Editor’s Note: WTOP Living is launching its new parenting section. Each week, we will highlight various topics on parenting and its many joys and struggles, written by featured parenting bloggers.
Julianna Miner Featured blogger, Rants from Mommyland
WASHINGTON – I know next to nothing about talk show host Wendy Williams, except that right now I want to aggressively hug her and stroke her pretty hair and tell her it’s all going to be OK.
Recently on her show, Williams broke down in tears because her 13-year-old son was (in her description) acting like a typical 13-year-old boy (aka: being kind of a pooper to his mom).
“He doesn’t like me anymore,” she lamented.
To make matters worse, Williams’ son and her husband get along like peas and carrots, only magnifying the changes in her relationship with him.
I’m currently in the sweet spot with my kids — they’re big enough to be independent and fun, and still small enough to love me and want hugs all of the time.
It’s a precious time, and I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it. Mostly because I’ve seen first-hand what can come next — and it can be rough.
And like Williams, I know my role within the family. I am “The Mom.” I enforce the rules and the schedules. I’m not the fun one. I expect that the kind of pushback I get from my kids in the years to come will range from eye-rolling to outright defiance. I’m prepared for it, but I can wait.
This is all how it’s supposed to be, though. I’m pretty sure humans are grown this way on purpose.
Why are babies and toddlers so sweet and adorable? So we don’t lose our schmidt as parents when they scream-cry for three consecutive hours or projectile vomit directly in our faces. OH IT HAPPENS.
And why are teenagers so irritating and difficult to deal with?
Perhaps so that, as parents, we can slowly accept that they’re supposed to leave us. If they stayed sweet and adorable and precious until they were 18, the heartbreak of them flying the nest would be too much to take.
We want our kids to become considerate and independent adults. That can’t happen if they don’t grow up and grow away from us. That distancing starts with eye-rolling.
There’s actually a name for this because it’s a real thing: developmental individuating.
It means that teenagers are supposed to figure out who they are, separate from their parents. They become their own person between the ages of 13 and 18. This is normal and natural, and yet, I totally understand why this distancing from her sweet boy would feel so heart-breaking for Williams.
Now’s the part where I stroke her hair and tell her it’s all going to work out fine. Let’s bring it in for an Internet hug, Wendy!
A couple of days after crying on her show about the situation, Williams went on “The View” and reassured Barbara Walters that things were fine and that her relationship with her son was great.
He saw how upset she was and felt terrible.
Like I said, they’re going to be fine. She clearly loves him to pieces and he’s just doing what humans are hard-wired to do when they grow up: irritating their mothers just enough so that slowly, we realize we have to let them go.
Wendy Williams breaks down on television about her son:
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About this blogger: Julianna W. Miner writes the award-winning humor blog, Rants From MommyLand. She’s been featured on The Huffington Post, Babble.com, and Parents Magazine. She adores her three children, in spite of the fact that they’re little terror suspects. She’s been married since 1997 and for this, her husband deserves some sort of medal. She currently teaches public health at a college she couldn’t have gotten into because she made bad choices in high school.
The parenting expert in Randi Martin’s audio story is Amy McCready.