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The Joys of Parenting

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

My son and I are on a retreat weekend, riding bikes, reconnecting, and working through some of our difficulties. Of which there seem to be many... sigh.

The bike riding has been epic. I am sore and he is in heaven, practicing his skills. And despite all the joy, there is still this underlying feeling of frustration between us. He is almost 15, if that helps anyone understand. I am a single parent without much support from dad. My son has been experimenting with substances, and this has made me take a really close look at my own substance use. So much of it is accepted by society, and it seems as though teenagers are falling into these patterns earlier and earlier.

Last night I afforded myself two margaritas, which I felt like I had earned after a long day of bike riding. They were delicious, and then later, I lost my patience with my son because he wouldn't stop messing with me when I asked him to. I then started beating myself up over my choice to have alcohol with dinner.

These are the types of merry go rounds that I find myself on as I am working through the difficulties of parenting a teen. I am working on being a good role model and at the same time, modeling behaviors that I do not want to see in my son, or myself for that matter.

I am so filled with love for all of humanity. I have huge compassion and empathy for people and their journeys, withholding judgement most of the time. I try to instill this in my son, yet I find him being unkind and judgy SO often, and this drives me crazy!!!! I get so reactive when this happens, and I just lose it and start berating him about his poor choices and then I berate myself for losing it with him. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone else?

The name of my business is The Heart of Possibility, and I truly do feel that heart is at the center of all possibility. Loving deeply and unashamedly can heal your own wounds and the wounds of those around you. So if this resonates so deeply within me, why do I have a hard time bringing love to the table at all times with my son? Where is my deep compassion and empathy for him? Why is it difficult to stay in a place of understanding and peace with him? Perhaps it is my own youth coming back to rear its ugly head, perhaps it is my failed relationship with his father, perhaps I harbor resentment that I am raising him on my own and question the quality of my job constantly. But really, does knowing the answer to this question even matter? Or can I just start thinking new thoughts about our relationship, that it is normal to have conflict with a teenager as they are branching out into the world, learning how things work? That I don't have to be a perfect mom in order to be doing a good job? I have such high expectations for myself - it's that perfectionist gremlin that my good friend Regena Garrepy talks about.

My child is smart, sensitive, observant, and he's a teenager. This is just a phase. It too will pass, like every other phase he's moved through that has driven me crazy. And I am a badass, who loves my child enough to care about his choices and my own and to be reflective about all of it. Showing the dark underbelly of being a good parent isn't easy. I am working on me, and I have to know that that is enough. Life is a journey. Parenting is a journey. And there is no guidebook. So I guess I am just along for the ride. And what a ride it is! Here's to living in the moment, loving as much as I can, and learning along the way about how to be better.

Feel free to comment or reply if you feel so inclined. Blessings upon all of you out there, no matter what part of your journey you are on.



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Thea, I can completely relate. I question my parenting daily. Especially now that my son is so close to “adulthood”! And I know the questioning is part of being a mindful parent! So maybe pat yourself on the back for doing the questioning! You are deeply mindful about being his parent and you are doing a great job!


Thank you so much. 🙏


Beautiful courage, Thea. You’re not alone, and reaching out like this will connect with other moms I’m sure. Here in our big family we’ve had success using the Virtues Project teaching about communicating in an upbeat way focused on what our kids did well, or even TRIED to do well. The Virtues Project website has mucho free tips.


I will check that out! Thank you!! ♥️🙏

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