Get a Job part 1: Hey, Teenagers Get Off My Couch!

So called mom teenagers on the couch

One of the on-going themes that comes up when I get together with my friends with teenagers is how the hell to get them out of bed before noon and motivated?

We toast our wine glasses and crack jokes about it, but we all know it’s no laughing matter. None of us has figured out how to get our oldest kids excited about the next chapter of their lives. And the boys are definitely worse than the girls.
When they are babies, it’s easy to dream about what they will be when they grow up. And for the first ten years, we pretty much know what to expect thanks to all the mom books. And we fill in the rest for a perfectly timed chronicle: teenagers
Birth, Crawl, Walk, Drive, Move out….right?
So called mom teenagers in the living room
Then 13 happens, and there’s not a book on any shelf that accurately describes the sloth your kid turns into. And now on the verge of 17, my son has developed a very intimate relationship with the couch. And I know from my many girl’s nights, I’m not alone.
This is a problem. It’s maddening, it’s annoying, it’s pointless! This isn’t a phase—it’s a permanent intermission! There is no advancement or special development happening while lying horizontal, all day every day. I now realize they may never get off the couch and out of the house on their own. Ever. teenagers
Case in point: last week, 17 year old Jake, announced plans to get his own place.  I dismissed him, saying something about his being lightyears away from that reality—only to realize that in the scheme of things, he really isn’t.  It could be inside of a year. And in his mind, it’s more like two months. I realize I’m woefully behind the curve in giving him the tools to make this happen (Getting after school jobs, doing his laundry, balancing budgets, even food shopping) so I’ve decided to create an intensive crash course into adulthood. And while I’m at it, I may as well rope in Phoenix, Earth and Milla too.
So now I’m confronted with the reality of four teens, who don’t have the wherewithal, let alone resources to make this happen. This should get interesting fast.
So called mom teenagers on sidewalk
Note to self: I realize I’ve brought this on myself. I’m much more intuitive about raising babies, than I am with the rest of it. So as of today, I’m literally rowing with one oar. I have no idea how to do this. I don’t even think there’s time for me to read a “How to get your teenager Motivated” parenting book. So I invite you to follow my transformation from the nurturing Mrs Hyde into Dr. Jekyl. I will happily share my So Called Mom learnings as they unfold. I’m sure I will learn as much as my kids do.
So I have to brush up on my nagging voice and get a backbone because this is going to be a challenging summer, and not just because they will have to actually get outside of their comfort zones. It’s because I have to. There will be complaints, sore legs, tired minds, and annoyances. And my So Called Mom instincts — which is to nurture, provide, protect, do for, will be challenged every moment of every day. It’s not because I hate the fight, it’s because I want them to feel loved. But! I’m motivated by the possibility that they will quickly learn the benefit of working, budgeting, bill paying and yes—eventually getting their own place.
Officially reporting for duty,
So Called Mom

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