Monday, February 22, 2016

How Being a Mom is Like Being a Teenager Again

Photo © Pixabay
When I was 16, I couldn't wait to become an adult. I imagined an exciting life of travel and new experiences. For a while, I lived an independent life, which of course involved a lot more responsibility that I pictured as a teenager. After having two children, however, I feel like I have regressed slightly! Here are 5 ways being a  mom is like being a teenager again.

1. I live at the mall
As a teenager, I had large blocks of free time, which I ended up spending at the mall because that was the cool thing to do in the 1990s. As an adult, I would normally avoid the mall, but now I end up going around once a week with my two children. Thanks to snowy days and empty afternoons, the mall is one place I can go and walk around with my kids without getting glares from fellow grown-ups. They even have a playground to keep my toddler entertained!

2. No money
In high school, I worked part-time in a picture framing store and in a grocery store but never had a lot of money. Now I work part-time as a freelance writer, but I still don't make any money after paying for part-time child care. This is not necessarily bad, there are lots of fun things you can do without much money. I scour the newspaper for coupons and frequently attend the dollar movie theater near my house --much like when I was a teenager.

3. Driving around for no reason
I grew up in a small town in Kentucky, where we drove around downtown for fun. Downtown was about three square blocks, but it was an enjoyable ride cruising along in my friend's white Camaro. Yes, that's what people do for fun in small towns! Now I still drive around aimlessly, this time in a sensible sedan, as a last-ditch effort to get my children to take a nap.

 4. Always worrying about being normal
In high school, I was always worried about being normal, or at least appearing normal. Now I worry about my children instead. Is it normal for children to eat so much sugar? To be potty trained or not potty trained by now? To have temper tantrums? I live for the bell curve at the doctor's office. As long as they're 50th percentile, I'm happy. I'm not even shooting for the stars, I'm just aiming for average nowadays!

5. Self-conscious about appearance
As a teenage girl, I was self conscious about acne and braces, not to mention my eyeglasses. Eventually, I found my own style in my 20s and 30s. After children, however, I had to say goodbye to pedicures and salon haircuts and hello to Great Cuts. The extra 20 pounds (or, maybe 25) I accumulated after two pregnancies also makes it harder to feel fashionable.

What do you think? Does being a mom make you feel like a teenager again?

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.


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