You Know You’ve Got Teens When …

… you have to shout all the time as they spend most of their waking hours with headphones stuck permanently in their ears. In fact, sometimes you would be fooled into thinking that there were no children in the house as the silence can be quite eery. I can hear all you parents of toddlers squealing with delight at what is to come! But, your beautifully prepared culinary expertise (OK, pasta with a jar of ready-made pesto but it’s their favourite OK?) goes cold on the table as they haven’t heard you call the 57 times that dinner is ready. Hmm, that part, not so much fun!

… you wake in the morning and you have to do a quick mental check of who is in the house. Then quietly swear under your breath as you realise what a rubbish mother you actually are as you didn’t wait up for them to come in. Are they even in? Are they safe?

… you find yourself discussing why your child can not have a pre-party drink whilst they are getting ready with their friends. Now I know that this may be mimicked behaviour but they are 14! I’m 42, eek no I’m not I’ve just had my birthday. Oh pants, 43 then!

… your child sulks when you won’t order them a Pina Colada when you are out for dinner. Again, they are 14! And really? Pina Colada? Could they not think of something a little more classy?

… Β your house has a faint aroma of fake tan. Everywhere.

… your house has a strong aroma of Victoria Secret spray. Everywhere.

… doors slam a little louder than they used to.

… the only way to get your child’s attention, if they are in the house, is to text them. Actually, that might just be me being lazy but we will gloss over that.

… you can no longer have a conversation with your child without them glancing at their phone. God forbid they miss one damn message or one notification in real time! We will ignore the fact that I frequently get reprimanded for being on my phone too much, “Mum, I will not continue this conversation whilst you are glancing at your phone.” No, that has never been said in this house. Ever.

… the only expression you see eyes do is one of rolling. Oh that could be me. Hey, don’t judge. You try living with three teenagers!

… there is total and utter panic of catastrophic proportions when a mobile device reaches 2% charge and there are no chargers to be found. Oh, hang on, that really might be me.

… there’s lots of body image issues going on and cries of “my legs are too fat” and screams of “why can’t I look like Cara when I wear these jeans?” Again, most probably me (whispers “it is me”).

… you are told to stop, just stop, with every question you may ask. Be it about school, plans or, dare I be so brave, boyfriends. My advice, just don’t ask. Don’t ask any questions. Ever.

… the only response they want to any question when they ask for something is the word ‘yes.’ The word ‘no’ is not even an option. Oh my, you do not want to handle the fallout if you ever consider that as an option. Just don’t.

… the pressure not to say or do anything embarrassing takes over on such a scale when their friends are over that you spend the entire time just knowing that you’re going to fail. One slip and you will feel the wrath of the attitude for weeks. The pressure is real! You suddenly forget how to behave. Don’t sing. Don’t ask about school. Don’t use teenager speak. Just don’t do anything should suffice!

But do you know what? When they send you a text saying they love you it makes everything else worthwhile. All of it. It may be a text but hey they can use their phone all they want – those three words when you’re not expecting them make you realise just how wonderful it is raising three teens … just saying!

Island Living 365

Diary of an imperfect mum


  1. I love that final comment about getting a text to say I love you and having to communicate by text to get their attention. I’ve got all this to come with my girls – although have been getting a little taste of what’s ahead when we visit my sister and nieces – some of these things are definitely true when they are about! #bloggerclubuk

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  2. This is a fab post! I’ve got a few years yet before my girls are teenagers but I do worry how I’ll cope. I’ve always been totally at ease with little kids, but older ones make me nervous! This makes it feel just a little less daunting. #BloggerClubUK

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  3. I feel like I live this already, not because I have a teenager but because my house constantly smells of fake tan and I’m telling myself not to have a pre-drink whilst getting ready to go out. The embarrassing thing about this is the fact I’m 30. #bloggerclubuk

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    1. Oh no!! Oh I can feel the pain of not knowing what to say for the best! Oh I hope she goes out of the door with a smile on her face. Such a hard time – I remember those days myself and it’s not always fun is it? Thank you for your comment x


    1. ha ha – I think perhaps the teen years start before 13 these days! I just shocked myself how many of them ring true to me as an adult – I must stop behaving like a teen! Thank you for your comment x


  4. Aaah yes all answers are yes and no – providing it is not via a text or Facebook message. I’m with you though there are epic consequences when the phone battery is on its last legs without a charger in sight and when one tries to consider themselves a teen and get those super skinny jeans on thinking you are Ariana Grande (she’s the teen pin up of choice in our house). There probably are a few similarities between us and teens eh… Hmm sssshh don’t tell them that! Xx thanks for sharing with us at #familyfun lovey xx

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  5. Oh Helen, you had me laughing out loud! This is absolutely SPOT ON! I loved all of it, especially the second paragraph, as I have just started doing this and feeling bad. So now I know that it’s not just me! Last Sunday morning I checked my eldest’s room at 4am, because I had been asleep when she came in and panicked that I didn’t actually know! Also the drinking – my 15 year old wanted sangria in Spain this year and I’m afraid I was quite strict and said no! Mean mum πŸ™‚ Alison x #BloggerClubUK

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  6. Ha ha, love it!! Am getting quite a bit of this already from my darling 6 yr old, god help me when she’s actually a real teen! On the flip side, am treasuring the last 2 weeks & 2 days of not yet having a teenager, pls don’t tell me he’s going to change over night!!! xx

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  7. I think I’m super lucky! My teen does the headphone thing, so I do the text thing, but other than that we’re pretty good. She was horrendous from the age of 2 to 8 though, so I think I’ve earned the easy teens. Her sister on the other hand, will almost certainly be as you described, she’s a year 6 with a developing attitude! Will keep my eye on your blog for tips πŸ˜‰

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  8. I can’t wait Helen! I love how you get told off for being on your phone too that’s got to be the sign of a bloggers child!! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

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  9. Aw man we’re in pre-teen territory – the tablet glued to the hands, earphones need to be surgically removed at meal times. Oh yes the world is ending when the battery hits low!

    You’ve given me a heads up of what’s coming….should I start worrying????

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  10. The phones and the texting made me laugh. And after my BML trauma PLEASE don’t mention skinny jeans…Cara, damn her ba ha haaaa.
    No fake tan in this house…ah there are some advantages to being Indian πŸ™‚ and when you come to Malta, I’m so making you drink Pina Colada. Actually, scrap that, they can’t make it to save their lives. #bloggerclubuk

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    1. Ah the skinny jean trauma!! ha ha! Oh you have escaped the pain of fake tan – be very very thankful – most of my conversions with the girls involve some mention of the orange tinge they have developed! Oh I want to come to Malta and drink Pina Colada with you!! xx


  11. I laughed while reading this, I’ve only just started this part of the parenting journey. BP is 12 and has just started with the phone thing and not wanting to talk. I can see I’ve got plenty more to come! That last bit made me smile though. xx

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  12. I can’t even imagine Harlow (my 18 month old) actually being a teenager!?!?! it seems unreal, although I feel she is preparing us for it now in a way with tantrums and stroppiness!

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  13. Ah a lovely post – funny and then heartwarming at the end too – phew – I’m pleased about the last sentiment as I was beginning to REALLY dread the teenage years. The points about the Pina Colada, fake tan and 2% on the device really made me laugh. #ablogginggoodtime

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  14. I have a teen and a pre teen. The teen spends more time in front of the mirror than the rest of us combined lol. Great post.

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  15. Oh I love this! We’ve just entered this with my stepson…the phone means everything!! A few times my OH has been chatting to him and he got lured to his phone, so he asks him ” what did I just say?” “errrrrm” haha πŸ™‚ I do get a bit alarmed that even boys care how slim they are, makes me realise how much importance is put in appearances at school. But as you say, the cuddle at the end of the day when they say ‘I love you’ makes it all worth it. Lovely post xx #fortheloveofblog

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  16. I love this,Iv got 2 boys, 16 & 20 and Im almost out the other side… Thank god they dont wear fake tan & make up I couldnt cope… You need a medal with 3 of them! It is extremley rare for my eldest to show affection but when he does I cling to it for days , great post #fortheloveofBLOG

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  17. Eek! Is it really like this? Yes I can imagine it is, I think I did all that apart from bury myself in my phone. You are such a fab Mum Helen and its good that you recognise all the teen traits. One day they will grow out of it, and you will miss that smell of fan tan and Victoria’s secret will bring back memories. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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