I’m Obnoxious {Things I’ve Learned From My Teenage Daughter}


As a mother of a teenage girl, I have learned a lot about patience, understanding, and self-control. I am living the nightmare of middle school, AGAIN. It sucked the first time, but this time is even worse because all the girls I despise are at least 20 years younger than I am. I have also gained the skills necessary for me to get through the hormonal imbalances that have stolen my baby girl from me. These skills include the ability to smile through tightly clenched teeth, to agree to disagree, and to accept the fact that I obviously have no idea what I’m talking about EVER. Of all the things I’ve learned from my teenage daughter, the thing that stands out the most is the fact that I am frickin’ obnoxious. Seriously. I am. Ninety percent of the things my daughter does that gets under my skin are things she learned from me.

The following are just a few examples:

Consistently cutting people off by saying, “okay” very quickly when I’m done having a conversation.

Making a face as if I’m about to crap myself because I think what you’re saying is stupid seems to be one of my favorites. I’m not even going to pretend that what you’re saying is interesting, I’m just going to sit here, with my stank face.

Fighting to have the last word in an argument, leading me to say things that make no sense, like, “well.” But not just a normal “well”, like, you have to jerk your neck a little and make your eyes real big in order to really drive it home.

When getting a piece of gum out of the package, I stuff the wrapper in the junk drawer because I can’t be bothered to walk two feet to the trash can. Laundry is one of my least favorite things so I usually only put 80% of it where it actually goes.

My closet looks like an episode of hoarders because I’m  going to wear that one shirt, you know the one, that I haven’t worn in 2 years. Yeah, I’ll probably wear it next week or something, so get off my back.

I almost always think of a favor someone could do for me right after they sit down on the couch. Something really urgent that I couldn’t possibly do myself, like, get some water.

No matter how many snacks I pick out at the store for myself, I’m probably going to eat yours; especially if there’s only one left. Then I’m going to leave the empty box there on the shelf. When you question me about it, I’m going to act as if you’re being ridiculous.

Shopping with me is fun because I’m always asking you what you think. Your opinion is important, that’s why I ask you over and over what you think about the things I’ve picked out. Unless your opinion is different than mine; then I’ll just utilize my stank face and do what I want anyways. Whatever I’ve picked out will end up on my bedroom floor because it looks ridiculous when I put it on at home.

If I don’t feel like doing something, I pretend like I can’t figure it out so that someone else will just do it for me.

Obviously I am obnoxious but surprisingly, it took 14 years (and having a daughter) for me to realize it. How could this have happened – have I always been this way? How long am I going to have to argue with my mini-me about pointless crap? I look at my daughter and I realize that while she has inherited most my bad traits, some good ones snuck in there too. She loves her family and friends and appreciates them wholeheartedly. She understands that everyone has a story and that makes them who they are. She’s suffered great loss but doesn’t use it as an excuse to make poor choices. She is grateful for the life she is able to live and the blessings she’s received.

I could beat myself up about not being the perfect mother, because God knows I deserve it. For the first 4 years of her life, we lived in poverty. We didn’t have a car, we lived in a homeless shelter, we barely scraped by, just she and I. I didn’t breastfeed, I didn’t baby wear, I hate cooking, and we’ve moved 6 times. I use profanity on a daily basis, I have tattoos, I always have a teensy bit of road rage, I don’t do organic, I don’t recycle, and I sure as hell don’t volunteer for the PTO (okay, maybe once, but it sucked). But despite all of my downfalls and the fact that I’m completely obnoxious, I’ve learned something else. I must be doing something right because my daughter is an amazing human being and I wouldn’t change a thing about her.


  1. This is hilarious! It is amazing how looking at what we dont like in others makes us see our own flaws. I am a social worker and learn how to be a better person from others mistakes and bad habits daily, but Jenni, you have been an amazing mother! You talk about the first four years of her life like they were a bad thing, but you pulled yourself out of the mud and muck that was your past and made a beautiful life for your family. You have given your daughter love and light when you had none left to give yourself and have passed on your knowledge, talents, humor and above all sarcasm! Those eye rolls and stank face, are a fantastic way to diffuse tension and probably act as a defense mechanism to keep you from saying what you really think 😉 and though not appropriate in every situation, are a very endearing part of your character for anyone who takes the time to get to know you. Your daughter may roll her eyes but she also giggles and chuckles after a lot of them, you’ve given the gift of independence, strength of mind, individuality and above all, sarcasm! and that is precious indeed!

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