Parenting teenagers is like. . .(Day 353, Year 2)

Friends, it is 11:15 pm. I've done so many things today but I HAVEN'T FINISHED THE ONE VERY IMPORTANT THING THAT I HAVE TO FINISH.

Of course, I have an excuse! I had to parent, today! I do parent everyday and I have since 2006. Lately, it seems, the demands of parenting have become a bit of a full-time job. The problem with this is that I actually have 40+ hours of consulting and writing work in a week, which makes full-time parenting a bit difficult. 

As I write this I realize that obviously being a parent is a 24-7 sort of thing. You, like, don't stop being a parent because you are at work. But, if you are a parent, especially of older, tween and teens, I think you know what I mean about this full-time job part. It is, like, they get enter this "big kid phase" and then the "even bigger kid phase" and suddenly you are doing the job of several. It's like all these people were laid off and you are stuck steering the whole fucking ship without a raise or extra vacation time. 

This is what it is like to parent children over the age 9--all your colleagues are in the breakroom eating the monthly birthday cake and it's just you and your husband living in a constant state of shock, horror and exhaustion. 

Look, I don't know who these imaginary colleagues are or who was laid off. BUT there is no flipping way we were meant to manage them all on our own! NO ONE IS CAPABLE OR EQUIPPED FOR THIS JOB! 

It's like being a nurse for the criminally insane and someone has hidden all the sedation drugs. 

It's like living with children who are possessed by demons and have multiple, unpredictable personalities. 

It's like being in an abusive relationship. They are really mean. Then they are nice. Then they are mean. But you still love them. Even though they are extremely toxic and definiltely steal from you. 

Guys: this phase of parenting is a lot--and there are three of them. And I am older than when they were newborns. I cannot pull all-nighters and then survive the next day. In fact I think not sleeping could give me wrinkles and lead to early onset dementia. (which they already think I have, given the insults they hurl out on the regular). 

But, they do these wonderful things like comfort a crying child or leave me sweet love notes or tell me I am pretty or apologize for the things they said while they were being teenagers. 

And well, it's all okay, I guess. I am a sucker for these three troublemakers of mine. And so what if I have to work to 3 am. I can sleep when I have early onset dementia.