“You’re not my mom!” It’s such a cliché but I’ve heard it too. And I’m not allowed to answer that you’re not my kid either. Cause they kind of are now, aren’t they.

Teenagers are hard, they say. My first could be even harder since I didn’t make this one from the scratch. I got her in the package deal I chose a year and a half ago. And she did not choose me. And now we are planning on living together under one roof, all six of us. Only one teenager for now, but soon there will be three more. And I’m having cold feet.

Until now I’ve had my own home, a place to run away to when the crap gets too hard to handle. True, I’m not really happy there anymore, everything seems so small and messy and outdated and… quiet. But what if I need quiet in the future and don’t have my own hidey hole anymore? Of course I’d have my own children at my house too usually, except when they are at a friends house or at grandmas or their fathers, or just plainly running around outside. Unsupervised naturally, since we are allowed to do that here. Don’t try this at any unsafe neighbourhoods.

But a teenager doesn’t want to go out, or in this case, even to their friends. They just want to stay at home and watch tv way too loudly, not even tv most of the time, but some very loud youtube videos about some very stupid things I just don’t understand because I’m old, and sing out loud just for the fun of annoying people. And interrupt all the things that should not be interrupted… Teenagers want to do what they want to do, be it eating messy foods in their beds, and having a temper tantrum when they are told to eat at the table with the rest of us. Or going outside in a -20 Celsius weather (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) without a hat or gloves on, since being properly clothed looks stupid.

There have been a few big fights in our time together, and for the dumbest reasons, some of them mentioned above, and it’s really hard trying to be an adult when you also want to kick and scream and just give up. I might be too strict, too harsh, ruling with an iron fist. But I’m afraid, if I give up on some things, will all of the cards in my house fall down? Will the other kids take note of the fact that I’m just phoning it in and don’t really have everything under control? I’ve spent so much energy and time building it the way I want to, can I risk losing it all? I need to step away from this line of thinking. No, it’s not the end of the world if things don’t go my way. Or is it…

It might get better, and at some point it will surely get worse for a bit, but for now, it is what it is. Today she wore a hoodie I’d given her some time ago. Wore it all day long. Maybe she didn’t remember it was from me but I’ll count it as a win.

P.S. A friendly tip – never say “my children wouldn’t do that” or “I raised mine better” to your significant otter. A risky move, and almost never goes well.

P.P.S. I just wanted to use the significant otter line finally

Otter photo by Victoria Alexander, cover photo by Scott Webb.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.

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