Column: Count to 183 and then calm down
IS IT just me or is everyone probably going to get yelled at today?
I am the mother of two teenage girls which means tears and fighting are normal at my house.
Sometimes I think I am doing everything wrong and go to bed praying I haven't damaged something precious because I'm too reactionary, too involved or too annoying.
Sometimes I remember these are the teen years and I'm not alone.
New research claims the average teenage girl fights with her mum every two days.
That's 183 fights a year, compared with 157 rows with her dad.
She has 257 spats with siblings and finds fault with her friends about 127 times a year.
On top of that, she'll slam 164 doors and boys will make her sad 123 times.
I read one article which described parenting teenage girls as being a bit like holding a grenade with the pin half out: you never know if it's going to drop and explode, or slip back in and remain calm.
I think every parent of a teenager has what I would call a Jerry Springer moment, when you've found yourself shrieking, physically restraining someone or wildly throwing the contents of a wardrobe on to the floor because, "if people want to live like pigs, they might as well do a proper job of it!”
It's not pretty but the teenager made me do it, Your Honour.
This week a girlfriend of mine had a birthday and sadly reported the absence of home-made cards and Mummy love; apparently she is no longer the whole world to her kids.
I think that might be the crux of the matter. When your kids are little, they think you are the prettiest, funniest, smartest mum in the whole wide world.
As they get older and begin to suspect this might not be the case, they feel let down and irritated.
The next phase of their development involves finding their own identity, which usually involves letting you know what they don't like about yours.
I know when the teen war is over, we'll be fine, like millions of mothers and daughters before us.
And I'm not wishing this time away. I love my funny, vicious, uncompromising, sweet, frank and snuggly teenagers, but some days I miss being the best mum in the whole wide world, too.
Caroline has been sick so this is one of her columns from 2013.