Parenting teenage boys is a piece of cake. Said no Mom ever.
Unless, of course the recipe is complicated, with a blend of sweet ingredients and unexpected sour chunks brought from a far off land that terrifies. Then we might have an analogy.
Having three sisters gave me zero preparation for raising our four boys. Zilch. I grew up in the Land o’ Pink but am now immersed in Blueville. Perfectly? Golly no. But growing one pivot at a time.
What I do have now is a smidge of experience. And half a dose of understanding. Plus a sprinkle of awareness. With two teens, one tween and one more that will outgrow all of us in a heartbeat.
Here are a few things I’ve come to realize that Moms of teenage boys will certainly understand.
40 things Moms of teenage boys understand
- You are baffled you gave birth to this man cub and thankful he did most of his growing outside your womb.
- His large feet amaze you.
- He feels most loved on grocery day.
- You consider buying stocks in air fresheners and catch yourself humming “Smelly Cat.”
- Many days, he does not want to be with you. He also desperately needs you close by on other days.
- It is hard to tell those days apart.
- You embarrass him without even opening your mouth. You can also make him proud the same way.
- He’ll become angry or sad, without notice, and doesn’t know why.
- Boredom is his enemy.
- Showing him timely respect is fuel for his day.
- You savour glimpses of his boyhood when he is sleeping or isn’t feeling well.
- He says “whatever” when he feels most vulnerable.
- He seems lost while he is finding his way. You discretely shine a light in the right direction, especially if he tries to knock it out of your hand.
- Wise Moms never leave the hug first. Or handshake. Or fist bump.
- When he wants to talk, you drop everything and listen. Even if you are on a conference call or receiving a nobel peace prize. But you never look overexcited.
- Asking more than one question makes you instantly annoying.
- It’s best to linger in the same space in case the mood to chat strikes. So you linger, casually, until your cover is blown.
- The best talks happen side by side. You drive him anywhere and chat at the windshield together.
- Teasing you will be a sign of affection. So you try to lighten up and receive it in love.
- You are in awe of him. And who he is becoming.
- Parenting him is similar to having a mammogram. So similar.
- His quest for adventure terrifies you.
- Your knees are worn from prayers of protection and wisdom and so many other things. You pray all the prayers.
- He needs you to depend on your intuition. Trust it.
- When he shows you unexpected kindness, you melt.
- Grown ups eye him suspiciously because he is a teenager, especially in stores, making you fiercely protective.
- You try to become his consultant, rather than his manager, which feels impossible many days.
- His one-word grunts do not fool you. He is far more insightful and articulate than even he realizes.
- You can read his mood the minute he comes down the stairs.
- He can make you laugh, cry and call your people – all before breakfast.
- You ache to protect him from the world. But you can’t. And you know you shouldn’t.
- When he starts to implode, you hand him his shoes. Shooting hoops or running is instant therapy.
- He listens to a girl who tells him the exact same things you have been saying. It’s okay to love her for that.
- Your teenage son is ready for new responsibilities even if he doesn’t know it yet.
- One sincere smile or “Thanks Mom” can carry you for a week.
- He may pounce on his siblings but he will destroy anyone else who does the same.
- You would rather he build his character than get a mom-approved haircut. Hands down.
- You see glimpses of his work ethic forming.
- The thought of him leaving home wrecks you. The idea of sharing him with another? No words.
- Every mothering win makes it worth all the stretch marks and battle scars.
What do you know that only Moms of teenage boys understand? Let’s hear it below.
Time to read a bit more about parenting teenagers? Solidarity, Moms.