Open Letter to Moms of Teenagers

Dear Moms of Teenagers,

I’ve noticed lately that you’ve been super stressed out by your teenagers. It seems like you’ve got a lot on your plate with your job, house work, homeschooling, and add to that your teenager doesn’t seem to be cooperating or making life easier. I’ve had many conversations with you and been listening as you vent to other moms about your teenager’s lack of work ethic or that they snuck out last night to see their girlfriend. I hear you use adjectives like lazy, rebellious, insolent, hard to handle, stubborn, rude, obstinate, irresponsible and some others that ‘must not be named.’ I’ve heard you say, “If you can just get through and survive the teenager years then….” or “Just try to keep your head above water and your hand from slapping your kid.” I know that I’m a new mom and still in the cute, baby phase that’s only filled with lots of poop, crying, and spit-up, instead of yelling, major attitude, and ‘I hate yous,’ so you might be rolling your eyes and thinking, “Oh, just wait til it’s your turn.”

I understand that the teenage years are filled with so much stress, challenges and feelings of failure because I was one of those awful teenagers that caused you so much pain. But now, I’m a mom too and I’m listening intently to your teenager problems to see what my future is, what I need to do as a mother and, to be honest, I’m scared, terrified, mortified, stunned, and, sometimes, almost ready to throw in the towel and give up on parenting. You’ve scared the pants off of me.

I want to learn from you, NEED to learn from you because you’ve been through far more trials and joys with parenting. You’ve got wisdom that I need to learn from; that’s what Titus 2 is all about. Women teaching women, wives teaching wives, and moms teaching moms to love their homes, their husbands and their children. (Ti. 2:3-5) But, honestly, what I’m learning is that there’s a stage of parenting to dread, to hate, and try to get through without going insane. I realize that the teenage (actually all the years of parenting) years aren’t full of cuddles, rainbows, and ‘Mom, you’re the best,” but they sound like a nightmare you’re just trying to survive until you wake-up. I hurt for you, dear mothers of teenagers, and I’m sad for all the pain and stress you’re going through. You work hard to keep your home together, your marriages together, and you’re doing the best you can…I see that.

Parenting is hard and you really do need to have time to vent to other moms, bear each other’s burdens and help each other out but, dear sister, your younger sisters in Christ need to hear some of the happy things about being the mom to a teenager. What are their talents? What did they do this week that you’re proud of? As the mom of a future teenager, I need some encouragement that God gives you grace, gives you strength, and fills your life with blessings, amidst the trials. I need to know the joys, the lessons God has taught you, and that your children are a blessing, even if they’re 12-21 years old.  If I don’t learn how to be a godly mother through the bumps in the road and the times of laughter then who will I learn it from?  Can we find ways to encourage each other on the this journey of motherhood?

So, moms of teenagers, I implore you to start helping us younger moms learn to not just survive the teenage years but to find ways to cherish them, find the beauty in our children, despite the challenges. Moms, you’re doing a great job and you’re in my prayers!

Thanks for listening to a mom that’s learning and helping me become a better one!

A Future Mom of a Teenager

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Open Letter to Moms of Teenagers

  1. Honey, (I don’t mean disrespect, but in an endearing grandma-sort-of way!)

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’m a wife, a mom to three dear adult daughters and a grandma to three (one’s still in the womb). I heartily agree with you. I did when I was a middle age mom of teens and do as an even older woman.
    This is one of the reasons I decided to take a leap of faith and come alongside several younger moms to cheer them on in the ‘sanctifying and delightful and hard’ time of mother-hood. I too, heard to the grumbling heart and words of my peers at church as they bemoaned their teens and I saw the faces of the younger, even more tired moms grow even more discouraged and wonder what they had to look forward to. My heart ached for them because I remembered how tired and how lonely I was as a young mom and I wondered if there were any moms of teens who liked their kids!

    Shame on us older moms! God said, ‘children are a gift from the Lord’ and He didn’t just mean the first few days of life or when they say something cute or when they happily obey your directives. No, God said children are a gift–when they are 2 hours old, 2 years old and when they are 15 and 18+ old. We’re being watched, older moms. You may be struggling. We all do in different ways and in different seasons of child-rearing, but those struggles point us to a faithful Father, a merciful Saviour and an ever-ready Holy Spirit who teaches us and guides us through the gift of His Word. May we come along side our younger sisters and help them, even if we ourselves are bruised and battered. May we fix our eyes on Jesus together and keep walking the race He has set before each of us. And may we do it His strength and His joy! Pass it on! It’s worth it.

    In Christ alone,

    Joyce

    • Joyce,

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and for pouring into the lives of other women! I’m sure it has blessed many hearts.

  2. Great article!

    I have a (almost) 18 y.o. daughter and a 13 y.o. son.

    As someone who has been teaching parenting in our Church for a number or years, I notice this (even as a dad). I see mum’s who are frustrated because they cannot live up to the imposed vision of the perfect super-woman that our society says they should be. Without realizing that they are not supposed to be those super-moms, and that they really do not exist. There kids are out of their control a lot of times, or in their minds they think they are anyway.

    Problem is so many moms (and dads) just want a quick fix – an easy answer – and there is none. Sorry. Our kids require our study and interest, we need to really get to know them, both moms and dads, nobody else in the entire world has to opportunity to get to know your kids, (nor have they been given the mandate from God to raise them) better than you!

    So it takes work. (I know you are working hard now, but chances are you are reaping the fruits of the lack of directed and intentional work in the past. It is time now to change that situation or it will compound later on to the point where your just give up in order to save your sanity). It takes study to learn for ourselves what we need to do, then we need to study our kids and pray to learn how to apply what we have learned to our unique situations with our teenagers. We need to ask for help, from people who know what to do – not just those we know will make us feel good about ourselves – our kids future are at stake here.

    If I could make one suggestion for moms and dads of teenagers – get this book:
    Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, Second Edition

    Read through each chapter and then work through the study guide. You might only do 1 chapter a week, but that’s fine. Turn off the TV and invest in your kids future one or two nights a week 🙂

    I also maintain a Biblical Parenting facebook page (below) that you are welcome to glean as much information as you like from.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gospel-Centred-Biblical-Parenting/126262249424?ref=hl

    Hope this helps,

    Greg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s