This week my 13-year-old niece is staying with us. She's a sweetie, my first baby. I absolutely love her.
My niece, Madison, age 13
But she's a teenager and has really given me a glimpse of what it will be like to parent a teen.
One one hand, I think it will be much easier... I could run to the store and leave a teenager behind. I could *gasp* shower - whenever I wanted to - and not worry about the house burning down around me. I might even be able to take a girls night out without having to worry about Daddy being home. I don't have to constantly come up with new things to keep the kids entertained, they can entertain themselves.
The flip side of that, however, is that teens are not as easily amused and entertained as little kids are. Now I can take the kids to Chick-Fil-A or the toy store and they're entertained for hours. Yeah, not working so well with the teen. Right ow she's playing with her iPod and her cell phone - texting, listening to music, etc. I guess that's not bad, but the fact that I'm not as needed as I was when she was little is kinda sad. But I still have to drive her around and the demands of a teen are high (of course, not a whole lot different from the high demands of a little one, just in a different way).
Of course, it's very nice to have a helping hand with the little ones. Teenagers are great at helping. I don't have to buckle anyone in the car, I don't have to hold two hands - I get one free. I have an extra set of eyes to watch the kids. I told her that when she's a little older I'd hire her to come up for the summer and nanny for us.
Overall, it's nice having a teenager. I'm not experiencing the fights and turbulence that comes with it and I'm glad of that...I have 10 years before I have a 13-year-old and I'll enjoy those 10 years as much as I can!