The only way to know what will hold is to push. Hard.
We are constantly changing. From the moment we are born.
Growing, changing, discovering and establishing what we stand for. And it's not an easy journey. And much of the time, those closest to us bear the brunt of our efforts to figure ourselves out, which isn't always a pretty process.
I am the mother of an almost teenager. That sentence alone may bring up memories for some, fear, joy, the desire to teach me what it's all about, or the need to tell your own story. Yes, there are a lot of stories, for each of us out here in the world of parenting.
Sharing stories with two different friends recently, we realized that we had all been thinking about, and even planning to do something about the need for "mommy and me" communities beyond the newborn to preschool set.
Truly, isn't it odd that we have institutionalized support for each other only at the beginning of the parenting journey? Did it get easy?? Do you have it all together now that your kids are older??
It seems to me, and this is, of course, anecdotal, that "support" for parents of tweens and teens is mostly through therapy for "problems."
Pause. Hold on just a second.
Just like the widely varying paces that the itty bitty ones grew and developed, and how confusing and challenging it was for us parents, aren't we faced with another set of challenges now that our kids near 10 years old, or 12, or 15, or 17??
Do the inescapable dramas of 10-18-year-olds really only fit into a problem category that needs professional therapy? This hard pushing, over and over again, these attempts to figure out who they are and what they stand for, over and over again, making colossal mistakes along the way, butting up against parents, siblings, friends.... that's NORMAL!
Really, couldn't we all benefit - tremendously - from parent support groups that are as disconnected from negative stigma as mommy/parent and me classes?
Sure, a lot of this is done informally in groups of friends, but just imagine: a weekly/monthly get together for parents to air a bit of concern, ask questions, and get support....Yes, please!!
Until my friends start a group (I'll let you know!), THANK YOU to all of those who are always there to offer tried and true advice and wisdom, or just to lend an ear or share a cup of tea (or scotch) and talk about parenting.
Comment below if you're interested in tween/teen parent get-togethers, or if you know of resources!