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

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