10 Reasons Why Having Teenagers Makes Mothers Look Forward to Empty Nest Syndrome

It’s been happening since the beginning of time. Mothers who have spent the last twelve years dragging themselves out of bed at all hours of the night for feedings, temperature taking, and hand holding, suddenly find themselves the parents of a strange species, also known as teenagers.

Adolescence is a time for personal growth, independence, and learning responsibility. It is also a time to drive your parents nutso. With all that said, here are the top ten reasons why having teenagers actually helps mothers look forward to Empty Nest Syndrome:

  1. They hang on the refrigerator door, rub their stomachs, stare blankly inside, and mutter, “There’s never anything to eat around here” (and this is only after you’ve just been forced to take out a second mortgage to pay the grocery store bill and served a six-course gourmet meal).
  2. They suddenly forget how to bend over to pick anything up off the floor—unless it is food or money.
  3. They sigh, make the same disgusted face, and roll their eyes so often that you start to worry that their face really will freeze that way.
  4. They sleep so much that you actually consider adding “Rip Van Winkle” to your family tree.
  5. They refuse all communication from you unless it is a text or smoke signal from a campfire several miles away.
  6. They think a healthy snack consists of chips, Monster, and a Mr. Goodbar.
  7. They refuse to acknowledge ever being a part of your genealogy.
  8. Everything they want for Christmas starts with an “i” and costs at least $300.00.
  9. They see nothing wrong with wearing the same T-shirt six days in a row.
  10. When grandma is over for dinner, they decide to loudly inform everyone at the table that tattoos are hip, nose piercings are cool, and college is stupid.

As the mother of two teenagers, I would like to publicly confess that I have no idea what I am doing 364 out of 365 days when it comes to parenting adolescents. Since there isn’t a book published yet titled What to Expect When Your Children Turn into Another Species, I have no other choice but to blindly follow my heart, my gut, and sometimes even the unsolicited advice of the woman standing behind me in the grocery store line.

I have to admit, it’s going fabulously so far. Last night, my son let me move the campfire a mile closer to our house before sending out smoke signals to let him know dinner was ready. I was so happy I didn’t even notice he was wearing the same T-shirt he’s worn everyday since November 16, 2009.

 By Vicky DeCoster (All Rights Reserved)

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About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at www.wackywomanhood.com.
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9 Responses to 10 Reasons Why Having Teenagers Makes Mothers Look Forward to Empty Nest Syndrome

  1. etomczyk says:

    Great post! You are correct, of course. My husband and I (married 33 years) are empty nesters and we are having the time of our lives. We’ve scandalized the children with our crazy travels and romantic interludes … I’ve decided that our little urchins are given a little “gettin’ over” handbook before they step into our lives which makes them think they’re smarter than we are. Combine that with our Creator’s idea of a joke called “free will” and we are toast as parents. You’ll see. I wrote a humorous story entitled, “Yo’ Momma Don’t Have to Know!” on my blog that pretty much sums up how, we as parents, are outplayed before we even gave birth. Good luck! 🙂

    • Thank you for visiting the wacky world of womanhood! Wow – thirty-three years. Good for you! We’re about to celebrate nineteen years this weekend. And in case you were wondering, we never acted like this when we were teenagers. 🙂

  2. The Hobbler says:

    So true, and I have no idea what I am doing while raising mine most of the time too. I don’t think I ever apologized to my own parents as much as I did after I had teens of my own. I still occasionally say I am sorry for putting them through all that teenage drama. I have 2 teens now and a 7 and 5 year old who will be filling their shoes as soon as they grow out of it. By the time I am 45 I am going to feel like 100.

    • Boy, you have your hands full, don’t you? As I get older, I find myself yelling, “Turn down the music!” much more often now than “Turn it up!” It’s a sad state of affairs. Let’s hope for your sake that your younger ones are learning from their older siblings mistakes. 🙂

  3. susannye says:

    Wonderful post – thank you Vicky. My first job was teaching wayward teenagers at a school in Vermont. The illustrious student body included kids who drank too much, did too many drugs, the get-away driver for an armed robbery and a murderer. One of the school counselor’s favorite lines was … you young man are a good example of why some animals eat their young. Not sure if she actually used the line – or just desperately wanted too! Best of luck – Susan

    • Hi Susan,
      Thank you so much for the comment. I think Erma Bombeck came up with that hilarious line about teenagers and I love it too! I hope you’ll come back to visit the wacky world of womanhood again where nothing is ever predictable. 🙂 Keep laughing …

  4. The Hook says:

    #1 sounds just like my twelve-year-old daughter. That’s so weird!
    Do you suppose all kids are capable of the same madness?

  5. kewsmith says:

    I’m an empty nester now and, boy, I get where you’re going from. By the way, my grocery bill is about a third of what it was. But I am paying for college. Maybe with their educations, they can pay for my retirement!

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