It’s 5:22 a.m., and I gave up trying to get back to sleep about a half hour ago.  Maybe it’s menopause, but I don’t think so. 

I went to bed feeling really, really upset, and although my beloved husband’s tenderness soothed me to sleep, I didn’t find solace there for quite long enough.

My son turns 14 this Friday.  Another birthday that takes him further into the teen years, farther from the boy he was, closer to the man he will be.  I deeply and passionately loved the little boy he was, and I am hoping I’ll admire, respect and love the man he’s going to become. 

This teenager he currently is?  I’m not so sure about him. 

How can I feel this way?  Is this a normal feeling for mothers of teenagers?

Yesterday was the first time I had a full body revulsion for the belligerent, argumentative, irresponsible, lazy (damn, I SWORE I wasn’t going to use that adjective), yes lazy teen that I am struggling to parent. 

And today…today it just feels like struggle. 

As much as I want to fully celebrate this phase of his life as much as I celebrated his birth and every other birthday he’s had since, this particular birthday is filling me with more of a sense of dread than a sense of celebration. 

Oh, I know there are teens out there who are acting up MUCH worse than my son, but that doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to me right now. 

Right now I feel as though every teeny, tiny thing I ask him to do involves several repetitions with increasing amounts of energy and volume. 

Right now I feel as though boundaries and agreements mean nothing to him.

Right now I feel as though he has absolutely no respect at all for my feelings, or my belongings. 

Right now, I don’t trust him.

….and that feels horrible. 

I’ve found during my boating years, that the challenge I have with handling rough weather, is that although I may be able to handle what’s happening in the moment, I don’t trust that it’s not going to get worse before it’s going to get better.

Parenting is feeling a lot like that these days.  Storm clouds are on the horizon, the wind has picked up, the waves are knocking me about.

storm clouds

How do I navigate this stormy phase of parenting, and still enjoy the journey?