Hanna // 2022

Mother to Ashton and dog mom to Abel.

Hanna, age 28, is a Police Officer for the city of Toledo, having been on the department going on five years while obtaining her bachelors and currently her Masters degree in Homeland Security. She and her son have a lot of hobbies that they do together, such as working out and traveling when they have time.

What would you say the hardest part about mothering a tween is? In what ways have you seen yourself grow as a mother over the years?

Being a mother to a tween is both rewarding and challenging. It’s actually more defeating than most people would think. I love my son with all my heart, but some days he tests the waters a bit. It's cute when your child learns their first word and then begin to form sentences and formed thoughts. It’s really cool to see the the growth. Then they hit this little pocket in their age where their thoughts are too well thought out. That's when you often get the back talk, the lies and self doubt. You start to wonder what you did for them to act or react to you in such a manner. Then there are times where you see the seed you have sown in them and feel that you aren’t doing too bad.

It took me awhile to realize that children have so many things going on in their bodies around this time. I told myself to be patient and kind, not just to my son but to myself as well. There were many nights I cried and asked myself and God what to do next. The words I kept hearing were "just hold on and never stop teaching him". I want my son to live a full and abundant life. He is still at the age to where even though he rebels, he does want to listen and not disappoint. We are able to reflect on that and our relationship has grown. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than what it was.

They have so much that they are packing on and they watch us and they watch the things that stresses us and gets us upset. I try my best to stay on top of his mental health, as well as his spiritual and physical, because it's so important to me. I’m fortunate to have an amazing co-partner. Our schedule helps regulate things, especially because he is the only child and the eldest grand child. Being the only child can sometimes cause hardship for him and we have to reground him. There are just a lot of life lessons to teach at this age, and I feel as if it’s a perfect time before he hits those hard teen years.