I’m Second Mom to My Teens’ Friends and I Admit It, I Love It

Because you can never be loved by too many in this world...

by Nancy Reynolds

 This post: I’m Second Mom to My Teens’ Friends and I’d Be Lying if I Didn’t Admit, I Love It

Recently, my daughter and a bunch of her friends were hanging out in our basement on a Friday night. Normally, I let the girls have their time together, but somehow, that evening, I ended up smack dab in the middle of their conversation.

At first, it was just small talk – one chiming in behind the other, chatting about boys and all the drama that goes along with “romantic” relationships, complaints about school, family vacations they were planning on taking this year, and how hard they were working at their part-time jobs trying to make a few extra bucks.

But it didn’t take long for the conversation to shift.

Soon enough, one of my daughter’s friends mentioned how stressful life was at home and that she and her mom hadn’t been getting along.

“Lately, my mom and I have been arguing a lot,” she said.

“She thinks I’m lazy and doesn’t understand how hard I’m trying.”

Another girl quickly jumped in saying that her dad was being super hard on her these days because she hadn’t come up with a list of colleges she wanted to apply to.

“What do you think I should do?” the one girl asked me. “Yeah,” the other girl said, “How should I handle it? I need your advice, mama R.”

Mama R… that’s what they call me.

Although I’m a mom to three amazing kids, I often feel as though I’m a mom to twenty. 

I’m Second Mom to My Teens’ Friends and I Have to Admit, I Love It

 

So often, I’m the mom my kids’ friends come to for advice or guidance, support, a listening ear or to share their successes.

And, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit, I secretly love it.

You see, these kids aren’t simply my daughter’s friends, they’re an extension of my own family.

I love them like my own.

I’ve watched them grow up before my very eyes. I’ve been part of their lives for years standing on the sidelines cheering them on for every “win” and rushing in (like their own mom) to support them when they fumbled.

I’ve cried tears of joy with them and tears of grief. I’ve fed them far too many times to count, washed their clothes, drove them to the end of the earth (and back), cleaned up their messes in my home, and lost sleep over them like they’re my own.

Heck, I’ve even reprimanded them and set them straight on more than one occasion. 

They’re comfortable in my home. And, they’re comfortable with me. They know I care, they know I want nothing more than to see them succeed, and they know I love them, which is perhaps why they come to me. I’m their second mom…

They’ve shared their concerns and worst fears with me because they didn’t want to worry their own parents.

They’ve fessed up to mistakes they’ve made that they’d never want their parents to know.

They’ve come to me to vent because it feels so darn good to talk to an adult who isn’t going to judge them.

They’ve shared their deepest secrets (seriously, there are things I wish I didn’t know).

And, they’ve asked for guidance when they felt completely “stuck” and didn’t know where to turn.

I feel blessed to be someone they can turn to and honored they trust me.

Still, when any one of my kids’ friends come to me for advice or guidance about family life, their relationship with their mom or dad, or life decisions, I consider it a big responsibility.

It’s not like I can dole out advice haphazardly when they ask for it. I have to tread tenderly with soft words that are filled with compassion, grace, understanding and the realization that, because they trust me, I hold the power to not only alter their perspectives, but also alter the trajectory of relationships in their lives and quite possibly their life decisions.

Rather than freely passing out advice, I’ve made it a point to help them figure things out for themselves by asking questions, finding out what’s in their heart, and reminding them how much their parents love and want the best for them.

The beauty of it all is there are so many other “second moms” like me. Moms who open their homes, their arms and their hearts to tweens, teens and young adults who sometimes have nowhere else to turn or just need a shoulder to lean on.

In fact, I know my daughter has special mothers in her life who she trusts and who love her like a daughter. I know how desperately she needs that, at times. Despite the fact that my daughter and I have a close relationship, like many mother-daughter relationships, we’ve argued, we’ve said things we regretted, we’ve had rough days, rough weeks and rough months.

During those times, I’m so grateful she had other mothers to confide in… I consider each and every one of those moms a gift.

So, for every mom who has treated someone else’s child as their own, who has made them feel loved and unselfishly given them a stronger foundation to stand on, thank you.

Thank you for your love, grace, compassion, and kindness. You are a beautiful blessing not only to the kids whom you embrace, but also to the many mothers and fathers who long for their children to feel accepted, loved, and cared for in this world.

Thank you for being part of the amazing village that takes part in raising our children.

Thank you for supporting other parents, without judgment, and stepping in even when you had your children to raise.

Thank you for helping us raise our kids right and being a powerful positive influence in their lives.

Thank you, because in this world, you can never be loved by too many…

If you enjoyed reading, “I’m Second Mom to My Teens’ Friends and I Admit, I Love It,” you might also enjoy reading:

10 Things Teenagers Love (Even If They Don’t Admit It)

10 Secrets to Raising Awesome Confident, Capable Teenagers

 

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2 comments

Cindi July 15, 2023 - 4:49 pm

This type of ‘teen daughter & mom of best friend” relationship can also be damaging to the ‘teen daughter & her own mom’ relationship when the other mom ignores boundaries that should never be crossed. My 16 y.o. is the youngest of 4; the only one left in the nest. Her sister and brother graduated from college, & the other brother is in college out of state. Her bestie has a cool fun mom who likes to hang with the girls at her house. My daughter has apparently vented about me and shared details about (her side of) our arguments with the other mom for many months, and now my daughter despises me. She just told me she has ‘no support system at home for a teenage girl’, and has ‘nobody there for me to come home to’ which is the opposite of our household. My husband works from home and is AT home 95% of the time. I work from home 2 & in office 3 days, and I rarely go anywhere else. We are both dying to chat with her, hear anything about her day/friends/homework/plans etc, but all she wants to do is go straight to the friend’s house. She’s snarky and rude to me pretty much all the time and will not make any effort to connect. I take her on fun shopping trips and she stays 10 feet ahead of me -on her phone the whole time while we speedwalk to all her favorite stores as I’m begging her to try things on so we can buy them, but she snaps at me and makes plans w friends so we end up speeding home so she can be on time. It’s clear to me that the other mom is putting thoughts into her head and judging me. I feel betrayed by my child. The ‘connection’ discussed in this article could be happening between your child and an adult who doesn’t respect the teen’s mother/daughter relationship as a priority (& who would flip out if the relationship were reversed to her daughter & me!) for life!

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Nancy Reynolds July 16, 2023 - 5:50 am

Reading this just breaks my heart. As a mom who has always been there for pretty much ANY child who needs a listening ear, I’m always reminded that it’s a big responsibility and should never be used (or abused) in a such a way that my words undermine the child’s relationship with their parent. For me, I’ve merely offered warmth, encouragment and support… never advice that should be coming from the parent. I’m so sorry you feel this other mom is putting a strain on your relationship with your daughter. Have you spoken with the mother? Perhaps ask her to lunch to see if you can find out whether your suspicions are correct.

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