Parenting a teenager seems quite similar to parenting a toddler. Dealing with extremes of emotion & a need to constantly feed them as they grow exponentially (seemingly overnight), plus a need for constant entertainment.
When son was a toddler, everyone told me "wait for the teenage years, thats when it gets really tough!" I always found this really unhelpful/patronising for following reasons (this might become a thread)
Parenting is HARD. All ages, stages, circumstances. It isn't easy raising a person. You have no idea what anyone else is going through/dealing with.
When my son was a toddler I was still dealing with the crippling after effects of PND, my marriage broke down, I had no family support (my Mum had early onset Alzheimers), was made redundant (had no savings) & was temporarily homeless.
So when I talked to other women about parenting a toddler & how hard it was & they dismissed me with "you think its hard now, just wait!" laugh it made me feel angry and isolated.
My son is now a teenager & no it isn't easy, but neither were all the years preceeding it.
I guess my point is, listen, display real kindness & empathy, don't judge, offer platitudes or clichés, you do not know what someone is dealing with.
I love my boy with all my heart, he has many wonderful qualities that aren't often recognised or celebrated. I have been doing my damndest to raise a gentle, kind, boy who respects women in a world that tells him boys don't cry or feel. That is the hardest work of all.

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More from @EmmaisaChampion

18 Oct
Today is #WorldMenopauseDay I had a medically induced and reversible menopause in my 20's & am experiencing perimenopause at 43. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, maybe reflect on why. Women's bodies are normal and we should be able to talk about our lives honestly.
In my 20's I spent 18 months in a medically induced menopause. It was awful. The night sweats and hot flushes weren't the worst, that was the memory loss. I tried HRT, put on weight & experienced depression. It was not a fun time.
At 38 I had a hysterectomy so I've already gone through the loss of fertility. Ovaries intact at 42 I began to experience night sweats & mood swings again. Oestrogen only HRT seems to have helped that, but without periods to know where I am its kinda tricky #WorldMenopauseDay
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