Teens

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Raising Teenagers

Having a Teenager Is Like Having a Cat That Only Comes Out to Eat ...

People always talk about the terrible two’s. Oh please, the toddler years are a cake walk compared to raising a teenager.

I knew having a teen would be a challenge. I was a horrible teenager. I knew my kid would probably make me pay for my sins.

She overall is a good kid. She is a straight A student. She does sports. She is outgoing. She does not smoke, drink, or do drugs. She’s not sneaking out or having sex.

But the attitude, sass, and the lack of passion kills me. I can not find things that light a fire in her. With COVID-19, everything is closed or cancelled. So, 4-H and dance are having virtual class/events. I can not get her to participate. She loves her phone, but not for those things.

I suggested she read books on camera so we could post them – to be a community service project. No.

I found a free art class. No.

Write a letter/e-mail to people in a nursing home. No.

Write a thank you note to essential workers. No.

Amazingly, I have been able to get her off of her phone to play some board games with me.

Social Distancing

I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing about the virus. I know I am, but having joint custody of my daughter during this time is so stressful. I have no control on what ex does when she is with him. I hate it. Last weekend he went to see his parents. His mom lives with his sister during the week. Of course, where sister live has been hit pretty hard. I get they might not have the virus, but can we just pretend everyone has it and stay away from each other for a couple of weeks…

I have learned my daughter is addicted to her phone. I mean ADDICTED to her phone. The other day she was hateful and sassy with everything I said or did. I gave up and took her phone as punishment – I normally don’t do that (actually it is rare if I have to punish her). She cried and screamed. She had the shakes. She begged for it. She told me I was a horrible mom. So, I guess I need to start forcing her to sit the phone down to try to break the addiction. I get it. She’s a teenager. She hasn’t been in school for a few weeks. The phone is her only chance to socialize. Still no reason to be a pain in the ass like that towards me.

Overall, I guess we are handling it okay. I am used to social distancing. I’ve been a loner my whole life. I like social distancing. It is strange not to be running my daughter to different activities though.

 

Life in 2020

Well, 2019 ended roughly. I did not get to see my daughter at all on her birthday. It hurt, but I survived. She was tired of going back and forth from the holidays. So, I did what was best for her – not to have to travel back and front back-to-back days.

2020 has been interesting. First, I’m now working a combination of four – yes, four – part-time jobs. I have an interview for another one coming up. I have lost 10lbs. Oh, and my mom has a boyfriend. Don’t know if I am “okay” with it, but it is not my choice.  I don’t know anything about him. I’m still single.

Possible New Job

Ex texted our daughter last night saying he was offered a new job. Honestly, I don’t see him taking it. But if he does then I guess I am going to have to get a lawyer.

The job offer is across the country. Okay, ex already works in another state – which I’m pretty sure not allowed in our divorce papers. BUT he found a loop hole – he moved in with girlfriend. So, even though he works out of state, he receives mail at a local address. So I’m sure the courts would say he still is applying to the divorce decree. In our divorce papers it says we can not move within “x” miles. Now moving across country I am going to have to fight this – not that I want him around. Life is so much easier when he is not here. My daughter doesn’t have a hateful attitude. I don’t have to worry about his drama. But, come on… I know he would want to fly her across the country at times. With all of her activities that would be a challenge. So, I would have to get a lawyer to fight for custody arrangements. Next, the job offer pays more than I have made in my entire life. So, yeah, lawyer would be need to fight for child support. If his income is that much more than mine – I barely survive (that’s not an exaggeration. My income is considered so low that the government sees it as nontaxable.)

Now, in reality I don’t see him taking the job. But it is adding unnecessary stress and worry.  I did ask my daughter how she felt about what ex texted, she said she didn’t know – typical teenager answer.

Awesome News

I know it seems like anytime I post here lately it is grief and anger, but today includes some great – and unexpected – news.

My daughter has been offered a full expense paid for a week long health/fitness workshop in Washington D.C.

I think that is incredible. I had looked into the workshop a few weeks ago, but the price tag was scary.

I haven’t had a chance to tell her yet, because she is with ex. I hope I can talk her into it. I know being on an airplane for the first time scares her. I know going across country without me will probably worry her. I know missing three days of school will stress her out a little.

Would I be a “bad” parent if I still want her to go?

Life’s Challenges

Today is six months since my dad was killed. Doesn’t seem real – still. I see my dad in my dreams almost nightly. Yesterday was the court date; except, the trial got continued to a later date. The guy that killed dad was arrested, again. This time for getting angry and apparently driving his truck through his girlfriend’s house.

I’m still trying to find a better option for internet at my house so I can actually work from home. I found a optical fiber internet, but it is in the process of being built. Could take awhile… They told me about an wireless option until the fiber is ready, but that is still in the works. But the place in town that I go to for work might be closing down. Even though I have internet at home it is horrible. It is satellite internet; so, if a bird flies too low the internet stops working.

My mom and I still talk on a weekly basis. Some days are harder than others. She brags about how much weight she’s lost – because she doesn’t eat. (Ironically, when I was a teenager and not eating everyone bitched at me.) Yesterday she told me about these cute guys flirting with her. (I am going to be ashamed of myself if my daughter and my mom both get into relationships and I’m still sitting over here single).

Found out the school the youngest sibling has been attending is shutting down permanently – about two weeks before his is supposed to graduate. Not sure that is going to happen with that.

I’m attempting online dating. BUT there are so many scammers and none of the other guys interest me. I find myself bored and unmotivated to attempt a conversation with me.

Hair Drama and Summer Camp

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I have gotten more gray hair since my daughter has turned thirteen. It is a new adventure having a teenager. The attitude is challenging.

My once social butterfly does not want to do anything now. I drag her to 4-H. I tell her she can’t quit softball. She just wants everything to come easily to her. If something is challenging she wants to quit. She wants to play on her phone and be left alone.

Once I get her to 4-H, she has so much fun. Once I get her to softball, she is amazing.

So, I don’t know if I’m a great parent or a horrible parent… I signed my daughter up for two summer camps this year. She’s been going to summer camp for the past three or four years. She has tried a junior camp, a science camp, and a craft camp. She loved the craft camp last year and is wanting to go to it again this year. So I signed her up for it. Then I noticed that the craft camp ends on a Wednesday and that Thursday an adventure camps starts. At the adventure camp they do wall climbing, zip lining, ropes courses. Things my daughter would absolutely love. I talked to the camp director and have it worked out where I can just drop my daughter off at the craft camp on Monday and pick her up at the end of the adventure camp on Saturday – the camps are a few hours away and I didn’t see a reason to drive back and forth on back to back days. I have not told my daughter about it yet. She is aware of the camp, but she is not aware she is signed up for it.

I don’t know how she will respond. Worse case scenario, I will drop her off at camp and say see you in a week.

It is not like I am shipping her off for the entire summer. It is not like I am putting her in a camp that she would find boring.

So, parenting win or parenting fail… not sure… yet.

Then, there was hair drama yesterday with my daughter and ex. He told her he would pay for her to get her hair done. In his mind, twenty dollars for a hair cut. In her mind, $100 for a cut and ombre hair style…

So, their texts/conversation consisted of the two of them getting angry at the other one. My daughter screaming and crying. My ex cussing.

I’m on the fence about the situation. 1. that is a lot to get your hair done, but it is not like she will go back over and over to do it again. 2. ex did tell her he would pay for her to get her hair done.

 

Eh.

Yesterday was Dad’s birthday. I was emotional. I cried a few times. For his birthday, we did a balloon release – no judgements (I know it’s not safe for the environment and all that). We wrote notes to dad and attached them to the balloons. It was nice. I even bought a dress for the occasion – and I’m not a dress type chick. The dress was pretty. I am way too fat for it, but again no judgement.

My daughter told me the other day that she did not like me. That was painful. She was mad at her dad and said it while he was standing there. However, she did apologize through text a few hours later. Since that day our relationship has been great.

Found out my mom and my ex and talking – still – about me behind my back. Apparently my mom called my ex last month to see if he would bring his truck down sometime and load their old lawnmower for me. (According to my mom) Ex told her he couldn’t because his girlfriend doesn’t like when he does stuff to help me out.

First of all, mom didn’t even ask me about giving me the mower! This mower is at least 12 years old. My dad didn’t even think it would survive another year. So, she is wanting to give me something that is going to break down. Then what the hell am I supposed to do?!? Secondly, I have hired someone to do my yard work. This guy is amazing. He mows and weedeats. He is surprisingly very cheap! Plus, he came to my house one day and helped me change a flat – didn’t ask for any money in return. I hadn’t told ex I’d hired someone. Frankly, it’s none of his damn business. Anyway, mom told ex that I’d hired someone. We’ll see what drama comes from their little conversation. Third, how fucking dare he have that attitude that he can’t help me! I am the mother of his child. Is that really the lesson we want to teach our daughter? Now, I try not to ask my ex for shit, but what if it was an emergency? It scares me because I still have him as my emergency contact. What if something happens to me and he doesn’t come? Yes, I would help him if he needed something. Would I be happy about helping him – probably not. I’d probably cuss under my breath, but I would still help because I want my daughter to see her parents can still get along. But honestly I don’t ask him for anything. I know better.

Anyway, for dad’s birthday we had lunch and birthday cake. It was mom, my siblings, the grandkids AND my brother’s ex and her girlfriend. My mom told me she invited them because his ex will always be the mother of his child so everyone needs to get along. I understand that, but why didn’t she invite my ex then? She must have read my mind because she said I didn’t invite your ex because your dad hated him. She told me she has issues with my ex and she is not ready to resolve them just now.

 

Teenagers

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I brag about my daughter a lot because overall she is an awesome kid, but WOW teenage years are a whole new ballgame.

I always knew it would be tough having a teenager. Tough is not the correct word. HOLY SHIT I HOPE I SURVIVE!

She’s only been a teen for a few months, but man she is a pro at rolling her eyes. She probably rolls her eyes at me hundreds of times a day. And the “go to hell” look, yeah, she is damn good at that look, too.

She still is a good kid, when she wants to be. She is a good student.

I find myself wondering if raising a teen would be easier if I had a partner.

I can’t vent to my mom and about daughter because I get the response “I’ve been there.” Or “you were worse.” True, true. Me as a teenager makes my daughter’s behavior look like child’s play.

I can’t vent to my ex, her dad, because I get “yep, good luck with that.”

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