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Mommy Middle School — The Awkward Stage of Parenting

Middle School. Two innocent words that when put together bring up memories of awkwardness and adolescence that leave most adults cringing. After leaving middle school and entering into adulthood, I never thought I would deal with the same stages of awkwardness that plagued my 13 year old self. Boy, was I wrong. I’m now finding myself in a stage that I like (or hate) to call Mommy Middle School. And it is every bit as awkward and painful as its adolescent namesake.

Mommy Middle School

I was talking with my best friend several months ago about how awkward this age seems to be. At 28, most consider me to be a young mother. Do I actually feel young though? Yes and no. I feel young until I’m around someone who actually is young. Then I feel ancient. I can’t relate to them half of the time. Then, I end up feeling old and frumpy and uncool. It reminds me of my preteen years. I didn’t feel like a little kid anymore, but I wasn’t a teenager either. I didn’t know where I belonged.

Fashion seems to be a foreign concept to me now. I don’t know whats in style anymore. And also? Things don’t fit like they used to—thanks to the major changes my body has gone through in the past few years. So I end up questioning most of my fashion choices. Am I making a huge fashion faux pas? Is this still in style or is it equivalent to the butterfly clips I loved so much at 13 and was loathe to give up? I ask myself these painful questions constantly now while getting ready to go out.

Last, but certainly not least, my face decided to revert back to middle school years, too. That’s right. I’m talking about pimples. Way more pimples than adolescent Jordan ever had to deal with. But now I also contend with unevenness, blotchiness—and dryness too. I can’t remember the last time I had a solid skincare routine. The answer? Probably never. I’ve always been pretty blessed with even skin. At least until I had my daughter. Now I’ve got acne face wash, pimple cream, eye cream, and a dozen different types of moisturizers and exfoliators. Basically, all of the beauty remedies known to man reside in my bathroom. And I still can’t get my skin to realize I’m not a kid going through puberty.

It’s difficult to feel like you don’t belong—like you are floundering. No ones wants to feel like they don’t fit in…like they aren’t cool. I seriously feel like I’m experiencing my middle school nightmare all over again. I look around and see other young mothers—millennial moms, if you will—navigating this same stage with as seemingly much grace and style as I am not. So props to you, ladies. Kudos on figuring this awkward stage out—and being amazing!

I do hope that the end is in sight, however. While talking with the same friend I previously mentioned, she commented on how her sister-in-law and her sister-in-law’s friends (in their early 30s) seem so confident in themselves. Both as mothers and as women. I’m not one to usually wish time away, and I never thought I’d wish my twenties away. But maybe there is something to the wish that Jenna makes in the movie 13 Going on 30.

Maybe “thirty, flirty, and thriving” holds promise after all.

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