten your hair straighteners on holiday? You will always know someone who has a better (and probably more expensive) supply than you – assuming you have a daughter that is.
  6. You’ll only ever need to pack one suitcase. Obviously your husband still requires you to pack for him but the kids? They will dismiss your neatly-folded (control-freak? moi?) efficient packing technique.
  7. You will never again have to coax anyone into eating a meal. Your grocery bill might double but that painful process of turning tea into a game that involves mum doing an Irish jig between every mouthful? I dare you to try it.
  8. You can finally purchase that white fluffy rug (and feel confident it will stay that colour for longer than 2 days).
  9. No more baby sitters. This is my personal favourite. Gone are the days of spending more than half your evening’s budget on a babysitter that you have to buy snacks for and drive home at the end of the evening.
  10. You will always have someone to watch Friends with. Yep, this is one show that has longevity.
  11. You can have a bath on your own. In fact you can have endless amounts of me time, to the point where you miss being needed a little bit but this is supposed to be positive so…
  12. You will never have to worry about or question your fashion sense. You’ll know immediately if you’ve got it wrong…again. Get it right? The item will magically disappear.
  13. You’ll become a selfie master. Every Teenager can spot a bad one unfolding at fifty paces. Too high….too many chins….wrong angle….need I go on?

Have I reassured you that it’s not all bad? Normal service will resume shortly; I promise.

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And then the fun began...

24 Comments on It’s Not All Bad. Promise.

  1. Sarah MumofThree World
    April 19, 2016 at 8:44 am (10 months ago)

    There are definitely some advantages! When friends we haven’t seen for years popped round with their 2 and 6yos the other day and they spent the whole time beating the living crap out of each other I thought ‘thank goodness for my big kids’!
    Sadly I haven’t reached all of these milestones yet – I still can’t leave all 3 kids on their own and it still takes some work to get them to finish a meal. But I do only have one teenager (for the next 6 months, at least!).
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Not watching TVMy Profile

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  2. Kim Carberry
    April 19, 2016 at 3:55 pm (10 months ago)

    There is some advantages about having teens…
    My girl and I love Friends and she actually gets the jokes now!
    They can make you a cup of tea too or is that just mine. hehehe
    Kim Carberry recently posted…A Good Dinosaur Movie Night….My Profile

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  3. Pen
    April 19, 2016 at 10:02 pm (10 months ago)

    Teenagers sound great. I am jealous. Pen xx #thetruthabout
    Pen recently posted…Female masturbationMy Profile

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  4. Siobhan (Everyone Else is Normal)
    April 19, 2016 at 10:09 pm (10 months ago)

    So true! I’m beginning, only just, to benefit from this list, but hang on, what am I doing about to get a DOG!!! I’ll be seeing 6am again rather too much!! Sadly the lack of involvement in homework thing is totally not yet happening for me but then she’s only in Y7 still and very conscientious (its been the bane of our year tbh). Always so good to find the positives in teens. Sx

    Reply
    • Suzanne W
      April 20, 2016 at 10:12 am (10 months ago)

      Seriously, there are many plus sides! x

      Reply
  5. Looking for Blue Sky
    April 20, 2016 at 8:48 am (10 months ago)

    I mostly love teenagers and I’d definitely say yes to 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 13. Obviously the others don’t apply for very special reasons!
    Looking for Blue Sky recently posted…The best autism conference ever?My Profile

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    • Suzanne W
      April 20, 2016 at 10:05 am (10 months ago)

      I love the way you said ‘mostly’. It’s good to remember the positives sometimes :)

      Reply
  6. Mel
    April 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm (10 months ago)

    I loved, loved, loved this post, Suzanne! Too often, all you read about teenagers is negative, but I found your list uplifting and kept nodding! So so true though that what I’d imagined before I became a mum was a cute little child holding my hand and running together to the park (as if), not a teenager lying on a sofa! #TheTruthAbout

    Reply
  7. Sam
    April 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm (10 months ago)

    It’s definitely always great to read about the good bits of parenting teenagers (although I miss out here by having two boys – boo!) but sometimes I want to be told the worst so I can spend the next 7 years preparing myself and battening down the hatches!! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout this week Suzanne X
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #71My Profile

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  8. brummymummyof2
    April 23, 2016 at 5:34 am (10 months ago)

    I kinda LOVE teens. My Year 11 girls are some of my favourite people to have a giggle with. I am sure it will be different with my own pair but I am hoping I smash being the Mum of a big person rather than a little person! x
    brummymummyof2 recently posted…How To Share A Bed With A Small Child In 10 StepsMy Profile

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  9. Michelle Twin Mum
    April 23, 2016 at 9:12 pm (10 months ago)

    Great post Suzanne, I’m loving these reasons. Already with my youngest now being near 9 I can feel the difference and despite the challenges I am loving having older kids. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…Coming Full Circle – I’m Back! #R2BCMy Profile

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  10. Tracey Williams
    April 24, 2016 at 7:58 pm (10 months ago)

    Love this Suzanne and nodding along to a fair few of them. My husband and I definitely feel as we have a little bit of our life back. Sneaking out for lunch by ourselves when the teen wants some PS4 time (heaven), loving the lie ins and giggling over the pace of sloths. So true. Downside, eating you at of house and home x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…Finding the perfect holiday at Ikos OliviaMy Profile

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  11. Izzie Anderton
    April 25, 2016 at 11:42 am (10 months ago)

    It’s just as well there are so many good points to sharing a home with teenagers isn’t it. I suspect we’d all go crazy if there weren’t!
    Izzie Anderton recently posted…Nineteen ninety-nineMy Profile

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  12. chickenruby
    May 3, 2016 at 5:08 pm (10 months ago)

    when my eldest hit his late teens i found i was waiting up half the night for him to come home

    Reply
  13. Hayley - Downs Side Up
    May 18, 2016 at 10:54 am (9 months ago)

    Brilliant! As Mum to a 12.25 year old I am entering these shark-infests waters. I will remind myself of this often. Also the ability to have a poo in peace… H x
    Hayley – Downs Side Up recently posted…How to Spoil a Special SwimmerMy Profile

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    • Suzanne W
      May 18, 2016 at 9:16 pm (9 months ago)

      Exactly Hayley! That last ‘bonus’ is pretty high up there on my list 😉

      Reply
  14. Cheryl | TimeToCraft
    May 18, 2016 at 3:05 pm (9 months ago)

    What a brilliant list. Only one teen so far, but I’m seriously loving the journey. Plus I quite like her friends too. Love the description of sloth movement. Oh so true.

    Reply
  15. Pat the Mum
    May 19, 2016 at 11:00 am (9 months ago)

    So, I just have to hang on for another 13 years or so, and things will be different? Phew! :)

    I’m looking forward not to have to pack the car with buggy, high chair, travel cot and a million other items…

    Reply
  16. Gospel-centred parenting
    October 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm (4 months ago)

    Loved this! I’m a long way off parenting teens (I’ve got a toddler and a new born and it’s pretty challenging!) this encouraged me though, each season has it’s own joys and struggles. I’ll try to remember that during the next tantrum/ night feed. Thank you.

    Reply

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