Thursday, February 5, 2009

Oh The Joys of Parenting Teenagers

I seriously had no idea that I was committing the cardinal sin. I honestly did not know that my innocent curiosity and slight interest in doing something new would be interpreted as a blatant act of inconsideration and an attempt to ruin my fifteen year old daughters life forever.

Yep, I guess I have to admit my mistakes and own up to them. I set up a Facebook page.

It all started when one of my neighbors set up a new Facebook account, and sent me a friend request. Since I didnt have an account and couldnt view her page, I just decided to set one up for myself.

After about thirty minutes, I was fully up and running with my new Facebook experience, and even had 24 friends by the end of the day! I also found out most of my Proverbs 31 sisters were on Facebook - whoo hoo! A few people from my high school jumped onto my new page too. Life was good.

I informed my daughter about my new undertaking when she got home from school, and naively asked her to accept me as her friend. She gave me that familiar look of confusion and shock, followed by a dissertation of how nobody as old as me should have a Facebook page. Gee thanks honey. But then she just shrugged her shoulders, and accepted me as her friend. Cool. :)

The following day she came home from school in a tizzy. OMG. Her boyfriend found out I was on Facebook, and was going to have to be careful about what he said on her page now. So far, Im not seeing the problem. But a couple of her friends had seen my name on her page too, and teased her about it at school(or so she said).

After discussing for the next hour how my little Facebook page was apparently going to be the end of life as she knows it, somehow I went to bed that night feeling like the ultimate enemy of the universe. I was a little confused, dismayed, and actually shocked by this sudden turn of events, of which I had not anticipated at all!

Being the analyze-every-emotion-and-make-sure-you-care-about-your-childs-feelings type of mother that I am, I honestly did not mean to upset her. I even told her she could delete me as her friend if that would make her feel better. Sniff.

So signifies the life of a mom (and dad) parenting teens. Never a dull moment. Full of surprises. And lets face it... this season of life is pretty much always about how the teen feels, what they want, what they need, what they think they need, who they need to be with when they can get the things they need, how long they can spend doing what they need, and when can they do the next thing or get the next item?

Geesh. Im tired just thinking about all that. In fact, my brain really is kind of tired because I just had a conversation that went something like this, with only a few short breaths of air taken in between each request:

"What time is my hair appointment today?"

"What time will I get back to school tomorrow after my orthodontist appointment?"

"Can Colby go to the UNC Charlotte basketball game with us tomorrow night after you pick me up from my ballgame? Can we meet him somewhere to pick him up?"

"Can I go to Madisons friday night to sleep over with her and Jessica?"

"Can my friend stay with us for four days this month while her parents go to Cancun?"

"Can I go to the movies Saturday afternoon at 2pm with my friends from church?"

"Would it be okay for me to go home from church with Emily Sunday afternoon and hang out with my friends at her house?"

"You are taking me to youth on Sunday night, right?"

Sigh. It seems like yesterday I was the one posing the questions, not answering the questions, and I certainly am appreciating my mom a little more these days!

I know the years to come will bring a lot more challenges, discussions, decisions, disappointments, joys, and memorable highlights.

I know there will be countless more sleepovers, social activities, and plans that need squelching - and even though I recognize that I am a highly-emotional-sentimental-tear-flowing-overly-protective-perfectionist-social-life-killing mom, in my heart, I am so looking forward to it all.

What an awesome responsibility to have been given. To raise beautiful, precious children who love the Lord, and watch them learn and grow, and turn into independent, thriving, wonderful adults. I cant wait to see what God does with their lives and how He works through them all along the way.

My middle daughter turns 13 this year, so Michael and I will then have two hormonal-emotional-social-life-driven-question-asking teens in the household - oh, and one seriously active little boy who eats, breathes and dreams about sports.

Can we survive it? I know we can - even though I am already seeing a few extra gray hairs and continously praying for grace in my moments of turning into the possessed mom instead of the loving mom I desire to be.

Michael is a great dad, and even though we sometimes have our differences of opinion of how to raise the kids or handle certain situations, things always seem to work out, and somehow with Gods help, we really have been blessed with some pretty awesome kids. Parenting - a hard job, but worth every minute.

Well, I have to go now. Off to answer a few more questions, discuss some more plans, and talk about any new needs or wants that came up while I was typing this - all while trying not to unknowingly ruin anyones life, of course.


Oh The Joys of Parenting TeenagersSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Angie said...

I know how you feel about the facebook thing. I set up my account after Christmas and received the same words from my 18 year old daughter. You are too old. I pointed out to her many adults, older than myself, from our church had accounts. Of course the eye roll happened. Then she told me to please not do a friend request for her. She didn't want her friends seeing she had her Mom on her facebook.
Just like you said.."Oh the joys of parenting teenagers."

A Facebook Mom,

B His Girl said...

Oh....the challenges of parenting teens, rather Joys. We have to stay behind the scenes. I do understand that. Hoping your miracle is around the corner.b

Joyful said...

Tracie, I knew you were on Facebook as I've seen your name continually appearing on my sidebar as someone I might know. (I think because Melissa, Zoe, Charlene and Luann are my 'Friends', it automatically shows me some mutual friends.)

My 16 year old son wanted to join Facebook last summer. I said he could on one condition, that his mother was his first friend! That didn't seem to annoy him at all. I've heard too much negative about Facebook, and I wanted to have complete access to his pages and he knows I check in from time to time. I set up his account with him and know his password etc...

His girlfriend's Mom is my "Facebook" friend and she was over for tea today. She was telling me that she too has full access to her daughters account and randomly checks in and reads her daughters pages. Both my son and her daughter know this can happen at any time - in some ways it's like having an accountability watch on what they say and do - just like the accountability that we can set up on our computers with friends who will check our 'History' and see that we are using our computers wisely.

So thankful for the privilege of parenting our son. May the Lord continue to guide and direct us all.

Melanie said...

I feel for ya...mine are
19, 15, 11. And then there's the dog...

JottinMama said...

A few of my friends finally persuaded me to join facebook this weekend, :) Have fun with it!

My son is only 2 and we have a baby due this summer - and while I know it will be hard, I'm very much looking forward to parenting them over the years! Such a blessing! I agree with you- its worth every minute :)

Have a wonderful week!
- Kate :)