To Be Mature Or Not Mature: A Mother's Dilemma  

Posted by Heidi in

I confess I have been a bit down on the girl lately, but it’s only because she hates me with the thorough thoroughness of a thorough teenager, and not just because I make her do things like brush her teeth, do her homework and even, on occasion, bathe. No, she hates me for my essential me-ness. I wear too much pink, I talk too much, I chew too loud, my lips move when I read, I ask too many questions, in short, she wonders (and, might I add, out loud) how my friends can stand me, which really sort of hurts since my identical twin sister has always felt the exact same way. (Did I mention I have an identical twin sister?)

(clearly) Me on the left and my doppleganger

(As in identical. We are now middle aged ladies but if we are asleep with our hair brushed back from our face, our own mother still can’t tell us apart). (But that’s mostly because she’s blind.) (ish).

But I digress. The point is, if I am a bit down on girls these days it is simply because I have one. A teen-aged one. Who wears lots of black and purple. Meanwhile, my boys kinda rock. There’s the Big Guy who after years of being truly difficult is finally settling back down into the sweet handsome darling he was as an infant (things turned ugly at a young age for him).

And then there’s the Little Guy. He's the only one of our children who consistently turns out great Lifetouch school photos. I ask you, what’s not to love? (Wait, don’t answer that! You might leadeth me into temptation.)

How do you like your kids best? Immature or all grown up? (It's hard to say when you haven't had both which leads me to mention the somewhat irrelevant fact that the hero and heroine in Miss D. arrived fully grown, total and complete in their respective adultness, like Athena from the head of Zues, into the waiting arms of my creative organ. And this applies how? . . . )
As for my girl, I know (read: trust, hope and pray) that she will grow out of her obnoxiousness and love me to death, as I do my mother. After all, I did.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at Wednesday, November 19, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

29 wise, witty and wonderful comments

This post is exactly why I am afraid of my girls getting older. My oldest (7) is already getting complicated, and I know things are only going to get more complicated. My best advice is don't change. I believe (from being a teenager once, not actually raising one) that teenagers want their parents to be consistent, even if they say they don't. So, hug her just as much as you used to even if she pushes you away and tells you your breath stinks.

November 19, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Heather, you crack me up! Have you been hiding in the walls at our house?

November 19, 2008 at 3:25 PM

All those things that she says she "hates" about you now, will be the things that she loves you for later and will look back on fondly as being the essence of you as her mother. She has to "hate" you now. It's how she breaks away and becomes her own woman. Otherwise, she wouldn't be going through the healthy stages necessary. In the meantime, do just what Heather said... hug her a lot. Leave her little "love notes" when she least expects them. And help her celebrate her femininity in small ways. She will sing your praises in the not-too-distant future.


November 19, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Sorry for commenting twice, but I think that when I tried to email reply from your comment about me being in your ward you must not have gotten it so you must have that disabled or something and this is the only way I know how to answer your questions. 1. I don't think we are in the same ward unless you live in Pennsylvania, although we might have been when we lived in Utah, we just moved in July and our former ward was the Holladay 24t. Question #2 I started to write about Sarah last week, and will continue when I am in the right mood again see my post from Nov 13th.
Oh, as much as I would like to be a fly on the wall at your house, raising teenage girls has been on my mind a lot because I am reading a book called Reviving Ophelia. It is really good you should check it out.

November 19, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Cindy, your post is a revelation to me! I think what you are saying is that my daughter is behaving normally which means that I was behaving normally (when her age--well, I was a bit older) which means that I, out of myself and my six sisters, was NOT the devil, but the NORMAL one. Ahhhh! I like!
Heather, No, I know you were never in my ward--it's my ward, now, so I am sure I would notice your husband's Russian accent, but the blond beautifulness is all the same. Okay, I will go back and read more about Sarah. (I guess I was being really lazy, huh?) And no need to apologize about commenting twice! I am completely clueless about emailing and disabling and all of that. If it's broken, I don't know what it is and I don't know how to fix it. Drat!

November 19, 2008 at 3:53 PM

okay please tell me she is 12ish.... I have one of those, they are amazing! I was 26 when I had her and that was my turn around... I hope it doesn't take mine that long before she is sorry for all the crap she has given me. LOL

November 19, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Oh- I am so scared for those days. Good to know boys aren't too

November 19, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Is it wrong to be so glad that someone else had this type of tween/teen daughter in their home?

Not that I revel in your misery, but I'm happy to have such *great, clearly a wonderful mother* company. Some days I start believing my daughter's bad press on me, and I just gotta shake out of it.

Thanks for sharing today - I needed it! :)

November 19, 2008 at 4:37 PM

I have two boys. Na na na na boo boo.

Oh sorry. What if I have a girl one day?

Yup, now I'm pretty sure I will.

And I'm terrified. But I think you're right. She'll love you one day! BELIEVE! :)

November 19, 2008 at 4:57 PM

Okay, first. I TOTALLY hear YOU girl about your GIRL troubles. Is she 13 or 14? I wear too much pink too and I talk to much and worst of all. . . I'M NOT FUNNY!


But she is gorgeous!

Do you really have an identical twins?

And how much do you have to pay for those lifetouch photos? Is it like $35-$45 dollars.

I went to buy your book on Amazon. I'm just a few bucks short of super saver shipping so I've got to think of something else to buy with it.

November 19, 2008 at 5:22 PM

And so will she. You are after all her mother and the fruit seldom falls very far from the tree. For some things that can be a curse but when talking about this subject I can say with some certainty, This too shall Pass!

November 19, 2008 at 5:25 PM

It's so sad but I swear having kids is our own payback for how we treated our parents. I will say by now all 4 of the sisters in my family are finally nice to our parents again (well the baby of the family still gets a bit moody).

There are days I'm sad that I only have boys because of the mother/daughter bonding I'll never experience. Then I remember those horrible mother/daugher years from 12-17 and I breathe a sigh of relief...

November 19, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Stacey, yes, thank goodness I turned around as soon as I had kids--I didn't have to wait for the girl. Being a mom sure makes you appreciate your own! Emily--boys have their own worry but they don't sass and they don't get all OFFENDED when you tell them that they need to take a shower. It's just a much less tense world with them (or so I've been told--my boys aren't your typical boys, either)Stacey TR&T--Thanks! I think . . .happy to help a fellow clearly great mother. :) Speaking of which, Heather, yes, be afraid, be very afraid (they are tons of fun until then, though, and I hear, tons of fun after . . .)
Crash, yes she's 13, almost 14 (you nailed it!) and yes, I really do have an identical twin sister but I am verbotten from posting pics of her on my blog (maybe because I am less weighty than she this year) and Lifetouch, what a sore subject! I pay about $25 for the smallest package they have due to the history of my kids being the goofiest ever on Lifetouch day, but when we got this one, we deff felt regret that we didn't get the 8X10 (but not enough to reorder) and THANKS for buying my book! You made my day! I know, the $25 minimum for free shipping is an annoyance, isn't it? Roxanne, thank you, that means alot considering how much your Jen adores you, My Jen, yep, I hear ya--there are pros and cons to the girl/boy thing. As I said, lately I am mostly seeing the cons with the girl. Poor child. And, yes, it is deff payback for moi!

November 19, 2008 at 5:50 PM

I think girls are probably harder on their moms here and there because there is an unspoken competition. Not trying to sound too Freudian here, but I think when a girl sees her mom have a decent relationship with her dad and other family members she gets competitive. It's the whole phenomenon of more females than males on the planet. A whole roomful of guys... no sweat. More than two girls... claws and competitiveness. Even when my oldest gave me a few fits he still hugged me and told me he loved me. Kind of a weird thing. But you will be the best of friends once she has her own say in her life and makes all/ most of her own decisions. Hold on, Lady! BTW, Got a rosy book in the mail today :)

November 19, 2008 at 6:06 PM

My 11 year old has always been a teenager, and by that I mean she has always been moody and defensive. It's who she is and how I was. However, she never seems to be totally annoyed with me. She seeks out oppurtunities to be with me. However, she's super hard on my husband. I was the same way with my mom and dad. Weird, huh?

Your daughter might be difficult, but she sure is beautiful!

November 19, 2008 at 6:10 PM

Kazzy! I am doing a happy dance right now! But, you probably shouldn't read it now until December what with much more important novel writing of your own to do. I agree with you about the whole competitiveness thing even though it doesn't really apply-it's primal. Alyson, thank you! For some reason, she is really easy on her dad except when I am unavailable. I was seriously down for the count for about a week last May and she started coming into my bedroom, prying my eyelids open and complaining about her dad. It was quite the revelation. I suspect, once she's married and lives far enough away, she will be the type to phone her mommmy every day to complain about the husband. Poor guy. I feel sorry for him already.

November 19, 2008 at 6:52 PM

My daughter's not even two yet, so she thinks I don't wear enough pink.

November 19, 2008 at 6:54 PM

See what I mean? Those girls are so darn critical from day one!

November 19, 2008 at 7:09 PM

I read your book today! It came from Amazon yesterday, so this afternoon and evening I read and read and read. It was such a fun story and I love the characters. I hope you are already working on a second book!

November 19, 2008 at 8:43 PM

Seriously love you! Not many moms are brave enough to mention that although we LOVE our kids they can drive us bonkers and really hurt us. Moms have feelings too, ya know?

My oldest girl (yup, that's right, I HAVE 3 OF THEM!) is already a teenager in her 7 year old body. I'm feelin' for ya!

Have to tell you- groovy verification word for today- spluffet. Not even a clue how to make fun of this one. I think I will try to use it in a sentence tomorrow.

November 19, 2008 at 9:56 PM

Becky--woo hoo! Love it! Love you! I'm going to be giving your book a shout out here in the next day or two. Youngblood4ever--yes, it can start pretty early on. My parents had 7 girls. I don't know how they survived. Most of them were pretty mellow-I was, apparently, the normal, i.e, rebellious one. Even at that, I wasn't as bad as mine is already. But I do love her madly. She isn't always a snot. Have a spluffet evening!

November 19, 2008 at 10:19 PM

My daughter is 11 and we have the love/hate thing going at times. I love the fact that we can talk. Just last night we got into a Huge fight, but I sat down at her level, eye to eye and related. It was such a Kodak moment. I keep praying that it doesn't get worse....but reality is that its just begining!

November 20, 2008 at 5:07 AM

Kelline, I agree. A really great books that I have read (and need to re-read) that help so much with this issue is called Christlike Parenting. I don't remember who wrote it but it is so great!

November 20, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Heidi. All three of your kids are so gorgeous. Your daughter especially, she is so pretty! I read this post with my mom last night looking over my shoulder last night. She said, "Oh my, is that Mary? She looks just like Heidi!". Then I read her your post and we were sad for you. We were on our way out the door or else I would have commented then. I wanted to tell you how cute your kids are and my mom wanted to assure you that she has always thought that you were such a neat person and a cherished friend. She has always thought so highly of you. (She told me what to write last night, but I am sure I am leaving things out. I told her to write it herself, but she's never on the computer. So... its just me!)
Anyway... I completely agree with what Cindy said. So just read her comment again for me. ;)
As for Michael, if I squint as I look at his picture, I can see a resemblance to the baby I once knew. Cute kids, seriously, all of them are darling!

November 20, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Hey, Randi, thanks, I responded on your blog, kiddo. (who's Mary and Michael?) ;)

November 20, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Heidi, all your kids look adorable. Even your girl :-) I have an 18 year old girl, and she is comparatively difficult, I even nicknamed her Stinkerbell. My son is a Mommy's boy, while my daughter used to act like I'm the most annoying creature ever. She still does but not as much anymore. I think it is because I see so much of the young me in her and I try to hurry her through the maturity process and get rid of those bad traits NOW even though it took my self years to overcome same traits. But things have gotten so much better after her 16th birthday, so there's hope Babe :-)

You do look VERY identical to Holly. But she has a different haircut so that might help me distinguish if I ever see you together.

November 21, 2008 at 9:03 PM

Marivic, I think you hit the nail on the head. I see her making the same mistakes and having some of the same bad traits and I just want her to get over them right now to save her from some of the ickiness I experienced--but that probably really doesn't work out very well, does it?

November 21, 2008 at 9:06 PM

I think we hate our mothers when we are so attached to them, we can't imagine not becoming them! Once we realize we can be our own persons, we back off. So far, my Kendall adores me, but I'm not silly enough to think that 14,15 or 16 couldn't spawn a bit of hatred :)

November 22, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Barb, I have to admit, even amongst the hatred, there are times when she love love loves me.

November 22, 2008 at 2:52 PM

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