Stupid Mama Syndrome

Parenting Teens: Stupid Mama Syndrome

Published February 2011

I should have expected it. I remember my own mother going through it when she was parenting teens. She was about my age . . . . No, she was even younger than I am . . . of course, she started having children at a younger age than I did. No matter, I still thought I could delay it a little longer. But I might as well own up to it. I am after all, parenting teens (three of them at that) and the symptoms are undeniable.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Yep. Stupid Mama Syndrome (SMS).

My mother, bless her heart, was plum pathetic when I was a teenager. My sister, born two years before I was, reported that the SMS came on our mom a couple of years before I turned 13. But to be honest, I just didn’t see it. I was about 15 when she was at her worst.

Back when my mama was parenting teens, I had to explain everything to her. Like when I finally got my driver’s permit (I had to wait until I was 15—so not fair). As long as my mama went along in the passenger seat, I could take the wheel. Listen, that poor woman had SMS so bad, she could not begin to teach me how to drive. I had to correct her over and over again. (If it hadn’t been so aggravating, it would have been downright sad.) Frankly, it’s a good thing I could drive then, because with her so sick with SMS, I would’ve been afraid for her to get out in traffic.

Mother suffered with SMS up until I went off to college when she made an almost miraculous recovery; though, come to think of it, my younger brother did report SMS flair-ups back at home. She must have kept her symptoms pretty well under control when she was around me, though, because after I left home, she started making a lot more sense.

Today, at this stage of her life, Mother has more than beaten her SMS: she’s positively thriving. Even my teenagers can’t see any evidence that she once suffered from such a grave case of Stupid Mama Syndrome.

This must be encouraging for them. I know it is for me.

Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight? Job 18:3 NRSV

About the Author Aileen Lawrimore

Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 28 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.

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12 comments
Jeff Duckworth says February 18, 2011

Great post! I just hope that there is no such thing as SDS.

Reply
    Aileen Lawrimore says February 18, 2011

    Well, Jeff, I can't speak to SDS, but I've friends who testify to its existence. My brother suggests our own Dad had it, but it does seem mothers are more prone than fathers. Thanks for reading . . . 🙂

    Reply
Rebecca Wooten says February 18, 2011

You have nailed it! I know NOTHINGK! (said in my best Hogan's Heroes voice) but if you have any questions, please call my children. They know everything!

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Wanda McMillan says February 18, 2011

I understand this so well,and have live long enough to experience it(my poor mother). I get it sometimes but the meds I take for it is IJLS (I Just Look Stupid). I it does work after a few doses. Enjoyed reading... thanks

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Donna Shook says February 18, 2011

I have early-onset SMS, Hunter sometimes looks at me like I have lost all my mental marbles.

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Jill Webster says February 19, 2011

What a relief to know there are others who suffer with this troubling condition and that there is hope for healing! I believe that with much prayer and faith I will be delivered in about 5-6 years. Wow, that's a little scary! I don't know if I will be ready to "make my own decisions"!!!

Reply
    Aileen Lawrimore says February 19, 2011

    Don't worry. We'll both be hitting the healing stage the same year, so maybe, just maybe, we can help each other through!

    Reply
Traci Willis says February 21, 2011

Love it! At least we don't have to suffer alone; we can go through it together. 🙂

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Anne Raybon says August 11, 2012

Hah--Will and I got into one day over the location on G on a bass clef--I was WRONG WRONG WRONG! If you know me, you know I know where the notes are!

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Jill Webster says March 17, 2016

This is really funny, so witty, and so true. I do not remember having read this back in 2011 so I certainly needed to read it now.

I understand from both my son and daughter that I still have the syndrome and according to my daughter, the only one who can cure this for me is my mother who also suffered with this terrible disease years ago. I was told just days ago that I needed to go live with her this summer while taking four college classes because she is the only one to whom I would listen when I developed crazy lady disorder.

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