Two Teens And Their Mama: I'm Not Your Friend - I'm Your Mom...Again

Monday, August 4, 2014

I'm Not Your Friend - I'm Your Mom...Again

Well, my body is home from vacation, but my brain hasn't quite made it back yet.  So, today I'm re-running a post from April, when I first started my blog.  I'm pretty sure only a few people were reading back then, so it will be new to most of you.  My brain should return today and I'll have something new up tomorrow!



My teens have lots of friends. I am not one of them.

Webster defines friend as "a person attached to another by feelings of affection, who gives assistance". Hmm...well, I guess that sounds like my relationship with my boys. MOST days I have affection for them, and I DEFINITELY give assistance...a lot.

Yet I am not friends with my kids.  The way I see it, that's not my role.  Parenting is an amazing experience and I'm so glad I've gotten to participate. It is the hardest job I have ever had.  Being their friend would be so much easier.  

When you're a kid, a friend is the person you hang out with, tell your deepest secrets to, and sometimes get in trouble with.  But even though your friends have "feelings of affection" for you, they might not have your best interests at heart.  That's where mom and dad come in.



Everyone parents differently, and I would never tell someone that they are doing it wrong. But for me, I can't try to be my kids' best bud or worry if they're going to be upset with me when I make the hard decisions.  My boys are mad at me on a weekly basis.  If you ask them, they will probably say daily, but we won't go there :).  I don't like it, but it goes with the territory.

If I were to spend my time trying to be their friend, I'd lose sight of being their mom.  And deep down, I think they both want me to be their parent.  They want me to set boundaries, to point out that they're making a wrong choice, to guide them through these really hard years when they are becoming who they are destined to be. Right now they hate it, but someday they will thank me. And if you're reading, boys - a diamond necklace or a new car would be a nice thank you present :).

Being a parent instead of a friend doesn't mean they don't confide in me, laugh with me, and have fun with me. As I was writing this, my 16 year old called and gave me the "best mom" award because I offered to make him soup and grilled cheese when he got home from track practice.  And we're not even friends!

I figure if I do the best I can to parent them now, they will grow up to be outstanding young men. The kind of young men that people want to be friends with.  And THEN I can be their friend too.

14 comments:

  1. Great post! Now that my daughter is a teenager I'm setting a new set of boundaries and making even harder decisions. I have to constantly remind myself that my #1 job is to parent and she is going to be mad at me once in awhile.

    Jill
    dousedinpink.blogspot.com

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    1. It's so hard when they are mad at you, but hopefully in the end they will understand!

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  2. Love this post. It's so important especially when they are teens to have these boundaries in place!

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    1. Thanks Alison. I honestly think kids like boundaries.

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  3. Welcome home! I hope you are not feeling too buried by laundry to do and mail to sort! Always the downside of returning from vacation!
    This is an important post - glad you have put it up today.

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    1. Thanks Susan. It was one of my first ones, so I figured most people hadn't seen it yet.

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  4. My mom was never my best friend--she was my mother, a relationship unlike any other and one that got me through life. Even when I pushed back.

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    1. I figure my kids have enough friends, but only one mom.

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  5. My mom was a parent until I became an adult and realized she was my bestfriend. She has my back, keeps me in line when she feels like she needs to but no matter what, I truly know she will always be there for me and want the best for me. I see what happened to a lot of my friends when their parents were their bestfriends when they were younger, then tried to "fix" the damage when they got older and started wanting to act like parents. I think you're doing a good job and you can only try to d your best and pray that your kid utilizes the skills you've taught them.

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    1. Sounds like your mom was a smart lady - and look how great you grew up to be! Thanks for such a nice comment!

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  6. Bravo Lana! I never understood the best friend philosophy. As you know my children are grown and gone and believe me they are not perfect but they are GOOD people. Even now they know I'm mom first. We dealt with this alot with our kids and I lost a few friendships. Sitting around your house having a few beers with your underage kids is not parenting it's creating alcoholics. I've heard "But they are home with me or they are going to do it anyway". I say BS. I demanded respect of me, our home and our rules. Guess what now it is freely given. I have never seen my daughter drink nor do I want to but the important thing is she wouldn't want me to. She is almost 23 and she spells curse words because she has to much respect for me to talk that way in front of me. NOW that she's about to become a school teacher and momma to twins NOW we are best friends.

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    1. I love this comment Rena! I hope to have the same relationship with my boys once they're grown up. Thanks for the great insight - you are a great mom!

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  7. This is so true. It's not easy to stand your ground and make the unpopular decisions, but it pays off in the end. I hope! ;)

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    1. I hope so too. When I read great outcomes like Rena & Natasha's above, it gives me hope that I'm doing the right thing.

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