5 Ways Toddlers Are Easier Than Teens


Oh, mommies. I read so many blog posts and articles about the trials and tribulations of raising toddlers. And YES, oh sweet 18-month-old Jesus, YES they are all spot on: having a toddler (or two) at home is kind of like having the most obnoxious, handsy, drunk frat guy at the party living with you 24/7. Parenting the two, three and four year olds deserves its own special child-proofed circle in Hell some days.

But let me tell you something, ladies. There will come a day when you look back on these years with something that feels like wistfulness. A longing, even.

Because that pea-soup spewing, head spinning, chicken nugget-clutching abomination in the car seat behind you is going to be a teenager some day.

And then things get really fun.

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I can’t write something like this without first pointing out the merits of teens. They are a wonder to behold. Watching your own little flesh and blood bundles navigate the treacherous teens transports you back in time. You get to relive your teen years, good or bad. Every single thing you did as a teenager comes back to either haunt you or to give you fodder for speeches and diatribes and guilt trips to lay upon your own teen.

You can have actual conversations with teenagers, which can be cool. They can do things like drive and tie their own shoes and use the stove without supervision. Most of them are adept at personal hygiene and rarely need help in that area, except when they scream from the downstairs bathroom that they need a towel.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my teens. Which is good, because at the moment, I have four of them living under my roof. We have some good times, the five of us. We have interesting debates, we watch The Walking Dead together, some days our coexistence feels a lot like harmony.

But the past few weeks have been a doozy. I’ve gone apeshit with my teens for being…well, for being teens. The low point was the night I spent an hour driving around like a tourist in the dark, trying to find the restaurant my 17-year-old daughter and her friends needed to be picked up from. My girl called and whined, “OMG mom, we’ve been waiting, like, forever! When will you be here?” I screamed back: “I CAN’T FIND THE MOTHER-EFFING RESTAURANT!” I heard muffled teenage giggles and realized with a hot, shameful horror that I was on speaker.

Yep. I’m that mom. The spastic f-bomb dropping one. In my defense, I’m also the one who always lets the kids have oodles of friends sleep over and I provide donuts in the morning. Bacon if I’m feeling generous. That redeems me, right?

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But a few mornings ago, I got to thinking of my kids as they used to be. I actually got moist eyes thinking about my restaurant-going daughter as a toddler. She’d wear these stretchy knit headbands all the time, so that she looked like a mini-John McEnroe. She loved wearing her older brother’s training pants and we’d often leave the house with her wearing Batman undies beneath a sparkly tutu. She was obsessed with backpacks, so much so that I took to calling her “Packy” and at any given moment she’d have one strapped to her back, stuffed with toddler treasures.

I then remembered her tantrums. I remembered the poopy pants and the croup and the sibling rivalry and the endlessssss bedtimes.

But still…for just a moment, I kind of wished I still had toddlers. And I came up with a few reasons why TODDLERS TOTALLY TRUMP TEENS:

1. SLEEPING: I’m sure you’ve heard of the book “Go the F*ck to Sleep“. Get ready for the teen version I’ll be writing called “Get the F*ck Up, You’ll Miss the Bus”. Seriously. These people sleep like vampires. Sure, no more being awakened by two scary eyeballs peering at you from the side of the bed at 5:00 a.m., but waking a teenager is kind of like reenacting “A Weekend At Bernie’s”. God help you.

2. INAPPROPRIATE USE OF TOILETRIES: Oh it’s so funny when Junior gets into your lipstick or maxi pads and makes an adorable mess. Sometimes you take pictures of them and post it on Instagram. But get ready for the waves of nausea when you find your good bottle of body lotion under your teen son’s bed. Alongside two dozen wadded up tissues. You won’t be so quick to post those pictures, my friends. I learned this one the hard way: HIDE THE EXPENSIVE LOTION, LADIES!  Suave and St. Ives from here on out.

3. HOMEWORK: Your toddler has none. Boom. Teens have a lot of homework and while you may not be asked to help out with it as they get older, you will certainly have to hear them bitch and moan about doing it.  And you might have to run damage control when it’s 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday night and they magically remember that they have a ginormous project/paper/4-course meal to prepare for culinary class. I actually lived through the 4-course meal thing. Thank God for a best friend who can cook like a boss and who doesn’t even blink when you call her, sobbing, and ask if she can “HELP US MAKE A FOUR COURSE MEAL” at 10:04 p.m. on a Sunday night.

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4. AXE BODY SPRAY: You think you’re sick of smelling poo and pee and sour milk and ketchup? Just wait.

5. SLEEPING (YES, AGAIN):  When you have babies and toddlers, you want to sleep but you can’t. When you have teens, you finally can sleep but you don’t want to. Because teens go out. Without you! And sometimes, you don’t know exactly where they are, or who they’re with. Out of sight definitely DOES NOT mean out of mind when it comes to being the parent of a teenager. Out of sight means your imagination goes into overdrive and every worst case scenario unfolds in your head with ugly clarity. Visions of abductions and choking are now replaced with nightmares about drinking and drugs and sex. You don’t mentally exhale until you touch base with your teen/baby.

You will never know the true power of texting until you get the one that says, “Hi mom, we’re fine. On our way home.” Or even the one that says “U totes need 2 chill, mom.”

Those are just five ways toddlers are easier than teens. Now, we could flip this around and go all Opposite Day and say Oh yeah, Jenny? Here’s how teens are easier! They can talk! They don’t crap their pants! They don’t crawl into bed with you and lose control of their bladder! They don’t need their hot dogs cut into non-lethal bite-size chunks! They don’t cry at Target! They don’t wear snowsuits! They don’t go boneless and refuse to move in the middle of your Mommy and Me class, the one with the perfect women who silently judge your sub-par parenting!

And you know what? We’d be right. Having kids is hard. It doesn’t matter if your charges are tiny and have soft little feet or if they tower over you and sometimes startle you with their man-voices.


Just different kinds of hard, that’s all. And here’s a little secret for you, something I think about when my four teens are all seemingly conspiring to make me insane:

If you look hard enough, you can still see your toddler. It might be the curve of a cheek, it might be the way they twist their hair, it might be the way they sleep with their mouth open and one hand curled up near their face (yes, it’s okay if you sneak a peek at your snoozing teens, people…just not when they have friends over. Or in their dorm rooms.). You will glance at your beautifully awkward teen and the toddler they used to be will jump out of nowhere and shout “BOO! I’m still in here, mommy! Miss me??”

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And when you do get that glimpse of what once was framed so beautifully in what is yet to be? It takes your breath away. In that glimpse you begin to understand what all of those annoying-but-well-meaning old mamas are trying to say when they blather on about how fast time flies, and how we should enjoy it while it lasts.

For a fleeting moment, you see the gorgeous, bright arc of parenting. Its beauty is often hidden under layers of monotony and stress and life…but it’s there. And it’s bigger than you could ever imagine.

So, here’s to all of us and our sometimes-impossible children, big and small. May they always keep us tired and worrying and cleaning…

and loving.

About the writer

Jennifer Ball is a writer, a mom and a dog person who used to have really pretty feet. Her work appears sporadically on her blog, Happy Hausfrau, and has been featured on The Huffington Post, The Today Show, Family Circle magazine and in the Listen To Your Mother anthology published by Putnam in April 2015. When not working at her full-time job or trying desperately to keep up with her TV shows, she enjoys drinking martinis and following drama in comment sections. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There’s also a really good chance you can find her at either Target or Costco.

From Around the Web


Colleen 3 months ago

Thanks for the laugh, when I needed the laugh. I love ’em, but I wanna kill ’em. This reminded me I am not crazy.

StrongerMe 5 months ago

Yes. Amen. Preach it, Sister.
Just to warn you, there is a VERY good chance that I will share your every post about raising teens on facebook, since I’ve already shared the very first two that I read. I also might write a blog post completely dedicated to thanking you for these posts.
Misery loves company. I like to know that I’m not the only one that gave birth to angels that have turned into the Spawn of Satan with the onset of puberty. (Really the change occurred when the mean woman at the DPS allowed them to pass their driving test. Life has not been the same since.)

Rebecca @ Mom Meets Blog 7 months ago

Little kids, little problems – big kids, big problems! All this is so true – the teen years is when all the hateful and spiteful invective gets hurled – and you should hear my kid!! 😉

Sarah Wilcox 12 months ago

haha. what IS up with the Axe stuff ?

jAmy 12 months ago

The sleeping bits made me laugh SO HARD. I’m a mom of a soon-to-be-eleven-year-old girl who has recently stopped getting up at “hell no o’clock” and started sleeping until I wake her up. Which could be 10. Or noon. Except that now school has started. Ugh.

Jennifer Waters 12 months ago

It’s hard at any age. I have a toddler and teen. Yeah.

Dara Sorensen 12 months ago

Worse?! Dear Lord, what have I gotten myself into….LOL :p

Lisa Berger Collins 12 months ago

I’ll take 5 three-year-olds over a 15 year old any day of the week

Jo Pierson 12 months ago

Nope; I’ve raised both…give me a teenager any day!

Joyce DiLonardo 12 months ago

AXE Body Spray! Haha!

Catharina Bruyning 12 months ago

Tears ten years in advance. My boy just turned two ☺️

Kami Fox-Varela 12 months ago

Yeah, that line got me too…

Lori Boz-Rossi 12 months ago

Every stage has it’s beauty. I have three kids and often look back at when they were babies/toddlers and wondered how I got through those years with my sanity in tact. I find them wayyy easier now that they’re older.

Robbin Chaber Allen 12 months ago

For those reading this and are nervous about how real any of this tongue in cheek stuff is, I have 2 amazing teens (17 and 19) and it’s been a blast!

Stacy Merkel 12 months ago

Trust me!(I’m a mom of a 28 &26 year old! The years go by way to fast! But I now take care of my 2 year old granddaughter a lot & I have always thought in a lot of ways toddlers are easier! Also a lot to worry about thru teen years & into 20’s . It’s just different at different ages!

Cheryl Wright Johnson 12 months ago

as a mom of a toddler and almost teen, I have to agree that toddlers are easier

Evey Whetstone Cobb 12 months ago

You have no idea!!!! One teenager and three kids 7-4..…. Not looking forward to having 3 teenagers that’s for fucking sure! The youngest three are all within 36 months of each other!

Brooke Luna 12 months ago

Teens are much harder !!! Hang in their lol 😉

Sarah in Australialand 12 months ago

LOVE THIS!! this is just gold. thankyou so much for nailing it so well. I have 5yo, 11yo and 13yo. I related to so much of this. My Man/teen does frequently startle me with his man voice, but no wadded up tissues or stolen lotion yet…. lol

Janice Gardner 12 months ago

I wish I would have had kids when I was younger lol. I was 30….they both are teens now and apparently I’m out of the loop…lmao. 47 now…I do enjoy the teen years, but sometimes it’s hard to understand what they are going though…love them to the moon and back!!! Great article :).

Danielle 12 months ago

We have two teens and two little ones, some days I’m not sure if my heart can handle it all!

Sarah Selph 12 months ago

Oh great….

Stacy Weatherred Davis 12 months ago

This is sooooo true!!!

Workout Mommy 12 months ago

great article….but curious as to why my blog header picture is featured image?

Rachel Asimaz 12 months ago

#2 killed me. Had to show that to my husband

Jessica Jenkins Coppersmith 12 months ago

It’s all sorts of fun to have toddlers and teenagers at the same time. Ahhh!

David Sirmons 12 months ago

“Teenager.” (The best contraceptive ever.)

Alison Hernandez 12 months ago

There are challenges at every stage- then they go to college – and you worry from a far .

Jennifer Osso 12 months ago

Lord. So many mamas out there with a teen and a toddler. I have 3 under 7 and hubby got a vesectomy.. Thank God!

Gina Snyder Anderson 12 months ago

They are.

Annette Kimball 12 months ago

The older my first gets, the easier young children are imo. Babies are a breeze!!!

Jennifer Galbraith 12 months ago

I want to add, that I have a wonderful son. I think we’ve raised him to be responsible. He’s gone to many N/A meetings with his father and is totally turned OFF to drugs. I pray it stays that way. <3

Jennifer Galbraith 12 months ago

This brought tears to my eyes. All of it rings true. I sneep peeks at my son sleeping (who will be 14 next month) and I still see my beautiful tiny baby. Bittersweet.

Katie Farris 12 months ago

I just bought choked on my food laughing at this. Mine are still babies practically and I can’t imagine a teen yet, but those threes yr old eyes creeping at me at 5 am really need to stop, lol.

Elizabeth Dore 12 months ago

I have one of each and I don’t know which is smellier / dirtier and whenever I argue with my teen I wonder where I’ll get the energy to do it again in ten years!!!

Rebecca Hensley Shelton 12 months ago

I have the best of both worlds. ..ungrateful teenagers and terrible 2s all at the same time. But I tell you this, I could deal with 10 terrible 2s much better than I am dealing with my 2 teens right now! Shoot me please and put me out of my misery! LOL

Nicole Lucca 12 months ago

Um, no. My adorable little cherubs have now become the worlds worst roommates. They eat my food, use my make up, hog the wifi, & don’t pay their share of the rent. My kids have not gotten “easier” with age, Ive just gotten better at juggling with years of experience.

Maegan Davies 12 months ago

They do too cry at Target.

Nicole Lucca 12 months ago

I try to explain this to my friends when they say, “You have teens, theyre soooo much easier.”

Becky Whitton 12 months ago

#4 is the best, i used to know a guy who used axe instead of shower. Smelled like bo & bug spary, so nasty. My son will never use that shit

Nicole 12 months ago

This is great!! In just a couple short years I will have both a teenager and a toddler and so it will continue for several years, what with the large age gap of my children. So I will be experiencing both the nightmares and the joys of these lovely ages, simultaneously!

Stephanie Montano 12 months ago

So, so true. It’s like she was watching our family. Lol.

Erin Ricciardi 12 months ago

I’m exhausted after 30 minutes of arguing with my teen vs after hours of taking care of my toddler, tantrums and all!

Beth Linn 12 months ago

Wait until they are in the early 20’s…it gets real fun…not :/ They think they are grown, but still need their momma & finding the right fit is sooo frustrating. You don’t want to over-step but not leave them hanging.

Starla Martin 12 months ago

I remember when I (stupidly) looked forward to the teenage years. I thought I wouldn’t have to be so detailed in telling my kids how to do a simple chore or find something in the living room. Boy was I wrong! I have to be so explicit “clean the back yard” means pick up the dog poop. What I have to say is “pick up the poop, pull the weeds, pick up the trash, empty the garbage, sweep the porch….” So much for communication being easier. Man! Teenagers play dumb really well!

Jamie Lynn Hays Bivens 12 months ago

What if one of your little ones already acts like a teen? Lol

Melanie Kingery 12 months ago


Barb Hart 12 months ago

This was such a fantastic post! Laughed, cried, nodded my head.

Theresa Pollard 12 months ago

As the mother of a toddler & a teen I fantasise about the loony bin lol! Oh how I adore my girls but am going rapidly insane haha

Alison Marie Roa 12 months ago

I can tell already & my oldest is only 9.

Kelly Moore 12 months ago

I second that! Teens are a million times harder. I have a 5 year old and a 17 year old. Stupid me I thought it would be easy with such a large gap. Lol!!

Jared N Gladys 12 months ago

love this! so true. <3

Kami Shevlin 12 months ago

Haha. I love this. Seeing as I have one of each (teen & toddler), I can totally relate. Jemma….Hahahahah!

Susan Pagor-Walsh 12 months ago

A must read for my friends with teens

Justine Luo 12 months ago

my 2 yr old was walking behind me with my nearly 14yo and then he suddenly grabbed hold of my arse and tried with all his little might to proceed to push his head through my legs up my vagina whilst screamingand shouting “no!!!” as his highly embarrassed older brother tried to pry him off me – husband stood by on his mobile oblivious to the horrified onlookers…

Kara Bryan Carpenter 12 months ago

Truth! I have 2 teenage stepdaughters, a 10 year old stepson and we have a toddler. One thing you forgot….the drama! Toddlers it’s over you cutting the grilled cheese into squares instead of triangles. Teens, it’s the drama from school. I keep telling myself I will survive!

Kari Jessop 12 months ago

Oh this is so so dead on, made me laugh and cry!

Monica DeBiase 12 months ago

Teens cost $$$$$$. If you think daycare is expensive just wait…we are up to $850 already with one high school sport. And if you have a teen girl, they take all your makeup. And hair stuff. And clothes if you are unfortunate enough to be he same size!!!!

Penny Lynch 12 months ago

Yes that saying little kids little problems, big kids big problems!

Laurie Nunez 12 months ago

Yep, bigger takes more! More of your patience, interest, money, and sleuthing skills! Most of all, more of your heart! ❤️

Sunshine Medina 12 months ago

Mine are 2, 4 and 7. People are constantly telling me how much harder it gets. I want to simultaneously cry/punch them. I’m barely making it now so thinking I have to continuously “up my parenting game” FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE scares the shit out of me.

JoAnn Arcand Sousa 12 months ago

Then after that it gets great!

Heather Jones Whelan 12 months ago

Mine are 4, 12 & 19. This article is perfect!

Sarah Fritz-Maldonado 12 months ago

I have a teen and a toddler smh… Doomed

Tricia Baggott Torres 12 months ago

My teen is WAAAAAY easier than my toddler.

Nancy Welker Fortais 12 months ago

Good article! I’m a mom of two teenagers – girls- ages 14 and almost 17. I love having teenagers- soooooo much easier than toddlers for me! I hate to admit this but I really don’t have patience for all those little kid things but I do have patience- however stretched- for teenagers. My 14 year old is, as I write this, making cupcakes for dessert tonight. And I’m enjoying a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee, a cat on my lap and my iPad in hand. Did not ever relax like this with toddlers. Give me teenagers any day and when I feel nostalgic I’ll watch old home videos!

Norma 12 months ago

OMG! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for posting this! I’m a mom of three teens and one soon-to-be teen. I tell my mommy of toddler friends all the time how much I miss it. But then I go shopping with the girl teen and we have fun. Or the oldest teen, who has my silly, warped sense of humor will quote Airplane! or Wayne’s World and we’ll laugh maniacally while everyone else rolls their eyes. It is a fun time. But man, it’s hard. It’s so hard. I struggle every day. Today, I’m thankful to feel a little less alone.

Melissa Overmire Fenton 12 months ago

Tissues. Hide your good lotion. I. Am. There.

Dorothy Bowman 12 months ago

I think I am in the hardest stage known to humans right now…. my teens are girls and my toddler is a boy! Around our house we have it all. The girls bring the drama, and the boy brings the adventure, and no one listens or obeys any more. But I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world! Well, I might consider it for a day that I could sleep in, enjoy my coffee, run some errands without strategically avoiding toy departments, playgrounds, and nap time, not be asked for money for any school fundraiser….

Karen 12 months ago

Needed a tissue for that one

Stephanie Brownawell Holzman 12 months ago

Spot on!

Jennifer Vinson 12 months ago

I tell all my friends who still have little ones to just wait til they are teenagers. They have no idea lol I have 3 boys… 16,12 and 7 and I’ve honestly wanted to pull my ever lovin freakin hair out ten times more with the 16 year old then I ever did when he was a toddler. Gummy bears and transformers worked on all three when I needed them to behave. Doesn’t really have the same effect on the teenager. And pre-teen years! Oh my! Lol

Deanna Sessions 12 months ago

When a toddler is about to do something dangerous, you can pick them up and walk away with them. Try that with a 16-year-old. And just to add a few more worrylines and grey hairs, teenagers and toddlers both seem to believe that they are invinceable.

Michelle Sneed Schmitt 12 months ago


Jennifer Gallegos 12 months ago

My grandfather threatens me all the time with “enjoy him now, he’ll be a teenager soon!”

Rosalinde 12 months ago

As a mom of two girls and step mom of two boys … I can relate … ours are all over the age of 16 now … my baby moved out this week … we’re down to our last … I’m nervous to fall asleep to this day … my 21 yr old didn’t text me our traditional “love you gnite” last night so I won’t be able to breathe my relief breath until I hear my phone go off … so yeah … at any age it’s hard, but I’d give anything for those toddler days back!

Mayra Maldonado 12 months ago

One hundred percent accurate, didn’t need to read the article just the title. If I could have time jump forward 10 years I’d be so grateful.

Romarie Garcia McCue 12 months ago

I chuckled when I read teenagers don’t wear snow suits lol.. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old sons. I know one day I’ll definitely experience “finding tissues and lotion” in their bedroom (oh dear god) – so I am definitely cherishing every moment where I can comfort them with mommy hugs and threaten them with one stern look lol

Karen Wilson 12 months ago

I have a 16 yr old and a 3 yr old…. 3 yr old is definitely easier!

Cath Bruyning 12 months ago

You will glance at your beautifully awkward teen and the toddler they used to be will jump out of nowhere and shout “BOO! I’m still in here, mommy! Miss me??”

For a fleeting moment, you see the gorgeous, bright arc of parenting.

<3 Beautiful <3

Melissa Breneisen Maher 12 months ago

My mom always warned me

Nicole Reinhard 12 months ago

Laughing my ass off at point number 1….bawling my eyes out by the conclusion. My daughter is nearly 15, and nearly every day I wish she was still three-it’s a lot easier to cuddle them when they’re smaller. Fortunately, she still hugs me a lot. ☺️

Lisa Riley Ferchau 12 months ago

Toddlers don’t drive your Mercedes sports car

Tosha Maldonado 12 months ago

Totally agree! I have 6yr old triplets and a 15yr old. The triplets (at any age so far) are so much easier than raising a teen!!!

Nicole Rusnak 12 months ago

I have toddlers and a teen…. I’m not winning in any way lol

Furie Chatham 12 months ago

Without opening the link, I know that toddler is waaaaaaaaayyyyy more easier than teen. I’m a mother of 15, 13 & 4.

Cindy Montgomery 12 months ago

I must be the odd one out, because even after reading the article I’m like, nope… teens are still better.

Debbie Lerech 12 months ago

I laughed so hard! I have a four year-old, but I teach high school and, well, let’s just say, us educators may have the better end of the deal. We see the homework done, the best behaviour (cause, hey, you can’t kick your kids out of the living room when they’re having a s**tfit!) and we are the cool adults who don’t tell them what to wear or when to come home. Having said that, I’m sort of dreading having both ends of the stick in nine years! That’ll be interesting, no?

Fallan Turner 12 months ago

Momma of 15 year old, 3, and 1! The physical exhaustion vs. Mental exhaustion as I have 2 up my butt and one begging for some freedom!

Keeva Williams 12 months ago

I have a 16 and 18 year old niece. I let them get on the bus and go to the mall while they were over and I called them every 30 minutes. Mind you this is an adult (technically but not in my head) and a legal driver. LOL! I KNOW I will be a WRECK when my kiddo starts going places alone. If she is gonna be like I was no worries. But I don’t think she is. She’s more like her wild dad in that sense. It’s gonna be a beast to tame. My sister tells me all the time, “wooo what are you gonna do with her?” The answer I have no freaking clue. We’ll see. LOL! My mid wife told me she was gonna be a wild woman they way she was going crazy inside me all the time, and she is. I don’t know how I will tame the beast when she’s a teen at all. Not looking forward to it. LOL!

Jennifer Tk 12 months ago

SM has some fantastic writers,,,, thank you for this article! :)

Susan Swan Tagg 12 months ago


Hannah Walfish Heaney 12 months ago

Oy that’s a terrifying thought.

Cheryl Welling Lloyd 12 months ago

well it definitely doesn’t get any easier lol

Adrianne Ward Burney 12 months ago

Trust me: As the mom of a 16-year-old girl & a 4-year-old boy, I know all too well how quickly time flies!

Trina 12 months ago

I can’t agree more ! You made me cry thinking about my babies ,when they were babies … It’s so damn hard letting go ! Especially when it comes to making mistakes in life … I wish they’d just freaking listen !!!

Brooke 1 year ago

So true. I have two teenagers, a three and a four-year-old. I see each one of them in the words you have written here.

Sharon Rivard-Kagy 2 years ago

Thanks for writing this. My four kids are now in there 20's and just the other day I was talking with a cousin who has 30 year olds, about how you never stop being a parent. When they're babies you are on call 24/7, when they're toddlers your frat boy comparison is spot on. The next ten years or so you've found your stride in this never ending marathon. You nailed the teen years, especially the part about not sleeping until they get home at night. It doesn't stop at 20. This is when you painfully or proudly watch them navigate the adult world and we all know what it's like to be an adult. Now, here I am feeling like an "annoying but well-meaning old mama" telling younger moms to enjoy it while it lasts because you know, time flies.

HD 2 years ago

Thank you for this beautiful reminder to appreciate whatever stage we’re in WHEN we’re in it! This was a great read.

Monika Iveta 2 years ago

Enjoyable read! Giggles in bed at this late hour :)

Monika Iveta 2 years ago

Enjoyable read! Giggles in bed at this late hour :)

Joelle Wisler 2 years ago

This was great look into my future! I’m kinda scared now but it was great.

Rebecka Jochum Miller 2 years ago

and I am a f word dropper too! And I also have tons of teens sprawled out in my house pretty much every weekend ( at least then I know they are safe)

Rebecka Jochum Miller 2 years ago

this is spot on, I have 2 teenage boys and it is fun in so many ways but so hard to let go, i think the hardest thing for me, is I miss them, I miss their innocence and them wanting to be with me, I walk into a room and all I hear is " I am hungry" or I need a ride, or can we buy this…also laying awake at night waiting for them to come home is the worst….do we ever get peace??? EVER?? or is my heart going to be on the outside of my body forever? this is the part of parenting no one tells you about before you have kids..

Susi 2 years ago

I totally agree with this! I have a daughter turning 3 on Friday and a son turning 18 on Sunday. He was easy as a toddler compared to her. He has made up for it as a teen. Does this mean she will be sweet as a teen? Lol.

Rebeca 2 years ago

Wow, definately makes me appreciate my 8, 3 and 1 year old. So scared now lol! I was a terrible teen!!

Jeeva 2 years ago


Emma 2 years ago

Thank you. Loved this, and totally get it, as a mum of teens and almost teens.

Monica Horn-Vassiliadis 2 years ago

Wait until someone with daughters writes their own version. You might be eating your words!

Amy Pirozzi Wolf 2 years ago

And absolutely spot on. Must share this one.

Kellie Bryant Herriott 2 years ago

Not looking forward to #2. #4 was preemptively banned so, thank God, I've never smelled it in my house. Do your girls wear perfume? Mine does and, let me just say, some of that crap smells NASTY! But, boy, do her feelings get hurt if we sneeze or gasp for breath as she wafts past.

Barbara Gentry Murad 2 years ago

Great…I see an interesting future with 2 boys! Yikes!

Erin Robell 2 years ago

How beautifully written. Just perfect.

Anna Horn Barker 2 years ago

Ha! After reading #'s 2 and 4, I'm just glad I have girls!

Eliza Ari 2 years ago

I loved this article I agreed with so much of it especially since I have one of each at the moment a 15yr old and a 2yr old both girls and totally opposites in every way. Everyday is an adventure!

monica 2 years ago

this post was a great early Christmas present. I laughed and then I cried. thank you!

Liz 2 years ago

Fuck. Thanks for making me cry!

Seriously I can’t stop.

Leslie 2 years ago

This made me laugh and cry! Looking forward (and not) to having 4 teens in my house one day.

Mindie Fish 2 years ago

favorite article I have read on here yet. My 3 princesses have me exhausted but I just keep thinking, what if this is the last time my 9 month old lets me rock her to sleep… or what if my 2 year old no longer needs her blanket to fall asleep? I know their older sister is 5 going on 15 and I feel as though all I did was blink…

Heather Holter 2 years ago

I feel very blessed to have no toddlers or teens at this point. I have 5 kids 5-11 and from what I hear this is the most blissful time. Better enjoy it now as much as I can. The calm (as calm as can be expected) before the storm.

Keeping it all together with 7 kids 2 years ago

It really does get harder.. Our oldest of 7 just turned 13.

Karyn M. Osuna-Poindexter 2 years ago

It doesn't get easier.. It gets worse! My son is 7 , going on 13. Sigh….

Deann Burkhardt Hughes 2 years ago

I have 4 girls, all in their 20s now and all I can say is AMEN! You nailed it!

Marla Brodsky 2 years ago

This was dead on! Brought me to tears at the end….

grownandflown 2 years ago

Jennifer, we are with you, hand in hand, about teenagers being so much harder than toddlers. As long as you can keep your baby/toddler from inflicting bodily harm, you are on the right path. But with teens, the risks are greater and the stakes are higher. Cars, sex, drugs, you summed it up perfectly. And college applications? Don’t make us weep. Great post!

Maggie 2 years ago

YES! I say this all the time. I would gladly take 5 toddlers to one teenager. Well, maybe not five. Totally spit water out of my mouth on the whole sleeping, “Get the eff up, you’ll miss the bus.” SO TRUE.

sonirox 2 years ago

Yep, what she said. Love every bit of this.

Jessica Smock 2 years ago

I just adored this. She captures toddlerhood in all its glory — as well as adolescence perfectly. Although I have no experience with parenting a teenager yet… So funny, honest, and moving. I definitely got a lump in my throat at the end. Thank you for one of my favorite parenting posts in a long time!

thedoseofreality 2 years ago

This is so damn awesome in every way. And SO TRUE. Pretty sure I nodded so much I got a neckache!-Ashley