I have 2 kiddos. Both teens. I love them both to pieces, but it seems my daughter, Hannah, my oldest, has stolen my heart this Mother’s Day season.
She is beautiful and smart and funny and adorable and fun to be around and well… she is mine.
I hear many people these days describe parenthood as “the days are long, but the years are short.”
That is so true, isn’t it?
I look up and see she is now 18 and ready to begin taking her life by the reins. How is it possible I have a kid that is about to start adulting?!
I love raising teenagers, they are so fun to hang out with – and quite frankly entirely fun to mess with and embarrass in public, but as my oldest heads into this new land of adulting the next steps are unknown to me.
Learning as We Go
My dad often tells me these days, “No matter how old they get, they will always be your child, you just become more of an advisor instead of the be-all and end-all for your kid.” I need to become this mom that lets her fly and wishes her luck on the journey. Gulp.
It seems as if, not so long ago, we didn’t spend any real bonding time together. The only time we shared the same space was to get school done, get dinner eaten, or be in the same room because that was where the TV was. It wasn’t on purpose, but I wasn’t being intentional about growing our relationship either.
Then one day we had this EPIC fight! I was telling her to do this something and she was telling me NO WAY! It was a very sad day, but that evening as my husband and I were on our walk, talking through the situation, I realized that just because she was a girl didn’t mean she spoke the same language as me. It turns out Hannah is very similar to my husband, Luke. Calm, passive, observant – they are great soldiers. Whereas my son, Mateo, and I are born leaders, quick to see an idea, create a plan, and follow through with full confidence (whether the plan is right or not).
That fun dynamic of personalities makes for interesting family board games, for sure. 😊 And having Luke speak to Hannah when I had something important she needed to do or hear, changed everything.
The Solution was Simple
About this same time, I realized Hannah and I were finding less and less in common. I had no clue how to proceed, so I started to make sure I thanked the Lord for “our precious kiddos” every night and began asking Him for help with my relationship with Hannah.
During church one Sunday, a friend brought her new baby to church. A brand new 2-month-old baby boy. *swoon* She let Hannah and I hold him and we spent the entire service passing the baby back and forth, full of delight. As I was on a date with God that week, journaling about that event I realized, much to my delight, that my daughter and I finally had something in common again. *ahh*
We soon signed up to help with holding babies in the nursery every Sunday and we haven’t looked back. Every week is a blessing to both of us, to the babies, and to our relationship. I have been so thankful to have these last few years – spending 1-2 hours every Sunday with no agenda but to hold babies and help my kiddo know I love her.
If you are in a similar place with your teenage daughter and would like some ideas for bonding. We – my daughter, Hannah, and I – would love to lighten your load! We put our heads together and created a list of ideas and encouragement for mother-daughter bonding time.
Click here to get 10 ways to ROCK the Mother-Daughter Bonding Time (even if you are around each other 24/7)
In the meantime, to any moms out there struggling with finding something in common with your daughter, keeping school on track and dinner on the table… Please know, you are not alone.
You are amazing.
You are enough.
And you are just the mom your children need.
May you never forget it.
On the journey with you,
Life 101 Pro
Melissa Dickey is a Christian, wife of 19 years to her first love and mom to 2 amazing teenagers. She has been homeschooling for 8 years now and it’s been the best 5 years of her life! 😉 She thinks homeschoolers are quite amazing, outside of the box thinkers who have the potential to change the world with their greatness. With that in mind she created Life 101 Pro, a company dedicated to helping homeschool teens be ready for adulting. www.life101pro.com When she isn’t working on her business you can find her playing board games with her family, going on walks with her husband or at a coffee shop hanging out. She is always up for connecting with other homeschool moms of teens, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.