Tuesday 26 April 2022

Parenting teenagers is lonely.

 I loved my teenage years. I had a bit of freedom and no real responsibilities but if I was asked to go back and relive them I probably wouldn't. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Now I have teenagers I understand how my parents felt. I love my girls to bits but now they are both teenagers they are hard work and it feels like such a lonely part of parenting.

People in sunset

When our children are babies there are so many opportunities to meet other parents. People are drawn to babies. It’s not unusual to stop and exchange pleasantries with strangers when you have a baby or toddler in tow. Then there are all the toddler groups and activity groups in the early years and chats on the school run in primary school years. Then when our kids start secondary school the contact with other parents is lost, gone are all those opportunities for a chat with other parents in the school playground and at activity groups.

Yes you might still meet up with mums from primary school as the kids get older but the kids friendships might change in secondary school and it can become awkward. We have been there before. Becky was friends with a girl in primary school and I was friends with her mum. When they went to secondary school the drifted apart and had a few issues which made my friendship with the mum awkward.

Parenting teenagers throws so many new and difficult challenges and now that I have less parent friends I have less people to sound out to and ask advice. It does feel like the support isn't there compared to when they were little. You could talk to parent friends and a problem shared was a problem halved. Sharing your parenting problems was what kept you sane when you were at your most exhausted or most worried. There was a real feeling of all being in this together and all being able to get through it together.

The online world just sort of goes quiet for the parents of teenagers. Yes there are those offering tips and tricks to deal with acne, exams, university choices and things like that but I would much prefer to hear about the personal stories, not in great detail but those are not our stories and problems to share. As much as I blog about my girls there is a lot that I don't tell as their stories are not mine to tell. Years ago I could talk about potty training, tantrums and the problems they had but now I am more careful about what I talk about. I don't want to embarrass my girls. There are many times that I think I have messed up as a parent and don't want to share things with anyone but when they were younger it would have been a funny story to share online. 

The teenage years throw up many new challenges and issues that we can feel unsure how to face, it's hard but it’s also amazing, wonderful and rewarding. However it can be a shock to realise how lonely you can feel as a parent. The community spirit and support seems to be in short supply but always remember that if you feel like this as a parent that there will be countless others who feel the same way too. You’re not alone, I feel lonely when it comes to parenting advice/friends. Maybe just knowing this can make you feel a little bit less lonely.

Do you find parenting teenagers lonely?


  1. I can understand it being lonely and defiantly less talk online about these period X #mmbc

  2. I feel so blessed that we have many, many family members with kids all around the same age as my boys so when I really need it I do have sounding boards around; even if they just commiserate that they're going through the same thing. Mostly though I find my boys (so far!) are really easy, and laid back, and mature for their ages so there isn't a whole lot of strife or struggle.

  3. I get you Kim. I can't really talk about my girls anymore. I recently posted some issues in a group of Mum's that I've known since my girls were little and found them really unhelpful because teens grow up so differently. (Then, sadly, I found that one of them was making fun of one of the issues I raised, I know she probably didn't do it to upset me but it stopped me from wanting to share with that group anymore because they just didn't understand.) If ever you want to chat privately you can always contact me. xx

  4. My youngest starts secondary school in September. I was excited to realise that I can avoid the school traffic by parking around the corner and waiting for them both to walk over to me, but I will really miss the five minute chats that I get with the other mums I'm friends with while I'm waiting to do pick up in the playground! I'll need to make more of an effort to stay in touch with them as I can see we'll easily drift apart.

  5. I can totally get this even though Jayden isn't quite there yet. I may not have the answers you need, but you know I am always here if you need to chat. Sending massive hugs. xxx

  6. What a great post and so very true! Like you, I used to share all my funny parenting stories on my blog, but now I only share quite theoretical posts about teenagers, because my kids' stories aren't mine to share and it would be wrong for me to do that.
    I have a few people I chat to about the kids - both in real life and online, but I can go ages without talking to them, so it is very much a case of working things out for myself.
    If you ever want to chat via DM, let me know!