I’m struggling with my child this month. I don’t admit that easily. She’s taken a giant leap into teenagehood and I’m not exactly thrilled about it. I never realized how much can be affected by teenage drama. I was so exhausted by it all this morning that I decided it was best to work from home.
I think what’s hit me hardest this morning, is simply how alone I feel in all of this. I know that I’m not alone. I have a fairly large support network. I know that I’m luckier than a lot of folks. But going through this, having to try and fill the role of both mother and father… trying to set an example and guide my child to find some sense of normalcy within her relationships… lately, these things scare the crap out of me. Mainly because I’m the first to admit that I haven’t always been successful in those endeavors myself.
This past week has left me feeling drained. I’ve cried, yelled, lectured, been exasperated. I still don’t fully know what I’m going to do to bring life back to normal here at home… heck – maybe there is no such thing as “normal” when your life includes a teenage girl? I certainly don’t feel like I’m able to have much of a life on my own at this point. If I’m not working, I’m home dealing with her stuff; and the few times I’ve made plans in the last few weeks, something has come up to interrupt or ruin them. It’s frustrating – not that I expect to have all THAT big of a social life – but I do try and get out. Everyone needs a break occasionally. My son sees his dad a few weekends a month, but my daughter… she’s with me 100 percent of the time. Her drama has me desperately seeking peace and harmony. And by seeking out those harmonious and peaceful moments – I’m also coming to the conclusion at how lonely it all is. I’m in this by myself. And it was me, who put myself here to begin with. My step dad says maybe it’s my own karma from my actions as a teenager. But that seems harsh… seeing as I wasn’t necessarily a difficult teen. I didn’t party, do drugs, sneak out, I wasn’t out having sex or doing things that skirt that morally ethical line. I argued with my parents, loved the art of debate in general, and my hormones at that age had me looking for and provoking fights. But that’s it! I stayed home, played video games and had my best friend over for sleep overs where we played loud music and talked about boys. We would call the radio stations and request songs. We’d drive to the mall on weekends or explore the local downtown area. Trouble and drama was something I didn’t bring a lot into my life. So I suppose I’m struggling to relate to my child just a little bit.
What I wish she could see – was the impact that she has on everyone else. How, everytime she takes a slide backwards or veers off on an unsafe path – it is me, and her brother, who have to ride the waves she creates. It is we… who have to survive the tornado that she creates, and no matter how much I lie to myself and think we’re through the tough stuff… I know it’s just the eye of a storm that I can’t control.
To all you single parents out there… I may be exhausted and drained and frustrated…. but I’m not defeated. I stand with you. We are the real super heros.