Mom Fails: when your Girl becomes a Woman
Musings are my favourite way to connect in this crazy “blog” world. I think it really is part therapy – knowing that other moms are going through the same drama and trials that I am – and part release, cause often some of the things I am going through, I just don’t need to bore my entire family with. Or, perhaps I have already worn my family out with my crazy obsessions over various things and this is an alley that allows me to get it all out. They DO say journaling is so beneficial. But this time, I felt a little different. I had a bit of writers block trying to explain my feelings without sounding like a total psycho, and hurting any adolescent feelings in the process. But here it goes…
Our baby is becoming a woman.
There – I said it. And while I thought my husband would be the one to find it uncomfortable, and would let me take the reigns, it hasn’t seemed to phase him a bit. I am the one struggling. I am the one longing for the little girl to come back. The girl that couldn’t wait to go to a movie or shopping with me, the one that thought MY opinion was the only one that mattered, and the one that wore the cute, fashion forward dresses in Zara, because she wanted to be stylish and look dressy at any time of day.
Now – don’t get me wrong. I recognize that all kids hit puberty and things change. With two older boys, I am no stranger to puberty. However, with the boys it felt like it happened almost at a distance – like I wasn’t a part of it the way I am with my daughter. And even though I knew it was coming, I have to say I was not prepared for it to hit me quite like this, and it has really rocked me. There are three things that I can really pinpoint to describe the changes… and please comment your thoughts below if you experienced any of this, so I know I am not alone 🙂
Body, Brain and well, a B word that we all know and love…
Body – When your Girl becomes a Woman
The first thing was the changes to her body. Nothing happened to her that hasn’t happened to every 14 year old girl on the planet, but I guess I wasn’t prepared for how it would make me feel. As she is an athlete, and has an extremely muscular build I wasn’t expecting the sudden (it seemed overnight) hips and soft curves. Her face matured, and she looked remarkably like…a woman. Because I wasn’t prepared, and because we do spend so much time together, I have to say the past few months of dealing with the changes have not been my proudest mommy moments.
What comes with a teenage changing body, is of course, that the little girl IN that teenage changing body starts to question all the changes. They wonder if they are normal, and I think are dealing with their own shock over how things are changing. This is where there insecurities creep in.
And, this is where I really dropped the ball. What I should have done was embraced the change, and embraced her. When she asked me if she looked fat, I should have said that she was beautiful and becoming a woman, and to be proud of it. I was so uncomfortable with how she was changing, that I think I just made her uncomfortable. And worse than that, I think I made her feel ashamed.
With all the body shaming that happens in this world, with all the people that are already going to look at her and judge, why oh why wasn’t I the first in line to be her cheerleader? Yup – not a moment I will be bragging about to my friends. But – it IS reality. It is how I reacted and I have to own it, as much as I am ashamed of my reaction.
Brain – When your Girl becomes a Woman
So, not only is the body changing, the brain is too!! Shocking I know, but I am no longer at the top of my daughters list of things that are important in her world! In fact, I might not even crack the top 10! Does anyone else get irritated that SnapChat has taken over all other forms of communication between teens?? IT MAKES ME CRAZY!!! How are these kids ever going to learn to have face to face interaction with each other??
But, that my friends is a discussion for another blog post!
So with this changing brain, come changes in how they might want to appear to the outside world. Where I used to be the prime shopping companion, now I am the driver, and lucky me, the payer! Where we used to do things together like go to movies and even hold hands crossing the street, I am given the blank stare of “what?” if I even suggest it. Friends are cool. I am not.
Honestly, I have adapted to this one a little easier. I can still remember way back to the dark ages when I was a teenager. And I recognize that she needs her space and independence from me. I am trying to push aside the hurt feelings and know it is not personal. It is actually the way things are supposed to go. We raise them to become independent, great people without us, so this is certainly a step I need to get used to.
It is still harder for me than it was with the boys. I feel like I have a great relationship with my boys, and I feel like their transition through puberty had less bumps. The only thing I can pinpoint, is that she is our baby. And of course, she is our only girl. How is it possible that our baby is becoming a woman?
The B*%#$ – When your Girl becomes a Woman
Well – I can tell you there are certain days when I want her to become a woman fast and get the heck out. These are the days when nothing you say or do is right. Anyone else?? Yes – this is when the great B rears her lovely head and demolishes anything in her way. And I do mean anything – animate, or inanimate – if you are in the path, just get out. And don’t ask any questions. Make my food, drive me and, if its not too much trouble, could you stop breathing so hard while you do it???
I tease, but really – what the…??? I know I’m not alone here. My girlfriend literally said there are times when she turns around to look behind her because she doesn’t know WHO her child is speaking to with such a tone and attitude.
Such sweet revenge say our mothers who know only too well that this is another fantastic side effect of our growing girls. They are acting out, pushing boundaries, and testing their independence in the safety of their own home with “their people.” We have all had to urge to push them out of a moving car when the B comes out, right?? I really am missing that sweet sensitive little girl – and I still see glimpses of her at bedtime, or when she is makeup free after a bath and has her fuzzy socks on. Is it bad to wish sometimes those moments could linger a little longer?
There are days when I take the B on full force and on others, I try to smile inside and know she is fighting emotional ups and downs. Lets just hope we come out the other side relatively unscathed and eventually can be friends. If you need or want further reading on this, one of my fav reads to get me through is UNTANGLED by Lisa Damour.
With all of these changes in the past few months, I have had to do some real soul searching. I have recognized that this has been hard for me because I am a control freak and with our baby growing up, this is yet another place in my life that I feel like I am losing control. They are going to grow up. They are going to have their own amazing lives away from us. And of course, this is what we want most for them. BUT, I am struggling with the fact that it is happening too fast.
I’m not going to lie, it was a rough couple of months. But as she has blossomed into a beautiful young woman, I too am learning a few things. I am learning to be kinder, and to love her new body. I am learning to let go and trust her. I am learning that she will make mistakes and that they are HER mistakes to make. I am learning to support the changes and just love her. Because, in the end, this is ALL that matters. Just loving her.
If you want to read some of our other “musings” on mothering teens and young adults check out Danni’s thoughts on her son’s Gap Year HERE
As always, we love your comments!