Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Domestic Enemies of the Mom with Teens

We'd like to introduce you to our friend who writes the blog Donkeys to College.  You know why they don't send donkeys to college? BECAUSE NOBODY LIKES A SMART ASS.  She is awesome and hilarious and a close personal friend of Stark.Raving.Mad.Mommy.   which is how we found her. 

Here's a little more about the donkey herself: I have been married for 19 years and have a 16 year old and a 13 year old. I have been a stay-at-home mom (or a go-to-PTA-and lunch mom, whatever...) for the last 11 years. While I feel completely lucky to be able to be at home to handle all the kid and family stuff other moms have to handle in a few short hours at the end of the day, I had been starting to miss being at work. Well, more specifically, I had started to miss having work friends to hang out with in between doing some work.

So, earlier this year, I created my blog Donkeys To College and a Facebook page to go along with it. I have essentially created my own little coffee break room and have been thrilled that people have decided to come hang out with me there. I also get to be as big a smartass as I want without a boss giving me dirty looks. It doesn't pay as well as a real job, but with zero income, there are no pesky tax forms to fill out.


This is a wild teenage party, right? RIGHT?!
There are a whole bunch of enemies I face on a daily basis. Sometimes, more than one at a time! I have me one of each model (boy 16, girl 13), and let me tell you, I have had to brush up on my ninja skills to fight off this crap. I can be sitting quietly, planning our healthy meals for the day (snort) and in a blink of an eye I am in full-on mama bear ass kicking mode.

I try my best not to let these enemies get in the way of me doing my job. Some days are easier than others. Even after 16 years, I still keep expecting someone “official” to show up at any moment and demand “Honestly! Do you even have any idea at all what you’re doing?”

Parenting Books/Experts
When you read about adolescent and teen behavior you quickly find out that teen behavior is caused, in part, by their not-yet-done-developing brains. Essentially, you should be more patient because they can’t help that their judgment and reasoning skills are not yet what they should be. Okay, great. How come *I* have to be more patient? Why isn’t the advice to show my kid the chapter that says he’s the problem, not me? Why isn’t the advice that my kid, in hopes of seeing his next birthday, should try shutting his pie hole since there’s little chance he’s right and I’m wrong?

I can't believe I bothered
going to college.
Another thing with parenting advice is that it doesn’t allow for the fact that teens and their halfway working brains need a different kind of parenting than little children do. We are all told to criticize the behavior, not the child. That is awesome for a little guy whose self-esteem we don’t want to permanently damage. Teens have essentially OD’d on self-esteem. You would never tell a child he’s bad, but, by all means, you should tell your teen. When my son is being extremely annoying I ask him why he is so bad and tell him that God can see the way he’s treating his mother. Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but, in real life if you act like a doofus, people aren’t going to like you. I am helping him to grow and blossom. Further, while hitting is a definite no for small children, a well-timed, “accidental” shove to your teen won’t hurt him any and will help you build up your cache of patience that you are supposed to have.

Parents Who Wish They Were Still Teens
This is the group of parents who want their teens to think they are cool. They allow their teens to do things way before any of the normal parents think is appropriate. Belly button piercings, tattoos, drinking, co-ed overnight trips…you see where I am going. You can rest assured these are the parents who will allow everyone’s kids to drink at their house. They act like YOU are the one in the wrong because you don’t want your kid to drink. Their reasoning for allowing any of this stuff is that you can’t stop your teen, so you may as well have some control over it by supervising/encouraging it.

You know what? No thank you. Stop making my job harder. No teen ever made better choices because they were drunk or high. Why would I possibly make it easier for my kid to do stupid crap?

And another thing…like I care that my 16-year-old thinks I am not cool? I have plenty of grown-up friends who are fine with my level of coolness and, I don’t care what you’ve heard, I don’t have to buy them beer to make them think so.

The Government Generally and PennDOT Specifically
Or whatever DOT you live in. Did I not just tell you how parenting experts say teen brains are crappy in the judgment department? So then, why, right in the heart of the time they are most likely to get themselves hurt or killed, does the Department of Transportation let them start driving cars? “Gee, we didn’t think you could get up enough speed on your bike to kill yourself ramming into that wall, what say we give you something to work with that’s sure to do the job. Oh and you want to stick your sister in the car with you too? Awesome.”

The Government is not helping either. We don’t allow people to drink until they are 21 because we have found there are less dead teenagers that way. That’s great. Why then are we allowing them to join the military at 18 and risk their lives and shoot guns at other people? Can’t we get that moved up to 21 too? I did not just spend all this time keeping my teen alive, so you can send his no-fear-adrenaline-craving self to shoot at people and have them shoot back or throw bombs at him.
This is THE worst enemy to us moms of teenagers. These people don’t know how to stay out of their own way and keep out of trouble. Everything you are doing to keep all these other jackasses from making your job harder… an effort in futility. Your teen is working against you. They are like secret agents for the other side. They don’t even get paid! They are doing it for sport!

One main problem with teenage girls is that, and I’m sorry to be so blunt, they have breasts. They love to dress up and look nice, but they only have the most tenuous of grasps on the difference between sexy and slutty.

Our main teen boy problem is that they noticed that girls have breasts. And they wanna see ‘em. This makes even the nice ones act stupid/ brain damaged. Do I really even need to elaborate further on how this condition just deteriorates? We could discuss it all day.

Now throw in that no matter how good a kid your teen is, they will try to thwart every effort you make to keep them safe and happy. They know more than you on all topics. They are more worldly and better drivers. The think YOU are the main domestic enemy of the teenager.

If it wasn’t for the high pay, my husband and I would have never taken this job. Wait…what?

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. So basically I should run screaming now since I have yet to find a pause button on my daughter?

  2. Funny post...except for the line of "act stupid/brain damaged." I don't think the second half was necessary. Stopping the comment at "act stupid" would suffice. By adding in the latter part, it makes the writer appear insensitive and rude. Those that suffer from brain damage cannot help themselves. I know that this comment will be razzed for being too politically correct, but as someone who works in a field with children who really are brain damaged, it's comments like these that can hurt them (and their families) the most. Please, people, think before you write/say things like this!!

  3. LOL! As a mother of a 17 yr old son and a 13 yr old daughter, I can say YOU ARE CORRECT! There are days where I'm pretty sure the only thing keeping me from not killing them is my overwhelming urge to stay out of jail. ;-)

  4. Mind if I copy this post as my FB status? Because you NAILED it on the head. I only have one teenager right now (she's 14) but my 9 year old thinks she's a teenager already. Sheesh. Thank Goodness my little boy (7) is still just clueless. That will change soon, though, I'm sure. :O)

  5. The whole point of these sites are for overwhelmed moms(dads too!) to unload with tounge in cheek Posts. Are we suppose to get offend with everything? It seems now a days we have to be so PC to the point where You have to be so careful because everyone is touchy touchy. I'm sure the aurthor mean no offense using the word " brain damaged".

  6. I don't even know where to begin, so I'm just going to say PURE GENIUS!
    This is awesome and, sadly, so true. You rock, DTC!

  7. Dear "Anonymous" (from the second post). I think the problem is that everyone has a "sensitive spot" and that any comment on that topic will hurt when you hit it. I see the reference to "brain damage" as more of an homage to Bill Cosby... whom you may find offensive also. Of course suffering actual physical damage to the brain is an awful thing for anyone. But can't we refer to the bone-headed behavior caused by the fact that EVERY teen's brain is still not quite "cooked" as a form of "damage"? With no offense intended to anyone who has suffered debilitating trauma? It is almost impossible to use any colloquialisms without hitting SOMEBODY'S sensitive subject.

  8. She also mentioned shoving her kids around. Shall we inform DSS? Oh wait, she was kidding. I guess brain damage is not okay but child abuse is!

  9. I agree with Mommie Dearest - you're a Goddess, DTC!

    My (thankfully) only child will be 14 at the end of this month, and reading posts like this make me glad I only had 1 !!!!!

  10. OMG!! Thank you. And all this time I thought *I* was the one with "brain damage".

  11. DTC, I feel your pain. As a mom of a 17-yr.-old girl and a 14-yr.-old boy, I know that sometimes all you can say is, "Have mercy!" Let's not forget to mention the retail/fashion industry that insists on reminding teenage girls that breasts are for SHOWING!! And so are butts. And Hooker Heels complete any outfit. Retailers don't neglect teen boys, either. They make sure every last under-age one of them is a walking billboard for brewing companies. Nothing like seeing a beer ad across the chest of your 14-year-old son to make you proud!

  12. "I am helping him to grow and blossom." BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  13. I love all 3 of you: Rants, Stark Raving Mad, and Donkey.

    You're my kind of people.

    And Donkey is spot on , I know, I'm the mother of 2 teen boys: and they canNOT wait to pass that driver's test.

    The oldest said to me: I'm ready I'm ready!

    I say, the only thing you're ready for is to run someone over.

  14. You forgot one enemy: The "My teen is so good and can do no wrong parent". Yes, the one who has never seen their own teenager at the park destroying things, cursing and acting like a complete buffoon. It makes it so tough to then have to say to your own children: "No, I don't care what he is doing. He is not my child, you are and you won't do that. Ever!"

  15. I was at a workshop on brain development and teaching adolescents with Complex Developmental Behaviour Conditions and the woman giving the talk (a PhD in neuropsych) was saying almost exactly the same thing about driving. She said that 16 is way too young for most brains. Where I live, you can drink at 19, and she figured that was too young too. And as for the military, she said 25 was more like it.

    And as for the "brain damaged" comment, yeah, a bit insensitive. Along the lines of "retarded". Offensive and insensitive to those dealing with brain damaged kids and/or developmentally handicapped kids (like me). But, um, HELLO. It's a rant. They tend to be a bit insensitive. That's kinda the idea. It's when they're used casually that I transform into a flame thrower on meth. :)

  16. I have no words! I love this.. Having been a teenager and having 8 years until my first gets there... I hope I will Still be able to find the funny at that point! Thank you!!!

  17. I pray daily, sometimes several times a day, that the Lord will return before my 8yo daughter becomes a teenager. Or before she turns 9. Either way. ;)

  18. I LOVED being the mother of teenagers. I don't know what you're problem is! Maybe you're not doing it right.

  19. Insensitivity and political incorrectness are proudly flaunted on a regular basis by the rich, white, spoiled bitches who maintain RFML, and who pretend to be overburdened victims of their own reproductive hyperactivity while complaining about every aspect of family life.

    Insulated from the real world by their wealth and ensconced in affluent suburbia, they pretend-play at suffering even as they enjoy the benefits of nannies, professional husbands and high status jobs. Never short on time to produce endless complaints of how little time they have to accomplish the simplest tasks, they celebrate excessive drinking, encourage vandalism, and never present solutions to the endlessly debilitating series of challenges they face, covered in vomit, excrement, and/or pet debris while wearing muumuus, unfashionable footwear and driving unsanitary, pseudo commercial delivery vehicles.

    Adored by legions of similarly hapless housewives, they appear on TV and online to whine, complain, natter, chatter and bleat their misery mantras to all who will hear even as they rack up the buckaroos for vacations and new houses. Welcome to the world of RFML. If you decide to visit, leave your sensitivity at the door, put a straw into a box of rotgut wine, tell the nanny to get to work and enjoy. After all, this is meant to be a rant.

  20. People that take offense to things that are intended to be funny are also a domestic enemy of every mom. Please do yourself a favor, get a tbox and lighten up a little bit.

  21. I just wrote a blog post contemplating the horror the teenage years will surely bring as I look at my two not-yet-school-age children. I didn't even *consider* the parents of other teenagers. And now all I can think of is the nights my best bud and I hung out at her parents house drinking beer when we were 16....

  22. My mom often claimed that the only thing that kept her from killing me when I was a teenager was fear of prison...and I was a good kid. I can't imagine having a bad teenager, so I'll probably be asking her for tips as DD gets older.

    And to Anonymous two posts up...lighten up, will you? RFML is meant in good fun, but I get the feeling that you're a very angry person.

  23. Nail on the head.

    When my first child turned 13, my best friend told me she was giving him a box for his birthday to put his brain in until he was ready to use it again...that was 6 1/2 years ago, and in a few more years, I'm hoping it'll be time to start cleaning out some closets to find that box! Meanwhile, I've got 2 more storing theirs for future usage .

  24. Teens are scary - I am sort of dreading that future decade of my life. And I agree about the driving. I don't see why we cannot wait for our kids to get their driver's license at 18. I also think that we should lower the legal drinking age, to make it less of a big deal in our culture. Great read. Thanks D2C.

  25. As Anonymous said: "This is meant to be a rant"

  26. 1. Thanks everyone for all the love and for checking out some of my other posts at DTC and for visiting me on FB - you rock!! What a fun couple of days for me!

    2. Can you believe my mother came to heckle me here on SOMEONE ELSE'S blog!! I think I feel a post about mothers in my future.

    3. RFML - even though that anonymous person kind of gave all of us a dig, and wasn't too accurate to boot - I think you are super awesome!! Your sense of humor and silliness shows you don't take yourselves too seriously and helps the rest of us do the same! Keep doing what you're doing! I could not heart you more!! Thanks for having me over to play! xoxoxo

  27. Donkeys To College- you are super awesome:)

    Anonymous- you are super-smart(I can tell by all the big words you use). I'm sure there's a blog more suited to your intellect and to that huge stick stuck up your arse...so please do us all a favor by finding it and not ruining this one. Thanks! Oh, and two thumbs way down for voicing such a strong opinion under "anonymous"....classy.

  28. Someone with a sense of humorSeptember 8, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    What is going on? I have never seen comments like this before. Are you guys serious? It's called satire.

  29. After reading this post I don't know whether to laugh or cry. So basically you're saying, my mother was right and someday I'll have a teen just like ME?? Crap!!

    Loved this rant, Donkeys to College! And Kate and Lydia, love y'all as always too. I agree with Courtney above. Anony is obviously in the wrong place.

  30. Dear Anonymous regarding the brain damaged comment - get over yourself and look at things for how they are intended. Surely we are smart enough to understand that this blogger is certainly aware of those with "special needs" and this was by no means a slam against anyone. It was, instead, I'm thinking, a way of pointing out to the teeming masses that people who do stupid stuff must be missing a mental piston or something. Next time you make a comment, be courageous enough to attach your identity to it.

  31. I have a son with BiPolar Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. If we got insulted every time someone used "crazy", "lunatic", "mental", "insane", we'd be perpetually insulted for no reason at all! It's all about context. Should I be insulted for constantly being called clumbsy? I have Dyspraxia which inherently makes me clumbsy. So, no, it doesn't insult me at all. I find it rather hilarious, because I CAN be a total AFV $10,000 winner waiting to happen. Lori the Martian

  32. How on earth did I miss this post??? I've lived through one teen (he's now 21...I fail to see the difference yet), and my darling princess is almost 17. My gray hairs have gray hairs now even though they aren't anything like *I* was as a teen! One enemy was forgotten....DRAMA! My daughter should have her own teen soap opera with all the drama in her life.

    New Quilter in Texas...howdy neighbor (regardless of where you're at in Texas). I'm totally stealing "missing a mental piston". That will be my new way of asking my kids if they've lost what little minds they had left!

  33. OMG... My 15 year old daughter is the driver in the picture. Meanwhile, the responsible older one doesn't feel "ready" to drive. Sigh.

  34. And don't forget the creative ways the teens get out of responsibilities. 'I can't stay for the makeup test, my mom is getting a tattoo and I have to get home to watch my little brothers.' Yeah, thanks, now your teacher thinks I'm incompetent, too bad he saw your boyfriend tapping his toe in the hallway waiting for you to walk home with him instead.

    The best part is that a week later she is still trying to tell me that the teacher misunderstood what she said and that we ADULTS have it all upside down.

  35. I have 4 kids ranging from 31 to 15. The oldest 3 have grown into great law abiding responsible, working adults, 2 with children of there own.
    Never mind that i allowed them to have a drink in my house. I was never a friend to them, but i always liked to know where they where and who they hung out with. It worked for my family.
    That was in Europe. Know i live in North America my last teen is going through the stupid choices stage. He makes different choices than my oldest children because of the culture difference, but believe me they are still stupid choices. I understand what he is going through and trust that he will grow up one day and start making the right choices.
    I know he will because i talk to him every day without being the overbearing mum that he would hide everything and everyone from.
    I cant wait to meet the wonderful man he will grow up to be.

  36. OMG I love this. I've been saying lately that the two teenagers in my house are like toddlers in that they defiantly insist on pushing every limit I set - only they're as big as me now, and stronger, and could kick my ass, so I can't manhandle them into compliance and/or submission. God help me.

  37. BECAUSE NOBODY LIKES A SMART ASS -OMG I love this! Thanks for sharing.
    Kevin Right




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