It’s official. We have reached lucky 13 and I officially have a teenager. How crazy is that?! I barely met the kid and now all of a sudden he’s already been hanging around me for 13 years. Weird, right? I mean, I think it is anyway.
From the moment I knew he existed, I’ve been acutely aware of the awesome responsibility being given to me. I’d like to think I’ve taught him a thing here and there. I mean, he can tie his shoes and knows his manners. That’s pretty cool. What really consistently blows my mind though, are what he’s taught me. As we reached the lucky 13, I’ve thought about the lessons he’s taught me (so far).
1. You’ll always look for something wrong.
When The Boy was first born, I was constantly counting his body parts, checking his breathing… all that stuff. Hate to tell you this new moms, but you’ll never stop checking to make sure everything is good. Like now – I just checked to make sure the sleeping teenager (omg) was covered.
2. Even the best kids can be the worst beasts.
I have the most laid back kid ever. I’m lucky. However, every once in a while he feels like flexing his age muscle and let me tell you: it is trying times. I gave him the nickname “Gremlin” in the womb and I stand by that. He truly acts like he’s been fed after midnight on some occasions. Those Twitter mom groups that claim to have Stepford children: Liars. Every single one. All kids carry that demon gene. Some just flex it harder than others. Don’t worry, it’s normal.
3. It’s okay to ask for help.
Honestly this has been the hardest for me. I’ve been a single mom since he was in the womb (whole other story) and I generally have a hard time asking for help. It’s not really a pride thing, but rather not wanting to impose on anyone. It’s taken me a long time to be okay with imposing a little bit. But if you have to work early or late and your kid needs a ride, you just do what needs to be done. Everyone needs help getting by. The Beatles said it best: “I get by with a little help from my friends”.
4. Sometimes kids like weird things.
We just have to live with it. I was so excited when The Boy realized his love for Super Mario Bros and Nirvana. Then he got into stuff like Minecraft, Roblox, those weird ninja ball things, etc. What’s even lamer? They talk about these things endlessly. END.LESS.LY. But, if we can pretend to pay attention to our significant others, colleagues, and our own parents talk about silly things and look like we’re genuinely interested; we can definitely /do it for our kids.
5. You won’t always like your kid and that’s ok.
When I was pregnant, I was genuinely afraid I wouldn’t like him. What if his personality sucked? What if he was a whiner? Oh dear Lord, what if he was a total d-bag? These were my legit fears. Thankfully none of those fears came true. However, there’s still moments where I just don’t like him. Obviously I used to feel like the worst mom in the world about this and wonder if I was lacking some mom gene. But now I know it’s totally normal. Love and like don’t have to always go hand in hand. I will love him forever but sometimes he’s just a punk I don’t like all that much. We take our little break from being joined at the hip and then we’re friends again. Totally okay. You’re not a bad mom: you’re human. And sometimes… kids are just jerks.
6. You’re not as cool as you think.
This basically relates to numbers 4 and 5. You don’t get what weird thing they’re into, you don’t understand the conversations related to weird thing and you don’t like them sometimes. This will lead to you not always being the cool mom. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a freaking cool mom. It’s just sometimes he disagrees with that self assessment. It sucks, but we can’t always be cool parents. It just doesn’t work that way.
7. You’ll never have the laundry done again. Ever.
It doesn’t seem to matter if you have one or five children, your laundry loads will increase exponentially. I don’t know how this happened. I mean, the kid wears a uniform to school and seems to wear only one other outfit for days on end until I beg him to change. How do I end up with several piles dirty clothes that are all his?! Just…HOW? It’s truly baffling.
8. Your brain will never work the same.
This could be my own personal issue, but I definitely know my brain worked better pre-gremlin. First it was pregnancy brain and basically all downhill from there. Math things, lists, facts, everything you learned in 9th grade and earlier? Gone. I used to be fairly smart. Now my head is stuffed with Monster Jam facts and useless pop culture trivia.
9. Say goodbye to gangsta you.
You lose all credibility when you’re on hour four of Little Einsteins – and the kid left after hour one. ‘Nuff said.
10. You will never laugh harder.
This kid. This kid has made me laugh harder and more than I ever thought possible. The dry, sly wit keeps me on my toes. He also tells great poop jokes. I love a good poop joke. 🤭 And let’s face it, kids are just funny in general. The drunken toddler stage is the best. Whether you’re laughing at their nonsense jokes, crazy toddler antics, or your parenting skills; you’ll definitely laugh until your belly aches.
11. You will never cry more.
Your nerves turn inside out. When they hurt, you hurt; even if it’s a necessary hurt. I’m so glad the pediatrician didn’t hold it against me when I almost slugged him during The Boy’s first vaccines. His pain is my pain. As he’s growing older, his heartaches are becoming mine. Just remember to keep extra tissue boxes in the linen closet and eye masks in the fridge. Damn kids will have y’all crying daily.
12. You are more painfully aware of time than ever before.
Time never went this fast before the kid was hatched. It’s bananas. I’m fairly certain I just brought home my 4 lb. newborn. Next thing I know, I have a moody, hairy, smelly dude living down the hall from me. When the f*ck did that happen?! I’m so glad I’ve never been the ” I can’t wait until he’s old enough to____” type of parent. I’ve relished each stage and time still had the nerve to zoom on by. Cliché word of advice coming your way: do not be in a rush for the next stage in your child’s life. It will be here way too soon.
13. Never, ever will your soul feel more full.
There is a completeness that you never knew you could feel once you have your child – or even see their blobby little beings on the sonogram for that matter. It’s not any kind of secret that The Boy was a complete surprise. But he just fit… like he was always meant to be and came into existence at just the perfect moment. I’ll be honest – I was pretty content with everything going on a little over 13 years ago. I truly didn’t think I could be happier. And then … my boy came into my life. And everything made sense in a new way.
So there you have it: 13 lessons my kid has ended up teaching me… so far. Enjoy the ride, parents, fun aunties and uncles, and guardians. It’s got everything: twists and turns, ups and downs, wild turns into crazy unknowns, and you never really ever get to your true destination. And, you know what? I’m loving it. What else is this kid going to teach me?