By Sabrina Schlesinger
This is an unpopular statement...I know! And I may get backlash on it, but hear me out.
When my kids were little, they called me their best friend, and it was super cute and sweet. And my hopes and dreams are when they are older, they will say I am one of their best friends.
BUUUUT right now, when they are teens and pre-teens, what they need most from me is not a best friend, they need a mom! They need a mom who cares more about their future and safety than their approval. A mom who can handle rejection because my identity isn't found in the BFF title.
They are growing, learning, discovering, and their brains are STILL developing (although they often think they know better). They don't realize it yet, and most likely won't be able to verbalize thanks for a number of years, but they don't need me to be what everyone else can be to them, which is a friend!
I am their only mom and my role in their life is unique and one-of-a-kind.
But if we are honest, sometimes we can struggle with being an authority in our kids' lives. We WANT to be liked and accepted, especially from our kids. We hear our kids talk about their friends' mom and how "cool" and fun she is, and if we aren’t careful, this can cause us to make decisions for our kids based on comparison and insecurities, rather than what is truly in the best interest of our kids. Rejection is never easy, but if you are being a great mom, it is most likely to happen on more than one occasion. You will be rejected by your kids.
I remember when I was in middle school, I was invited to the park with two of my girlfriends. Some boys were going to be there who were much older. I honestly didn't see any harm in it, especially since I wasn't attracted to any of the guys. When my dad said, "no," you would have thought that he had cut my right arm off by the amount of screaming I did. I threw a ridiculous fit. I yelled at him, screamed at him, and probably said things to him that are unrepeatable, but my dad stayed firm in his decision. He didn't budge because he saw some things that I could not and would not see at that age. My adolescent brain was incapable of seeing beyond my wants and desires. I should probably call my dad up and thank him for sticking to his guns. I am so glad he didn't succumb to my tantrum because he was so needy for my approval. Dad, if you are reading this...thanks! I take back every mean thing I said...you made the right decision and I am so glad you did.
I cherish moments my kids and I get to hang out as friends and laugh...but I am always aware that at any moment I may have to wear the mom hat and they may not like it. I have come to terms with the fact that it is OK to not be liked or popular! I also know teens are fickle and can turn on a dime with their emotions. I may be enemy #1 today, but tomorrow I can be Supermom! I will relish the moments they appreciate me.
Be sure to not relinquish your most precious role in your kiddos lives...a.k.a MOM.
Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is a pastor’s wife, graphic designer, founder of Mom Mentor and the Parenting on the Go Podcast! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!