A Letter To My Teenage Son On His 14th Birthday

To My Darling Son On Your 14th Birthday,

14? You are 14? How on earth did that happen? It seems like just moments ago that you were my tiny baby boy, yet I cannot remember a time before I was your Mum. First and foremost I want you to know that I love you. Even when you challenge me. Even when you forget that you have cookery tomorrow and I’m running around like an idiot trying to sort ingredients at silly o’clock at night. Even when I lose patience and shout at you. You, my first born, you are caring, clever, funny, talented, handsome and wonderful and will always be my baby boy.
I know, from your point of view, I am a terrible nag. I am aware that I am constantly on your case, asking about homework, wanting to see your planner, checking that you have packed your school bag, reminding you about deodorant, asking you to help clear up after dinner……. the list goes on. I know. I am sure you could make a very long list of things that I nag you about. I am sure that you believe that I nag you because I am mean. Perhaps you think it is because I enjoy nagging you, probably you believe that I don’t understand you. You undoubtedly think I have no idea what it is like to be a teenager. The truth is, my darling boy, you couldn’t be more wrong. 

I nag you because I love you, not because I don’t.

I remember only too well what it is like to be a teenager (hard as that may be for you to imagine as I’m sure you think that I am so very old). I remember how priorities were different and how things that I nag you about did not seem important at all. I remember not being able to see the big picture of what would be important for my future. I remember not being able to see beyond the next weekend. I know you cannot see why the things that I am asking you to do is important in the long run, but you don’t have to. That’s why you have me. 

Being A Mum Is Not About Being Popular

Being on your case all the time is not the easy or the popular option. If rather than ensuring you had packed your bag and completed your homework, I just let you play computer games all evening, you would think I was awesome. If I let you stay up as late as you like, I’d be the “coolest Mum ever”. If I let you eat chocolate instead of dinner, you would be delighted. I’m sure you would love nothing more than to be able to go wherever you wanted and didn’t have to check in or be back at a certain time. The problem is, if I took the easy option, if my only concern was being popular with you, I wouldn’t be doing my job. Sure, you’d think I was brilliant, but you would fall behind in school, be perpetually tired and malnourished. If I don’t know where you are, how could I come to get you if you need me? How can I help you if you are in trouble?  So sometimes, you will think I am mean. Sometimes you will think I don’t understand and I’m just being difficult. What I hope you will one day realise, is that I do these things for you because I love you very much and all I want in the world is what is best for you. If what is best for you, in the long run, is the harder thing for me to do today, that is what I must do, because that is my job.  I am sure you will understand one day, but probably not until you have babies of your own.I love you, my darling big, baby boy.

Love from Mummy x

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