Being the mom of a tween girl is like being on a roller coaster ride. There are highs and lows, parts that are exhilarating and parts where we grip the handrails and hope we survive. Those parts that suck? We have to learn to swallow them like the gigantic, foul-tasting horse pills they are (I recommend washing those down with a nice Oregon pinot noir, or vodka).
Here are just a few of those bitter, hard truths we may face along this harrowing ride of parenting a tween girl:
1. You want everything to be better for your tween girl than it was for you at her age. But dammit, it stings a little when her breasts suddenly become more fabulous than yours.
2. You never know who is going to wake up in the morning: your sweet, darling daughter or a savage beast.
3. Hormones are an ugly, unpredictable monster, especially when they are aligned with your own.
4. You can’t complain about her bad attitude to your spouse, lest he remind you where she got it from, right before you move his pillow to the couch.
5. The stink of tween girl funk rivals spoiled liver and onions, in a dirty Las Vegas taxi cab, left out in the scorching sun.
6. You so desperately want your tween daughter to embrace personal hygiene, but you know that once she does, the bathroom will be harder to get into than backstage at a One Direction concert.
7. It takes all of your restraint not to pop one of those zits—all of it.
8. You are relieved that she hasn’t had her first kiss yet. But then you realize you may have been a lip slut because you already had yours by this age.
9. Your snack food budget will go out the window, along with your diet, because you suddenly rediscover your love for Doritos, Double Stuf Oreos, and Peanut Butter M&M’S.
10. The fastest way to wake a tween girl up (in a good mood) is by FaceTiming freshly baked cinnamon rolls from the kitchen. But, remember, she’s not coming to see you.
11. There is no greater danger to your olfactory or visual senses than rifling through her closet. The odor! The garbage! The filth! (Stock up on disposable gloves now.)
12. Even if she doesn’t use them in front of you, you can be sure she knows more swear words than you do.
13. The glasses and braces that made you a “geek” in junior high are now considered cool.
14. She simultaneously loves horror movies and her stuffed animals.
15. She needs to hear that you love her every day, even when she rolls her eyes at you and offers no love in return.
Oh yes, life with a tween girl is most certainly a roller coaster ride—one that, with any luck, we’ll all survive. And when the ride finally ends, we’ll all look at each other and grin and say, “That was scary as hell, but totally worth it.”