Since Christmas, my oldest son has been driving on his own whenever the weather allows. He has driven his younger brother and himself to basketball practice several times a week. He has driven to youth group functions. He has even driven to Wendy’s on a couple of occasions to pick up some snacks for our family. (Yikes, that’s a bad habit we probably should break right now.)
As this son backs out of the garage, I have had mixed feelings. At first, my heart was gripped with terror. I had visions of grisly car accidents where both of my sons would be taken from me at once.
I insisted on multiple text messages once they arrived at their destination. I would hold my phone in my hand until I was reassured by the BLIPPING noise telling me that my sons were alright.
My Sons are Growing Up
But as time has gone on, I’ve become much more reassured that everything is going to be alright. I’m getting used to the idea of my sons being on the road without me. I’ve turned their safety over to God and am trusting Him to take care of them.
Every once in awhile, however, I still feel a slight pang as I see our car driving down the driveway without me. I’m elated that my sons are maturing and that they’re able to do so much more without me.
However, part of me is sad that they don’t need me as much anymore. I see their little faces from long ago and I miss those days. I miss their sweet little voices and how they would crawl up on the couch next to me and snuggle in while we read books together. I miss their chubby little cheeks. I miss their cheesy grins as they would ham it up for the camera.
But then, a strange thing happens. These same towering teens will come up to me and ask me to do something for them that I know they could do on their own… and it irritates me.
How is it possible that one minute, I’m craving the days when they needed me for everything – and the next minute, I’m wanting them to do everything on their own?
I’m finding that being the mom of teens conjures up a diverse mixture of feelings. There is the desire to keep our kids small and dependent wrapped up inside the need to help them mature and be self-reliant.
Our teens are dealing with lots of highs and lows due to their hormones changing, their roles in the family changing, and more. But I’m finding that I am also experiencing many emotional highs and lows. Some of this is definitely due to my changing role in our family. Some of it is due to hormones, as I am deep within the peri-menopausal state. We all have emotions and sometimes these emotions can cause us to feel stressed.
Here are 3 Positive Ways to Deal with our Emotions:
Sometimes we just need to pause and take a breath. We should think of what’s going right in our lives versus focusing on what’s going wrong. We can’t allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with everything that is going on around us. We should instead, train ourselves to take the next step.
2 – Exercise
When we are stressed or feel overwhelmed, our bodies produce chemicals that cause our heartbeat to speed up, our muscles to become tense, and our blood pressure to rise. Exercising helps to move these chemicals out of our bodies so that we’ll be able to relax. It also helps us to sleep better, which is a great way to relieve tension as well.
3 – Phone a Friend
When we’re emotional, sometimes we just need to know that we’re not alone. When we’re feeling tense, we need to take our problems to God. He wants to help us through the difficult seasons of life. He tells us to cast our burdens on Him and He means it.
It’s also great if we can find a trusted friend with whom we can discuss our feelings. Look for someone who will be empathetic to your situation. Someone who will pray for you and who won’t make you feel guilty for being emotional. A kind soul who knows when you need a kick in the pants or when you just need someone to listen and to tell you that it’s going to be alright. Friends who are willing to pray for you.
There are lots of mixed emotions wrapped up in being the mom of teens. I’m discovering that first hand! However, with the above coping techniques, we can maintain a check on the new stresses in our lives and can move through this phase of life with a renewed energy and a new purpose.
Are you a mom of teens? Have you experienced this wide array of emotions? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below!