Where did my baby go?


By Cheryl Coleman

Some mothers might say infancy is the most challenging time when raising a child, but I assert the most difficult time is when your child is in middle school.  Middle school children can have high levels of stress, deal with loneliness and struggle to figure out how to fit in.

It shouldn't be a surprise these are the most challenging years of parenthood.  Middle school children bodies are changing; their hormones are all over the place and peer pressure increases.  One day, they may seem all grown up and mature, and the next day they revert into baby mode and need you to console them and hold them tightly in your arms.  These mood changes seem unpredictable.  Even though this is not my first child, I still have terrible anxiety.  I often question if I am doing an excellent job as a mom.

Depression is common among mothers of middle school children.  Parenting a teen is harder than being a mother to an infant.  As infants, you worry about issues such as if your child is eating or sleeping enough, but when your child is a pre-teen, you worry about if you are giving them enough or too much time with electronic devices or if your child is making sound decisions while out with friends.  When my child is out of my sight, I worry sometimes.  It overwhelming and stressful raising a middle schooler.

Deep down inside, they are still your babies.  To help, you need to make sure you have daily conversations with your child to stay in tune to his or her needs.   It may seem like a waste of time when your child barely speaks to you some days, but your child still needs your love, guidance, and support.  If you stick it out, it will pay off.  Just the other day, my daughter told me she messed up on a test, but had a plan to do better next time and asked for my help.  Hang in there parents; better days are down the road!