Seasons of Motherhood: Middle School


In life, there’s a season for everything, including motherhood. Just like winter transitions to spring, moms transition from diapers and bottles, to lunchboxes and little league, to learners’ permits and prom dates. There’s beauty and struggle in each season, and whether you’re looking fondly backward or eagerly forward, we’re here for all of it!


My name is Katie, I’m in the middle school stage of motherhood, and I feel excited and unprepared!


When they were toddlers and in elementary school, they really needed me, which was awesome, even if it had its drawbacks. But I knew what my responsibilities were and where I stood, and it was often right next to them, holding their hands. Now, they still need me, but in very different ways. 


Middle school momming is living in a world of in-betweens. My girls are old enough to set up their own social events but still need me to drive them to and from. They are responsible enough to hang out at the mall by themselves, but still need me to fund their Greenlight cards. 


a mom with her two middle school aged daughters at the Pitbull concert in St. Louis, MO


I love this age because it can introduce them to really cool things in life that they’ll now appreciate. Like recently I took them to their first concert: Pitbull. But they also still love things they’ve done since toddlerhood, like apple picking and playing Memory. 


This age is great because my kids can stay home by themselves, which means I can take time for myself— get my haircut, go to dinner with friends, go to Target alone … but I didn’t expect them to get a little frightened when it’s too dark outside when I return home. 


I love the independence that my girls are gaining and how they are going off and doing their own thing all the time. But it also is a lonelier time, because now they spend more time with their friends than hanging out with me. 


It’s been interesting to watch my middle schoolers try on different personas as they figure out who they want to be. It’s also difficult not to interject or project my own ideas and expectations onto them as they do this. I can guide them and make suggestions, but ultimately I have to let them settle into themselves over time and decide for themselves who they want to be. 


a girl standing in front of her middle school locker

I also have to make decisions about social media— which ones, how much time allowed, and a whole list of rules surrounding it. And then, I have to monitor that social media presence. This part is not for the faint of heart. While my  middle schoolers’ online presence is limited and private, there are still dangers to worry about. And I’m nervously awaiting the day they get hurt by a negative comment or embarrassed by a silly post.


And, of course, with middle schoolers, there is eye-rolling, and there are constant reminders that I don’t understand them or what they’re going through. There are plenty of instances where they tell me they hate me or the decisions I make. And while I know these behaviors are normal or just a phase, they sting nonetheless. 


Despite it all, the tough learning curve, the challenging decisions, and the annoying but age-appropriate behaviors, I do love being a middle school mom. It’s wonderful and terrible, and even though I feel like we’re all just in between, I am going to savor these next couple of years in this space, because, soon enough, they’ll be driving and dating, and I am definitely not ready for that.