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I'm raising teens while going through menopause – and it's a nightmare

HELLO!'s Second Act columnist Rosie Green shares the realities of living in a house full of hormones

By: Rosie Green
June 14, 2024
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Right now, our household is on a hormonal rollercoaster.

If you had children in your late twenties or early thirties, then puberty and perimenopause will hit your home simultaneously. I'm here to tell you the results can be nuclear.

Currently, among the residents of our cottage, only the dog is hormonally stable (she's been done). My offspring and I are managing many of the same challenges – mood swings, anxiety, body changes, skin issues.

Rosie Green in patterned shirt dress on This Morning© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Raising teens and menopause do not mix, says Rosie

It's a lot. But thank God our generation can talk about the realities of raising teens. Because, well, we (over?) share everything.

Last year, when Jessica Alba said she had decided to go to therapy with her daughters, we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. It's not just me! Because the truth is, to navigate this era you need to strap your hard hat on and find some strategies for both them and you to get through.

It's hard. Tina Fey said: "Having a teenage daughter is like having an office crush. You're thinking about them a lot more than they're thinking about you and you just, like, go up to their door and you're like: 'A bunch of us are gonna eat dinner... Well, you're probably busy.'"

I hear her. Because before teenage-dom you were a goddess to your children. The best chef ("This soggy-bottomed banana bread is amazing!") and the most stylish dresser ("Mum, that leggings and VPL combo is just so glamorous"”). Now it’s the exact opposite.

ROSIE'S COLUMN: My boyfriend's fitness gadget nearly finished off our love life - here's what I did about it 

And you have to be selfless. So selfless. All. The. Time. To graciously weather being told you are "tragic" by the people who depend on you for food, shelter, and emotional support.

It's like working for the world's most demanding boss but with absolutely no holidays, pay or bonuses. With full responsibility for ensuring their life runs smoothly 24 hours a day with printer ink/loo roll/cheese constantly available. But you can’t resign or call HR.

Woman smiling in grey jumper and jeans
Raising teens can be a challenge, says Rosie

You buy raspberries or posh chocs as a treat from your hard-earned money and they are eaten instantly, with the empty packets left about as an extra insult.

My clothes are 'borrowed' (ie. they disappear forever), but I can't wear theirs in case I stretch them. I can't chew, breathe or talk because it's sooooo irritating.

READ: I'm quitting emotional labour – and you should too 

You have to ask permission to go into their room, which necessitates a hazmat suit as it's a certifiable health hazard. And if you do manage to gain access and retrieve multiple tomato ketchup-smeared plates and your favourite party dress from a crumpled heap on the floor, then this is what success looks like.

You also need to be the bigger person. Which for me only happens sometimes.

Rosie Green smiling in jeans and jumper
Rosie admis she's not always zen when it comes to parenting

I always feel slightly inferior when zen LA types like Jennifer Garner are so understanding of their offspring's challenges. She has said: "I just have a huge heart for teenagers. I see how hard it is to be a teen right now."

Okay, she's right. They have so much to contend with. And I love my teens like nothing or nobody else. I decide to take my cue from Alba and as I am taxi-ing mine (no fare collectable) to an event I say: "How can I be a better parent to you?"

Pause. "Give me £10?" Hmm.

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