The hardest time to be a mom? Nope, it’s not when your kids are infants keeping you up with late-night feedings and endless diaper changes. Neither is it when they’re in full high-school rebellion mode. According to new research, being a mom during the middle school years is hands-down the hardest period, associated with the “highest levels of stress, loneliness and emptiness, and also the lowest levels of life satisfaction and fulfillment.”
So why middle school? CNN’s Kelly Wallace discusses the research and possible causes in an recently published article that highlights how those middle school years are challenging in ways that other phases aren’t. First, there are hormones ranging away in these in-betweeners, at sea between their child and future young-adult selves. Secondly, middle school years are often a time of transition for mothers as well, whether they’re contemplating a move back into the work force or are dealing with hormonal shifts of their own!
Michelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover: Improving the Way You and Your Child Experience Middle School Years, is a mother of teens herself and offers this advice to fellow parents weathering the middle school years. One of her most genius parenting hacks of all time? Read here about how to adopt the “Botox brow” (and no, it does NOT involve injections!). Rather, it’s her way of maintaining a more passive posture when facing the tempest of tween emotions, based in part by that fact that Harvard University, found that tweens read facial expressions incorrectly about fifty percent of the time.