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April 09, 2008

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That's the kind of image that i really thing is super image like. If more images very real like this were out there we'd be super full of graet images in the world.

I used to hate it too when people would always give the "just wait" speech when Jake was little.

Truth is, Jake is 12 and I love it. He's a great kid! While we do have the occasional pre-teen drama, it's nothing compared to the tantrums from when he was little. Little kids are HARD, but I love 'em. And when I see one tantruming I'm always so grateful that I don't have to deal with it that I silently say a prayer of THANK YOU GOD.

I work with teens, and I think the hardest age is grade 9. That's when they all seem to have the "adults are evil" attitude. But they work though it and come around again, and are actually nice people. :) I love my job, and the kids are just that-big kids, who can be bribed with food and cold hard cash. (lololol)

(the food thing now, THAT is scary. How the heck can anyone feed multiple teens and not have to mortgage the house?)

In our house,we have two 18 year olds....11 year old twins who think they're 18...a 7 year old diva and a 3 year old terror. I can relate to and nod with sympathy to any parents strife.I hope I never lose that perspective ,even when my youngest is a teenager :)

apologizing in advance, because I'm afraid this might get long...

I'm 37 with two sons who are 16 and 19. I'm also a civil engineer, having gone back to school in my later twenties.

So, the topic at hand - teenage years, when you don't sleep because you're waiting up for someone to come home (generally 30 seconds before curfew!), vs. baby years, when you don't sleep because the baby won't let you.

I'm not sure how to put this without sounding condescending, so please bear with me. Because I had my sons when I was quite young, many of my friends are pretty far "behind" as far as parenting. I've made a sincere effort over the years to allow them their joy (and heartache) that comes along with new parenthood. I remember how exciting (and exhausting) those early years were, and they'll find out soon enough what parenting teenagers is all about. :) It hasn't always been easy to supress my "experienced parent" eyerolls, but I've done my best.

I agree with most of the comments thus far, but there was one that really caught my attention, and I've been back three times now, and just had to respond.

"And all the bitter parents who it DOESN'T get easier for (prolly cause they went wrong somewhere along the way) can go preach to some other new mom."

Holy shit! Are you serious? I tried to tell myself that maybe it was meant as a joke or something...

Please, enjoy every moment of parenting to the fullest extent of your ability. There are pros and cons to every age, so just hang on and enjoy the ride! If (when) your adolescent does something crazy (love the tattooed booty image Kristin!), DON'T BLAME YOURSELF, and don't allow someone else to convince you that you should! Teenagers are wild cards - based on my experience thus far, most of them seem to go through some ups and downs before they (God willing) make it safely to adulthood. Think back... 'nuff said.

I've been pretty lucky so far. My oldest son is in the Navy, and is doing amazingly well. I was pretty disappointed when he opted not to go to college, but a year and a half later, he's doing fantastic, and I wouldn't change a thing. My younger son is a bit of a hothead, has been in a couple of fights (why can't he just walk away??), and the kicker... 3 weeks after he got his license, a speeding ticket for 103 mph in a 70 mph zone. I was floored - I thought I had done everything right, lectured him on safety until I was blue, made him drive with me for months, etc. Thank goodness there wasn't a tragedy - and I believe that my (long-grounded) son has learned his lesson after seeing my reaction (hysterical sobbing every time we talked about it for months) as well as that of some other adults who are important to him. However, I still get the chills when I think of how differently that night could have ended, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think that had the worst happened, someone might assume that it was because I had "went wrong somewhere along the way". A parent who has an adolescent who's going though a rough patch needs nonjudgmental support just as much as one who's sleepless and exhausted from pregnancy, teething babies, sick toddlers, whatever.

As a parent of three older boys I can tell you that you gradually grow as a parent as your kids grow. You ease into each stage naturally so by the time you have teenagers, you're all into teenager stuff and they don't really scare you. Life is full of stages and each one is fun.

Well said! Every step of a child's development comes with their own set of problems. I too don't bother to look too much into the probably future.. rather focus on handling my 4yr old one day at a time.

I will never forget what it was like when my kids were the same ages as your kids. You are just faced with different challenges as they get older. I am looking forward to grandchildren at this stage of the game. I think that they will be my reward for living through potty training and them having drivers licenses. Grandchildren will be the icing on my cake, because I can change a poopy diaper in two seconds flat with the kid on the floor holding it still with my foot if I have to!! ~Tyffanye~

Whenever I get frustrated with my toddler and all her friggin' craziness, I just imagine her as a teenager. That scares the crap out of me enough to be completely grateful in the moment.

Oh no - I wouldn't trade places with you for the world. Its worth the worry of older kids to have them able to make their own breakfast, walk themselves home from school, get their homework done without you, survive alone in the house for an hour while you walk around the corner with you husband to the local pub for a beer, etc., etc.,etc.
No sorry, you're at the worst of it now.

As many have said, it's not better or worse as your kids get older. Just different. Some things are easier, some things are soooo much harder.

Which is good. Because you'll have material to work with for ages still :-)

Also, without toddlers or young kids? What would we blog about? Nobody finds it cute or funny when a teenager does destructive things, you know? I mean: If your 15 yr old daughter had hung her dripping wet clothes on a wooden headboard and ruined it? She'd be in so much trouble and you'd be too furious to post about it, and even if you DID post it, people would be all worried over your poor daughter's future.... Sigh.

Ha. My three-year-old folks her own laundry.

But then we all have to fold it again.

I'm all about self bathing though.

BRING IT ON!

I dunno, but I think I just found my all-time favorite blog.

My 9 and 11-year olds now empty the dishwasher for me every day, and also fold their own laundry.

It absolutely, positively gets easier.

My mom always says, "Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems."

I usually just lurk on your blog, but THIS made me laugh out loud and squirm in my seat. Such a great post that I had to comment. Just the thought of what puberty might bring makes me appreciate the terrible twos.

I can't remember whose blog I read it on, but I remember the story.

An older woman was sitting on a bench watching a young mom with her two young children, both in diapers, with a smile on her face. The young mom thought she was adoring her, reminiscing about her own children being young. Then, the older woman leaned in and said to her, "If my children were still that young, I think I'd shoot myself."

i don't have much to say to that considering the fact that with my five children i am pretty much living everyday in in every stage of childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. i am just in the moment, period!

Whatever age my kid is now, is the worst, hardest possible age for all moms. That's it.

I have the BEST of both worlds - an almost 8 year old who thinks he'll NEVER get married because the girl he likes didn't laugh at something he said. Plus an almost 5 year old who restarted sucking his thumb and wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to my bed. I must be doing something(s) wrong somewhere. Oh wait, I've ALWAYS had that feeling - ever since they were born.

He heee tattooed on her ass... That made my day :)

lalalalalalalala I'm not listening! *stuffs fingers in ears*

as the mother of that daughter I'd have simply demanded that whatever didn't get used at bartending school ought to be coming home in a doggy - uh, bottle. because mom and dad aren't coughing up dough for b'school if there's nothing in it for them.

and then I'd get terrifically hamstrung on a hazy mix of cheap swill and laugh until my face fell off.

it would rule. and probably scare the bejeezus out of said child. and make them rethink b'school.

(oh, I've got *all kinds* of ideas, K. you just know I do.)

(p.s. I made up a rumor about how rad a make-out session is with you over at Jaelithe's blog, and I thought you deserved to know. you know. "made up." *wink*)

xoxo

Seems like it spans from physical pain in the early years to mental anguish as they age. All part of the well-rounded physiological work-out of raising kids.

I agree with Michelle, teenagers are hard but the baby stage is far, far more gruelling. I don't for one minute miss the days of parenting a newborn, a toddler and a kindergartner...in no way, shape or form. Getting through the baby stage is the hardest job you'll ever have, so make sure to pat yourself on the back NOW and give yourself a gold star for getting through it every day.

By the way, the parents of that 15 year-old probably just rolled their own eyes when she said that, just like I do when my almost 17 year-old comes to me every second day with a new plan for her life. I will study Astro-Physics! I want to be a hairstylist! Maybe I will be a surgeon! When I grow up I want to be a principal or a caterpillar!

Wait. You're not taking Xanax NOW? poor honey. I started taking it 2 years ago after my first came.

Oh I hear you I have an almost 13 year old girl who thinks the black eyeliner is super cool and is convinced shes smarter then me and her father. Then we have a 16 month old whos popping molars someone shoot me.

I always wonder, driving by the middle school bus stop after dropping K. off at school, what the black eyeliner, purple & black hair, skull hoodie wearing, black combat boots girl looked like when she was 3.

And then I get a shiver when I realize what's to come.

My guys are 9 and 3 - fun ages. I don't long for those sleepless baby years, in fact, I look back and wonder how I did it.

My cousins are in their teens and I know my Aunt is having a hard time, but the problems are different, that's for sure. unfortunately she stays up late worrying where they are now - so I see sleepless nights ahead for different reasons.

So I don't think one stage is harder - just different. Being a parent can be difficult even after they move out and start their own families, no?

You gotta hard job, honey.

The days of being pregnant while chasing after a 3-year-old and a one-year-old were a crazy, insanity-induced fog for me. I don't know how I survived it. Add hyperemesis to that, and you can imagine how my life was.

Teens are a pain in the crack, but at least they can feed themselves and wipe their butts. And you get to sleep through the night!

I don't like to try to look that far into the future-I'm afraid, very afraid!

I have a cousin who had a baby at age 14. She herself was the youngest of 3 girls, all of whom had babies without involvement from the fathers, without being married, two of the three while they were teenagers.

I know precisely how good I've got it, lack of sleep not withstanding. Give me a breastfeeding toddler who refuses to wean and who also won't sleep anywhere away from mom, a preschooler who throws shrieking tantrums at the drop of a hat, a six year old who freaks out when you limit screen time and can't keep his hands to himself, and a surly, eye-rolling 8 year old. I'm good.

I'm a newbie and even though deep down I know I'm a good mom there have been many days already where I have felt like a failure. The person who compared the addition to algebra hit the nail right on the head.

On a side note, I missed you posting yesterday. My day wasn't complete. Get with the program girl. You act like you have other blogs and a life that involves two youngs ones running around and making your already tired, pregnant, ass even more exhausted!? Sheesh. ;)

I see your point, but I'm not sure I agree for myself. My take is two part.

1. I think they are both really hard, just in different ways. Teenagers are just a different kind of hard, and toddlers can be just as terrifying.

2. I think different people are better suited to deal with certain ages. I love my baby to bits and pieces, but I don't long for babies. I'm not as annoyed by snotty little teenagers as most people. Knowing myself, I don't think I'll be as frustrated with the teen years as I am with the infant years.

I can totally see that other people would think the teenage years are harder. But I really think it depends on the parent and the child.

My lil' cowgirl only wanted a blue horse, she was a very easy baby/toddler. Her first tat' was of a life-size horseshoe print on her right cheek - of her A**. Wut does that mean? She kicks A**? She's a lucky A**?

Patricia

I think it gets easier when you die. *Crossing fingers*

I certainly don't think babydom is easy. Not by a long shot.

But a quick memory of watching friends make really terrible horrible and sometimes dangerous decisions and now imagining being their parents -- well, I'd be wishing for the teething days.

You can impart as much wisdom as you want on them when they're that age, but they're full fledged adults -- there's just no stopping them.

And to me, that's way scarier than a tantrum.

I'm really tired of the whole "It Only Gets Harder" speech. You can't make generalizations like that. My kids are 3 and 6 now, and aside from the occasional crying fit on the 3-year-old's part, it's SO much better than having young babies. Yes, I do miss the nursing sometimes and I get pangs when I see the cute baby clothes at Target, but I'm so glad to be finished with the sleepless nights, endless crying, and social isolation that came with the early days of parenthood.

My kids are so much fun now. We have great conversations, we laugh and kid around, we have nice meals together. They know how to keep themselves occupied when I need to get something done, they know how to pick up after themselves. And on top of all this, I'm WELL RESTED.

I'm sure they'll eventually go through the surly teenager phase, but I'll be dealing with that with a good night's sleep under my belt and the ability to think straight--something I did not have with babies.

People who think babies are "easy" usually haven't spent much time with a baby recently.

You know, when I complained about how long it was taking Jonas to walk, all the BTDT's kept saying "oh, you don't want them to start walking... then you're really in trouble." You know what?!?! They were WRONG. I'm absolutely THRILLED that my kid can haul his own ass around now, especially now that I'm pregnant, experiencing preterm labor, and CANNOT be lifting him constantly. Plus, he's a good kid. He behaves, so I don't feel any need to "wish" he couldn't walk.

Point is.... you may not get the snotty 15 yr old who wants to bartend. You may actually get a teenager who doesn't have you pulling your hair out. And then you WILL look back and thank jeesus that you're out of the toddler years. It really might get easier for you. And all the bitter parents who it DOESN'T get easier for (prolly cause they went wrong somewhere along the way) can go preach to some other new mom.

Ha! I love the way you spelled Tyffanye to emphasize the ho-bagness.

Oh I totally would not trade my tantruming 15-month old for my almost 16 year old niece. NO FREAKIN WAY! That girl knows it all and is not afraid to tell you just how stupid you are.

True. So true.

That's why we get to practice with them when they're young and resilient.

I didn't need to read about that! PunditGirl? 8 years old going on 30.

I would say it gets easier...in some ways. My oldest two are 24 (almost) and 16. Yes there are issues--the thing is of course that they are serious life-determining issues. But, if you get lucky, and they make good choices, then most days it is a lot easier. I also have a 7 and 5 year old, and I well remember the days of rocking, rocking, rocking just to get some sleep. Also, the "doing laundry" days. It is hard. Give yourself a break. It's very, very hard, and with a pinch of good parenting, and a great deal of luck, it will get easier from here.

Wait. You mean these babies are going to turn into teenagers? Crap. I didn't sign up for that!

Wait, you mean I have to let my daughters out of the house when they're teens?

Pass the Xanax.

You better hide that stash pretty well because if I find it...

Calculus is harder than single digit addition, too, but single digit addition is plenty hard when you're new to math. Thank goodness they let you start out with teething before you have to deal with Tyffanye.

It's all hard when you're going through it, I think. But then you get a smiley face on your math worksheet, or a wet kiss from your toddler, and you live to fight another day.

You said it! Little kids/little problems---big kids/well you get the idea. I only need to look around our neighborhood to see what the moms of pre-teens are dealing with, and it gives me the shakes.

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