Recently, I was talking to several moms who have little kids. They are in the thick of the exhausting parenting stage and were complaining about the people who always feel the need to tell them, “just wait until they’re teenagers!”
It’s not a very encouraging statement, and people should really stop saying it. If you ask me, it’s not even true. I found the toddler years much more difficult than the teenage years — at least so far.
Here are a few reasons why teens are easier than tots.
- You don’t have to carry teenagers around. Toddlers always want to be picked up and carried. They get tired, stop walking and are suddenly hanging on you. Teenagers don’t hang on you. Most of the time, they don’t even want to be near you.
- You can go to the bathroom alone. When you have tots, they always seem to feel the need to join you in the bathroom. Teens will never join you in the bathroom, but they are likely to lock you out of the bathroom.
- Teens don’t need your constant attention. Toddlers want you to play with them, read to them and entertain them. When my kids were tots, I always had to have a plan of action — something to do to keep them occupied. Teens rarely want your attention, and most of the time they would rather be with anyone but you.
- Teens leave you hands free. They don’t need you to hold their hand or carry their stuff. When you have teens, you no longer need to bring along a big bulky bag filled with diapers, toys, snacks and a change of clothes. You also don’t need to lug around heavy car seats or cumbersome strollers. It’s immensly freeing.
- Teens don’t wake you up at the crack of dawn. Most of the time, you are waking them up at the crack of noon.
Tots are cute but they are exhausting. I’d take my teenagers any day over having toddlers again.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Life editor Betsy Stein, who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 18, Lilly, 16, Adam, 16, and Jonah, 12.