Growing Pains for Mom
I was going to blog today about my interview with Seth and Chandler Bolt who’ve written Breaking Out of a Broken System, a roadmap for success in life with all profits saving lives. For every book purchased someone with Malaria is cured. It’s powerful, amazing and so worth the read. But, I have to get this post out first. Come back for that post tomorrow, please!
After a really rough before school attempt at getting my middle schooler out the door without a catastrophe and a deep sigh (where did my sweet little girl go?) I sat down to scroll through my Facebook news-feed.
And then this caught my eye…
Dear Lonely Moms of Older Kids
A good friend shared the post. She and I met while pregnant for our middle schoolers about 13 years ago on an expecting mom’s message board. She parents a 12 going on 17 year old, too. I knew this had to be something for me to read and so I followed the links.
I started scanning the blog post. I thought, yes, I think I belong here. I read on,
There isn’t a lot of cute in the chaos. Instead, there is acne and braces and attitudes.
It can be a lonely time.
Yeah, no kidding! And, I’m crying. Full on sobs, tears, crying.
The online world just sort of goes quiet for the moms of pre-teens, teenagers and young adults. Except for the scary stories of kids and families gone wrong. It’s not real comforting.
I’ve been thinking about you, mama.
I want you to know that you aren’t alone. These years with your older kids can be your best, even if you can’t post photos of them on Facebook very often, and nobody says “OMG So PRESH” anymore.
Yup! Yes! Sob! You wrote this post for me, didn’t you?! I started to comment on the post. Before I posted my comment I realized that I’d written an entire blog post. So, I moved that comment here to share with all of you.
Rachel at Home Sanctuary continues on, yes the acne will clear up and the braces will come off, yes you’re your kids biggest cheerleader, but no you can’t keep bragging about them because they’ll probably kill you, if you talk about your teenager all the time on Facebook, they’ probably kill you- and then there are the things you don’t or can’t talk about. We need to keep our kids’ secrets. Some of the things you want to talk about as a blogger or on Facebook you just can’t.
I especially appreciated Rachel’s canter on being a mommy blogger with older kids. The truth is, the mommy blogger space is full. Overflowing. And, it’s mostly all about birth through Kindergarten. Then, the craft posts start to fade, the birthday party ideas begin to space out and the cuteness kind of goes away.
As a mommy blogger (I’m calling it Family Life blogger now), I notice this not just in the other great blogs I read but also in the opportunities that are available to me for product reviews, campaigns, sponsored posts, advertising and blogger conferences.
In my email this morning alone there is an opportunity to review a great stroller, join a diaper campaign, and I just got pitched to review the cutest baby raincoats and boots. But. Sigghhh. They won’t fit even the youngest of children in my household.
Where are the zit cream campaigns? The girls’ first period campaigns? The teen boys shaving campaigns. (How DOES my baby boy have a mustache now, anyway?!)
Oh, and by the way- what happens to the mommy blogger when she’s dropped the last “little one” off at college? But, that’s a whole other post.
My Response to the Lonely Moms Post
I sort of feel like I was just welcomed home. My kids are almost 13 and almost 15. I have a stepson who is like my own that is almost 8. While he is sometimes my tie in to those kid moments, I’ve found out a few things about myself recently.
One- it’s a good thing I had a hysterectomy or else Facebook would have driven me to at least one or two more kids. The cute posts, the clever ideas- oh how I sometimes long for those first baths, first haircuts, first this and first that. Maybe even a good ‘ole fashioned poop story.
And then, as a mom blogger I have the opportunity to connect with so many great moms online. But, they’re posting about the little arts and crafts projects they are doing with their kids, and the fun Disney on ice events they are going to.
I’ve been feeling left out. And reminiscing a lot. Remember when I could share photos of the kids? Or when I had some cute story to tell or funnyism to share? Now I post a photo of my almost 15 year old and wonder if his hand was somehow glued to his face- since it’s almost always covering it when I say, “Say cheese!”
My kids are outgrowing me! Yep I’m still Mom and they still need me. But now they prefer friends, electronics and feel like they are too old “for that.”
I also am approaching the halfway mark in my 30’s and with teenagers I’ve been thinking about who I am besides the band-aid placer, boo-boo kisser, cook, maid, driver, referee, scheduler, etc. as the kids need less of me (or want less of me) what is left behind?
Who am I if not captain of the family ship as the passengers begin boarding new, more exciting ships of their own?