‘Newborn sleep deprivation? Mental drain of toddler potty-training? Multiply that by ten.’: Mom admits ‘parenting a teen is harder than I ever thought, but my heart is bursting with pride’

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“Remember the sleep deprivation of having a newborn?

Remember the mental drain of potty-training a toddler?

Or the worry of dropping your five-year-old to kindergarten?

Multiply that by ten.

And that’s parenting a teenager.

Now instead of waking up overnight to nurse my newborn, I’m staying up till midnight to pick up my teenager from a late night out with friends.

Now instead of being consistent with my potty-training methods, I’m setting boundaries for screens or rules or grades or chores.

And holding fast no matter how many meltdowns I face.

Now instead of a whole day away at kindergarten, I’m dropping my teenager to the doors of high school (knowing college looms not far behind).

And I’m still worrying and wondering.

Will he be okay?

What if he struggles?

What if he NEEDS me?

I’m pretty sure all those earlier parenting challenges were preparing me for today.

These days of parenting a teenager.

EVERYTHING feels multiplied!

The drama.

The laundry pile.

The stack of shoes by the back door.

The back-talk.

The food bill (definitely the food bill!).

And it’s hard.

Parenting a teenager is harder than I ever thought it would be.

But just as my heart nearly BURST with pride at the sight of my newborn flashing his first toothless smile…

Or my toddler running around in his superhero underpants after a successful trip to the ‘potty train.’

Or my kindergartener charging through the door after school to wrap me in a hug and show me his latest creation…

Now I stand next to my six-ft.-tall son and I notice his muscles or his deep voice as he tells me a story about school.

I cheer when he sinks a three-pointer in the game, or we laugh together over some ridiculous meme (that I probably don’t really get).

And my heart very nearly BURSTS with pride

Multiplied ten times.”

mom and son posing together with her arm around him
Courtesy of Mikala Albertson

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mikala Albertson of Ordinary on Purpose. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and visit her website. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Mikala here:

‘HE STILL NEEDS ME to listen to his stories about school, friends, or some ridiculous meme. No matter how old he grows, I will ALWAYS be his mom.’: Mom says teen son ‘still needs me to love him, no matter what’

‘Hey, Luke. You owe me some money. Remember??’ He realized he had to fork over the money.’: Mom shows son ‘tough love’ lesson because ‘I’m a MOM, I follow through’

‘He is my ‘Practice Child.’ The oldest of five. Sometimes I lay my head on his tall shoulder and say, ‘I wish I could’ve done better for you.’: Woman reminds us ‘you are just the right mom for the job’

Parenting Older Kids Can Feel Lonely Sometimes

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