Moms of Teens: Stop Telling Me How Much Worse It Gets


When my three toddler boys and I go places in public, the comments fly. They are loud, they seem (well they are) very close in age, and they are usually dressed as a pirate, superhero, or firefighter on your average Tuesday. So I get it.

But lately, the comments from women of older children have made raising children seem nothing less than something to dread.

I’m tired of the moms of teens saying “Just wait, it gets so much worse,” and “You think you’ve seen a tantrum, just wait,” and “Enjoy it now while they still like you.”

As a high school teacher, I have seen the shenanigans teenagers have to offer. Believe me, I get it. But we are discounting their capacity for deep, reflective thought, their idealism towards the world and how things can be, and their ability to simultaneously drive you insane and inspire you.

I’d love for a mom of teens to stop me in the grocery and say something better than, “Wow, you are going to go broke feeding those troops in their teen years.” While I get this commentary is supposed to be well-meaning small talk, over time, it creates an image for moms of young kids that it only goes downhill from here.

Older moms, let’s build up younger moms and inspire them to have hope for the future.

Let’s say validating things like “Wow those years are physically tough,” or “You are doing great,” or “You’re really going to love the stage after that one.” Let’s speak words of encouragement to each other and help moms believe a house full of happy, healthy, polite and communicative (some of the time) teens is a possibility. And if we can’t because we are dealing with tough teens at home, let’s just smile and say less.


  1. As a mom of a 33 year old and a 14 year old, I know when I make comments (especially to my young adult students) it is meant with the idea if I share what MOST parents have experienced, they will make choices to BE PREPARED. Don’t think it won’t happen to you. Make choices to prepare yourself. No one told me anything (though, I was a young, single mom with my first one and probably wouldn’t have listened) and the truth they could have shared would have been useful. ESPECIALLY as a middle school and high school teacher–never would have went into education if I had known the workload as an English teacher and that over 20 years I would only receive 4 raises but MANY reductions in salary. With my kids, if I had known what it would be like I would have made better financial decisions and married the guy who was independently wealthy so my kids could have had a better life. Bottom line: The comments aren’t meant to SCARE or DEMORALIZE you, but PREPARE you. Don’t think it won’t happen to you. 99% of the parents out there have, to an extent, similar experiences and issues. If you prepare, you still will experience them but it won’t be with the stress because you’ll have more tools in your parental toolbox to deal with them. Then, when someone makes comment–because no matter how much you would like them to stop they won’t, you can say, “Thank you for ‘spilling the tea’ and sharing your experience. I have a separate savings account just so they won’t starve as teenagers.” 😂


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