An Unexpected Lesson From The Sidelines -Teen Mother Relationships
amanda ricks 2015

On June 15. 2015 I published a post about some trouble I was having between myself and my oldest 16-year-old daughter. The trouble we’re having is hard and writing the post was hard.

Some wonderful people opened their hearts and offered me wonderful responses and messages of support. I was very appreciative. One of my fellow bloggers Floridaborne  ( blog link ) whom I am in awe of and a great fan of her intriguing and unique blog sent me a slightly different type of message. Her message, however, was specific, constructive, enlightening and focused. I immediately woke up, crawled out of my pity pot and started to process again. Floridaborne was also the first person to point out an optimistic point to the situation. What a tremendous insight.

Floridaborne’s words…

~ “My kids did that in their early 20’s. The fact that your daughter is doing this to you at 16 means that you did something right. She’s trying to find out who she is outside of your shadow by first finding out who she isn’t. I watched my children go through numerous relationships so much like the worst of mine. But instead of choosing spouses who were as bad as my #1,3 and 4, their past experiences didn’t choose for them, they made their own choices.”

~ “Sure, they did things that affected their lives forever–who hasn’t? But they came through it as better people and, in turn, I found my own path–one that is separate from theirs. Yet when we come together, we’re family, and we love each other in spite of our flaws. :-)”

~ “If there is only one suggestion I would make, it would be to try to find that 1 reason you get up each and every morning (one that doesn’t include children). Writing my books is one of the many things that filled the hole left behind when my children went their separate ways. That’s just a suggestion, and if you’re in too much pain to consider it right now, that’s understandable.”


In those three paragraphs, I heard from another human being what had been rattling around my head for some time. I couldn’t/wouldn’t give it credence because no one else had ever acknowledged it as anything other than selfish weirdness.

I responded with my relief and gratitude.

~ “You have just opened a window for me when all I could see was the crumbled walls. Thank you so much for sharing a perspective that isn’t all doom and gloom. Of course, natural progressions are something I can absorb, and I can accept that this is part of my daughter’s need to move outside and find out who she isn’t. That makes so much sense.”

~ “Indeed, a short time ago I already realized that I must find a reason beyond my children to get up every morning. The answer hasn’t come to me yet, but you’re right I need to find it. Thank you again for sharing what I needed to hear.”


Floridaborne continued our exchange

~ “You need people in your life who’ve been there, done that and aren’t going to react like an ex-husband. 🙂 There are a whole lot of women who’ve been where you are, and we’re willing to hold up that light at the end of the dark tunnel and shout, “You’re not alone!”


My response was one of relief, and I quickly said.

~ “Thank god! It’s so amazing to find this, what a relief. The hell with ex-husbands.”


Floridaborne still had so much more to share.

~ “There comes a point in life where you just have to let it all out. Or not. It’s one of those things you stumble upon when you’re looking for who you are while discovering who you aren’t. :-)”

At this point, although I was completely on track I started to feel unprepared. I voiced my uncertainty.

~ “I think I know this intellectually, but I’m working on getting the rest to catch up. It’s my goal and focus. :-)”


The hesitation I had was answered.

~ “I have the exact same problem. The mind understands it before it absorbs it. Sometimes that can take years.”


I am sure I have talked about my current search and reassessment of myself and my life ( I sure hope I have because I’m too lazy to check all of my posts). How I know that I need to find who I am or aren’t as Floridaborne puts it. A large part for me is just learning to find my “voice.” Then I have to get on with using it. Using it with confidence and doing so consistently. I’m making progress.

Mostly I wanted to make this post because it blows me away how closely it demonstrates a saying that I’ve known but honestly never believed before. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”

This whole process was originally started with another friend of mine who at least got me started on this journey. Now, I feel that I have been focused and supported to continue. It’s all just too freaky and weird because I’m not usually a believer of fates and such. Nevertheless, something is clicking in a very cool way, thank goodness.

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