To The Mom Whose Daughter Takes Everything Out On Her

(Mom whose daughter takes everything out on her: When I was a teen, I took everything out on my mom. And now I’m grateful she stuck with me.) 

Dear Mom,

Thanks for sticking with me.

And I’m specifically talking about the middle school years – what a dumpster fire they were.

Because I took everything out on you.

Bad day with teachers. My attitude didn’t jive with their just wanting to teach the class without a sassy 8th-grader interrupting them with her dog and pony show. Took it out on you.

Friendship drama. Me treating people poorly then was surprised when they treated me poorly in return. Took it out on you.

Big emotions. Not understanding how to handle them. Feeling bad about myself, but not having the words to just explain to you how I felt. Took it out on you.

Making stupid choices, lying, and getting in trouble with my friends. Took it out on you.

You having the audacity to say “good morning,” or prepare a snack for me after school, or look at me the “wrong” way, or just exist. Took it out on you.

When my teen was struggling in school, we found a new way to communicate. I stopped nagging and he took charge of his day. Read more in the description here.

You and dad tried so hard to figure out how to get me back on track.

We lived in a little house on a military base, and you rearranged all our rooms, inconveniencing the family, so I’d have my own bedroom. But I didn’t see the sacrifice our family made, or the toll it took on everyone.

You reflected on rules and loosened curfews but kept tight on knowing where I was going with whom. You tried so hard to create a home that maintained both freedom and important boundaries. But I didn’t appreciate your knowledge and flexibility.

You worked on keeping us together. When words pelted around the room, feelings got hurt, and hearts broke. You continually brought us back together to apologize and work it out. But I didn’t see that I was learning that wonderful, beautiful families don’t have to be perfect.

You took me to a counselor. I remember sitting in that chair, mad, saying as little as possible because I didn’t understand the importance of professional help. I just saw you as mean.

You always believed in me. You knew I wanted to be kind, responsible, respectful, and well-adjusted. In many different ways (including holding me accountable), you reminded me who I was: a good person just going through a hard time. But I didn’t get it.

You were my constant. Always around. You fixed dinners, kept track of schedules, and continually told me you loved me in a million different ways. But I took it for granted.

But, now I’m the mom of tweens and teens.

I’ve had a season where my middle-school-apple apparently did not fall far from my tree. During that time, I repeatedly reflected on why 13 was so hard for me, and what I could learn from it to help my son and I get through the rolling thunder.

I never really came up with why: I just remember having huge emotions that ricocheted all over my brain, messing with my ability to have any logical perspective of life.

But I did come up with what I 100%-for-sure I needed back then…

I needed you.

Always there.

Always trying.

Because, as a kid, during my dark period, I always felt loved. Never once did I question that.

So, thank you, mom

Thank you for never giving up on me when I was at my worst. Going through those hard times helped me when I became a mom in your role. I looked at how you handled me and that flashed as a beacon of light during my own parenting storm. During my middle school years, you never gave up. So you helped me never give up on my own son, walking him through the hard back to being a happy kid.

So, thank you.

Thank you, mom, for sticking with me.

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Mom Whose Daughter Takes Everything Out On Her