I live in what I call the Little House of Hormones.
I have an almost teen and two teens–all girls. They are such great kids, but I am in the weeds.
Recently, I made a life changing discovery, and I feel compelled to share. Maybe you knew this already, maybe not. But if it can help even just one mom….. then I’m sharing it. We’re all in this parenting thing together.
We have had some tears in our house. I mean serious tears. Like all the time, for no reason whatsoever, could fill a swimming pool tears. And although I did go through puberty myself at one time, I don’t remember this crying for no reason at the drop of a hat thing (although my mother says otherwise.)
One day, my youngest started getting teary after someone made an innocent comment about her messy bun. But I took things to a whole new level when I mistakenly said, “Hey, no biggy, but you’re going to be late if you don’t hurry it up.” Then I gently put a hand on her shoulder, at which point she turned and screamed at me: “I don’t know why I’m crying!”
I stood there staring back at her, stunned and unsure of how to respond.
My husband, who is an awesome dad, but normally lets me handle the girl stuff, quickly saw the danger signs and intervened by pulling me aside. He very gently mentioned, knowing he was on thin ice, that sometimes I “may” get slightly irrational at certain times of the month. Or that “perhaps” there were times I may be a little weepy for no reason. Or that “sometimes” I could fly off the handle at something silly.
“Could it be the same thing?” he asked.
I mean, of course it was, but there had to be more to it, and there definitely had to be a better way to deal with it. I did a little research, and read a few quick articles about teenage girl hormones –and that is when I found exactly what I needed to tell my daughters the next time the water works started.
And it didn’t take long. The very next day one of my girls started crying for absolutely no explainable reason whatsoever. Instead of becoming exasperated, I leaned in and said, “I get it. I felt that way the other day, too. Like I had no idea why I was so upset.”
It stopped her in her tracks.
I went on to tell her about what I had read about pre-teen and teenage hormones. That they really are basically like tennis balls being shot out of an automatic cannon at different speeds. They explode forth all these powerful feelings making it impossible for anyone to handle them, which results in crying, moodiness and attitude fluctuations.
Guess what? These hormone fluctuations can happen in perimenopausal women too. So, how great is it that most moms enter that phase of their lives, just as their daughters hit their teen years.
Seriously, it’s amazing our house doesn’t implode from all the estrogen flying around. Or simply float away from all the tears being shed on a daily basis.
I’ve talked to my daughters a great deal about “girl stuff” and they’ve had the classes, but sometimes I think we are too clinical. Sometimes our girls simply need to hear and understand that they are not alone in this. That there “is” a reason behind these crazy feelings they are experiencing.
And then they need us to give them a hug and offer them a piece of chocolate.
There is a power in letting your daughter into the sisterhood.
It can be such relief knowing that you are not the only one going through something.
I doubt this new knowledge is going to reduce the crying in any significant way. In fact things got all teary again this morning on the way out the door to school and no, for the life of me, I still have no clue what started it.
But it really doesn’t matter. It just is what it is, and letting my girls feel like that is “okay” is making a difference. They can just let it out and move on.
It doesn’t have to be a whole “thing” and so we’re all dealing with it better.
Although, I always make sure I have extra chocolate on hand just in case.
Parenting Teen and Tween Daughters Is Tough, how else can we help?