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As a teen, I famously spent my entire junior year on punishment. I’d do something stupid (staying out later than my curfew was a big no-no), get grounded, do something else stupid after that punishment was over and get grounded again. Rinse, repeat for the entire year. (What can I say? I was young and dumb.)

While my parents and I have a great relationship now, I can tell they are rubbing their hands together mischievously in anticipation for a heavy dose of “Mommy karma.” What is that, you ask? Simply put, Mommy (or Daddy) karma is when you get a taste of your own medicine once you have kids.

I, for one, am a bit scared. I do NOT want a hard-headed, eager-to-do-whatever-the-heck-they-want -to-do teen in my house, pushing me to the limits like I’m sure I did my parents. No, ma’am. Not me.
On the other hand, from what I’ve heard, my husband was a bit of an angel. Voted “Most Likely” to do everything positive, he didn’t even have a girlfriend until college. So maybe we’ll get lucky and his mild-mannered years will mellow out my wild-child days?

Of course, I am holding out hope that “Mommy karma” will pass me by simply because it doesn’t exist. You get the kids you get and any trials and tribulations aren’t revenge from the parenting gods. A lot of people dread the teen years (where most of the angst and drama resides) and start holding their breath once their kids turn 10. But maybe that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Maybe, because we dread it so much, we over-react at the first sign of teenage rebellion? Maybe, just maybe, if we took things with an attitude of “This too shall pass” we would get through the teen years much more smoothly?

There’s always the chance that I’m wrong and that Mommy karma IS a thing. *shudder* But in that case, maybe it’s not all bad. I’ve been the rebellious teen, sitting there, trying to figure out ways to stay out later than my parents and I agreed upon. I’ve tried to sneak in late after curfew, trying to avoid the third squeaky stairs from the top in the dark, only to be greeted by parents who were still awake at 2 a.m. I’ve been caught sneaking off to my boyfriend’s house when I told my parents I would be studying with friends. (Don’t tell me I was the only one.)

I hope that experience helps me relate to my kids when they are teens, that we have the type of relationship that allows for more communication and fewer hassles. All that time spent in my room has to be good for something, right?

Were you an angel baby or a pain-in-the-you-know-what when you were growing up? Are you scared of your bad behavior coming back to haunt you?

Tara is the founder of and the author of Make It Happen: The Young Mommy Guide To Creating The Career You Crave. Follow her on Twitter or check out her blog for her insights on what it means to be a mom, wife, student, writer, and about three other labels she’s too tired to remember.

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