Where do you derive your value from? Your self-worth?
From other people? In the form of praise? Acceptance? Or love?
Or from an internal sense of a job well done? Maybe from an accomplished task?
From a paycheck?
Please don’t say from kids. Especially not teenagers. 😔
I won’t go there (right now). I’m doing what I can to the best of my ability, sometimes on my own, sometimes with the co-parent. Sometimes I yell at the kids that they didn’t come with an instruction manual, but I digress. 😐
All the stress and hurtful lingo in the past weeks has me thinking. In actual fact, I cried to a friend in Germany over email who has a firm(ish) grip on these things. Or at least she has somewhere to go to seek truth when it happens to her.
She has six kids so she knows a thing or two about parenting teens.
She is more grounded than me.
She is more secure in her worldview than me.
She has faith, and is the least hypocritical person I know.
My friend stays true to her course. I admire that about her.
She also helps me back onto the right path when I cry to her. (I cry to her a lot.) She explains things I don’t have a clear understanding of, in a non-judgemental, straight-forward method. It doesn’t matter that we don’t share the same worldview. We respect each other and illustrate with similar examples. I can ask her anything, even topics that often remain taboo between friends; about religion, politics, sex, relationships or anything in between.
Sharing our views from different perspectives has given us both insights to possibilities we hadn’t considered, at times.
But this doesn’t prevent me from continuously crying to the internet with my incessantly obnoxious questions about teenagers and parenting and self-worth and midlife invisibility all that asininity.
You’re welcome. 😉
Why does it feel like I am such a screw-up when it comes to parenting tweens and teens? And why do I let this stuff affect my self-esteem and self-worth?
I don’t particularly like myself when I look in the mirror these days. Despite all the stupid selfies I post here. That, in itself, is a whole other topic I won’t bore you to death with at the moment, but essentially it was an exercise I attempted at self-love and positivity and bla bla blah.
I need to look inward. I know that too.
Before you tell me not to take things so personally or not to be so hard on myself (you know who you are – but thank you for caring), I do instinctively know I’m not (that much) of a screw-up. I don’t even really take their ridiculous I hate you’s personally (most of the time).
Although I’d be lying if I told you it hasn’t affected me in the past weeks, especially when we seem to be in this continuous, repetitive, lashing-out-at-everyone-all-the-time loop. It’s the same arguments, the same battles, over and over again.
It’s the stereo-typical, adolescent I’m right and you’re annoying power-struggle that teens seem to want to engage in with their parents.
I KNOW THIS. Why do I let them suck me in?
They are unformed, hormonal young humans growing and adjusting and trying and doing and expecting everything and still, they push back when a slight comment about responsibly or accountability is mentioned.
They argue. They want to, at all cost, win the battle. Know better. Do less. Much less.
And I enforce boundaries, rules, expectations…To no avail.
It’s not rocket science. Is it?
There are times when we all respect each other and live in harmony. It has happened, it will happen again.
Right now is not that time.
It’s been a year of transition, since school started in September. I mean, grade 9 for one (high school), and middle school for the other.
I knew it would be hard. 😶
I fail to understand how taking the trainer’s first aid kit inside a knapsack from the car in to the odorous dressing room by himself along with his equipment bag can cause a teenager to hurl insulting phrases in my direction. I stopped right in front of the door so he wouldn’t have to walk so far. I needed to be somewhere and left him to it. He wanted help carrying stuff.
“You can handle it, put the pack on your back,” I encouraged him. “You’ve done it before.”
Where did the hostility come from? How did this gentle, introspective boy become so sullen and unhelpful at the slightest mention of going above and beyond? Don’t even get me started about the morning routine…
I also fail to understand that asking a tween to help me wash a few errand dishes by hand while I tended to a heavily bleeding cut on my finger can cause her to insult me along with crying at how unfair it is to have such a horrible mom who makes her do dishes when she’s clearly doing homework (on her instragram account).
I quietly cleaned the blood off the floor and kitchen counter while wondering how such a self-absorbed attitude was born into an otherwise helpful, empathetic child. Normally, she’s the one who doctors me up when I have one of my numerous accidents involving knives…
The point is, for several weeks now, I have heard nothing but negativity coming from my spawn. I’m starting to feel the weight of their hostility. It’s starting to weigh on me. And I’m starting to feel defensive.
Do you understand what I’m saying?
I’m loosing sight of what’s important. I’m allowing other people, young and immature people, to determine, define, my value. I’m letting them make me second guess myself, my decisions, my outlook on things.
I let a kid tell me that the top I wore was making me look ‘a little fat’. I tossed the top and stopped eating carbs. Never mind I was pms-ing at the time…
I mean, what is this?
I need a vacation from family.
So anyway, this post got a bit away from me. I was actually planning on talking about something else, something relating back to my friend in Germany and her worldview, and how that helps her stay grounded, but I’m out of steam now.
Maybe next time.
Thank you for reading. It’s Friday…doesn’t mean much to me at the moment, since I got my days confused and missed a kid practice as a result (we made it, but ugh)…but for most people, Friday is a cause for celebration.