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TOO MANY HORMONES!! (there will definitely be swearing…you’ve been warned.)
Is this a cosmic joke? No, seriously. Am I really supposed to go through menopause while I’m trying to parent teenagers? TEENAGERS?!?!?
Have you met these little shits?
So a couple of disclaimers before I go on:
1) I realize not all women in middle age are mothers. If you aren’t, you can read this post and laugh and laugh and laugh and then eat cereal on the couch while watching Shameless or Game of Thrones while the rest of us attempt to make a balanced meal and force conversation out of sullen and eye rolling spawn who gag down the most minuscule bite of broccoli and complain about literally everything. (those of you who have teenagers might recognize this word “literally” as a word that is used literally by the hour by teenagers to describe what others would might describe as what things truly are: figuratively).
2) I also realize many hormonal women might have younger children and no teenagers…yet. You can use this as a primer. Enjoy the sweet spot that is elementary school…sigh. I remember it fondly. Or you might have older children who are out of the house and you can spend your menopause in a teenager free house! Yay! Lucky you!! Invite us over for wine and whine!
3) I absolutely adore my kids. They are smart (problem #1), they are opinionated (#2) and they are WAYYYYY empowered (problems #3-97). Case in point, it was my birthday this weekend and my son asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted “a complain free hike” and his response was, “great. I guess you’ll be going alone then.” I was kinda proud of him…that’s some serious smart ass quickness. I got my revenge and took him somewhere even worse…the mall…hahahahaha!
Ok. So Not all women have kids, some are younger, some kids are out of the house, and I love and adore my kids very much. Now that that’s outta the way…on to the bitching.
My peri-menopause symptoms have doubled down in the last few months. You might be familiar with the frequent waking up, the sweatiness at night, the mysterious weight gain, the raging mood swings. As delightful as those are, here’s what really chaps my hide. Both of my children are hormonal freak monsters themselves. The amount of tears, the swearing, the bursts of rage rants swirling around our house is fucking insane!
And what’s even more shitty, is that when my right mind comes back, and I reflect and realize that no, actually, my life is amazing and I’m right where I want to be and that I don’t actually need to saw the couch in half because its shade of brown is mocking me…I apologize to my children. I explain to them that I was being a little irrational, and that it’s a phase and I love them and blah blah blah. And then I feel guilty and selfish and shitty and like a terrible mother for creating so much suffering in their lives.
Meanwhile, one of those little fuckers can LITERALLY scream “I hate you”, storm away, slam a door and LITERALLY 30 minutes later come out and ask me for a favor as if a half hour ago no one LITERALLY just told me they hated me and that I was the worst mother on the planet. Really? Really?!?!? Really.
There is something so unfair about being a grown up. And also, kind of amazing. But let’s talk about the unfair part. I don’t get to shout “I hate you” and slam doors. I don’t get to flip the fuck out over being told no or not getting an outcome I wanted. I have to stay centered, and grounded. I got knocked up. I had the offspring. It’s not a choice now. I need to be the calm eye of their hurricanes. Regardless of how nightmarish my own hormones are.
And here’s something I just figured out. They are so in the moment of their hormonal freak outs, that a short time later, it’s LITERALLY as if the last tantrum never even happened. The key, I think, to surviving this deliciously devious time of parenting, is to not take anything personally. Not their rage, and not our own. I had a really difficult interaction with my daughter recently, she did something crappy (LITERALLY not a surprise), and I was pissed.
And really also very concerned that she understood that I loved her and always want her to know that and never intended to make her feel badly, blah blah blah. So LITERALLY 45 minutes after this whole thing went down via text/phone I called her to check on her and make sure she was ok and not hurt and felt alright. She LITERALLY said, “It’s fine. Nice talking to you.”
LITERALLY 45 minutes earlier it was “If you want me to be miserable, I’ll be miserable. I cannot believe you would make me do this…”. Zen monks have nothing on these teenagers. Monks have it easy! Meditating all day and no homework or friend drama or like, the jeans they wanna wear are dirty and they didn’t wash them even though their mother suggested maybe they start a load of laundry the night before. We put so much more importance on their hormonal rages and acting out than they do. They feel it, they act out, they move on. So must we. Do not take this shit personally.
The amazing part of being a grown up? This kind of realization, understanding and ability to reflect….and coffee and wine. And having a secret stash of chocolate I can eat for breakfast if I feel like it because I’m a goddamn grownup! I don’t, but I could.
And also, it’s pretty amazing to watch these little freakers navigate the world. My kids are way better people than I am already. It’s also good to have the experience to know how fleeting this time is. Before I know it, they’ll be in college, or traveling the world, or doing something incredible, and I’ll long for someone whose organs I LITERALLY made, tell me they hate me and then attempt to fit their bodies which are bigger than mine, onto my lap and want me to rub their back.
So, what’s a hormonal mom to do when her hormonal teen is raging and there is hormone hell? Breathe mama. Breathe. Apologize when you fuck up or get swept up in the hormone tsunami. Don’t take their shit personally. Take a step back and reflect on what’s true, not what feels real in the moment. And gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. You were lucky enough to be a mom. They were lucky enough to get you as their mom. And remember, this too, shall pass.
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