Between filling out the FAFSA, figuring out senior portraits, reassuring the teen that she really is not the only one not going to Mexico for spring break, and considering colleges on top of the usual roller coaster of teen parenting, raising a high school senior can be a lot.
I’ve found that there are a few things that are helping me not only survive but really enjoy this period of parenting.
Flats from Rothy’s
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Parents are on the go and keeping up with a senior means good shoes are key. It’s hard to have a great day in shoes that hurt. This transitional period may be all about pushing beyond your comfort zone, and that’s a good thing, but that doesn’t mean your feet should feel uncomfortable. Rothy’s shoes have been my go to flats for the first two month of school and I love them. Let me count the ways:
- They are truly ridiculously comfortable;
- They are washable (really!); and
- They go with pretty much everything and are easy to dress up or down, meaning I can wear them to them work, the financial aid workshop or a moms’ night out; and
- They are sustainable, with part of them being made using recycled plastic water bottles.
They are my go-to, and I love that they are good for both the Earth and my sense of style. They aren’t cheap, but I’ve had one pair for a year and they’ve worn so well that I asked for a second for my birthday. Pro-tip: order a half size up from your usual size.
I sadly fell off the reading wagon somewhere along the road through my teen’s junior year but I got back on it over the summer, and I’m so very glad I did. Ushering your child through adolescence can be a bit all-consuming, and I’ve found picking up a book is a great way to escape into another world and forget the teen issues. When I put my book down, I find that I am calmer and have a better perspective.
A few books I’ve read and enjoyed recently:
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – This family saga is getting a lot of buzz and it is a great read that may also make you feel like parent of the year compared to some of the characters. The audio book is read by Tom Hanks and I’m a little sorry that I didn’t go that route.
I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott – A collection of essays that will have moms nodding, laughing and feeling understood.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes – This enjoyable romance balances some sadness with some good laughs and fun pop culture references.
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – The audio book read by Carrie Fisher herself came out a long time ago, but it was a great listen and full of timeless stories. While it made me miss Carrie Fisher tremendously, she had me in stitches and feeling thankful that my teen years did not include time in my mother’s cabaret show, as hers did.
I got them all from my local library, which I like to think helps balance out the cost of a pair of Rothy’s.
Time with Friends
The start of the academic year has been a bit more tumultuous than I had anticipated. Not all bad, but not easy, either. I’ve found that time with friends has truly been balm for my slightly battered soul.
Set up coffee, lunch, drinks, a chat by phone or Facetime as you fold laundry. Send a quick text. I know, it’s true that we are all super busy. Reach out anyway.
I’ve found that one-on-one time has been particularly great. Big groups are great, and if they energize you, that’s awesome. But if you’re feeling a bit discombobulated by the craziness your kid brings into your life, I’ve found that quieter is better and has led to exactly the kind of conversations that fill me up.
If you have friends who have kids a few years older, all the better. In fact, start with them. The reassurance and wisdom they offer can be invaluable.
I’ve written several times about time is nature is great for our kids. Turns out, it’s great for adults, too. Fresh air, Vitamin D, and the fabulousness of fall can work wonders. On a walk today, I encountered a few deer, heard an owl gently hooting, marveled at the color of the leaves and came home in a much better place than when I had left.
I think getting a dog when you have a teenager is great because they will be happy to see you, as Nora Ephron said, but they’ll also motivate you to take more walks.
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