gone from the nest
I often wonder…what do I do now? How do I act? What do I say? What is my role in the life of my adult children?
There is a multitude of books available for young moms looking to parent babies, toddlers, adolescents, and teens. But try as I may, except for the Bible, I’ve yet to find many helpful books for the mother who desires to adapt to her role as mom to her adult children. Therefore, I have created this blog. Thanks for joining me!
You will quickly come to learn that I’m certainly no expert on this role of being an empty nest mom. But I’m diligently seeking God and studying everything I can get my hands on to ensure that I do it well.
“I honestly think it’s much harder to be a mom to my adult children than it was when they were growing up and in their teens,” I spoke these words to a dear friend one day while pouring out my broken and frustrated heart to her. I’d been struggling in my role as a mother to not only my adult children but to their spouses as well.
I’ve learned that the most difficult part of my journey as a mom has come as my children have left the nest. I’m sure many of my readers can relate (please tell me I’m not alone on this journey). Though this is not a new role for me, there have been pitfalls along the path. Somethings I think I’ve done exceedingly well, while I also admit, there are times when I’ve made huge mistakes. I want to learn. I want to grow. And, I want to connect with you, my fellow sojourners.
I’ll never forget the unimaginable joy of carrying my two children in my womb. Their entrance into my world rocked me to my core. I was finally a mom! A title that I was more than proud to wear. “You’ll always know that you are loved,” I’d promised as I’d cuddled their sweet, soft little bodies while feeding or rocking them to sleep. It was a promise I intended to keep for as long as God trusted me with their care.
LET ME INTRODUCE YOU
My daughter is a wife and a stay-at-home super mom. Her love for her children is made obvious by her creativity in how she teaches and relates to them. A true Pinterest gal, she often has projects for them to do, creates imaginative meals for them, and keeps them entertained through the endless hours of summer. She is amazingly patient, and her continual adoration and affection for her babies are pure sweetness for this Nanny to behold.
My son has not yet become a father. However, as I witness him interacting with his nieces and nephews, I know he’ll be a great dad. If the way he treats his wife is any indication of the father he’ll one day be, I know that his children will be well provided for and greatly loved. His love for his Heavenly Father has helped shape him into an awesome young man of God. Both of my children are incredible human beings. So, you may be thinking, they sound like great kids, what’s the problem?
Having come from a home where I didn’t know the love or affection of my mother, I pledged long before I was even able to conceive, that I would fiercely love my children. I never wanted them to experience the feeling of being unloved, unwanted, unaccepted, or unwelcome by the one person who was supposed to love them the most. I wanted to be their cheerleader, encourager, and protector. I loved that they needed me, confided in me and enjoyed the closeness of our relationship as much as I did. I didn’t know that many of these things which were second nature to me, would one day have to change as they became a husband, wife, mom, or dad. (Oh, did I mention that I HATE change with a purple passion?) If I had my way, I’d still be smothering my babies, all up in their business, making sure they’re eating right, and protecting them from the big, bad boogie man.
WHERE DID THE TIME GO?
When I look at them, I often wonder where did the time go (young moms – cherish every minute with your babies as that precious time flies by and soon they’ll be gone from the nest)? They’re all grown up, leading their own busy lives. However, in my heart, I’m still their mom, and they’re still my babies.
As life would have it, though my title as Mom remains the same, my role has shifted often making me feel as if I’m walking in unfamiliar territory. I’ve found that to work with God in what He desires to do in my life, as well as the lives of my children; I must come to understand how my role is to change and allow Him to transform me.
Some things are obvious: like I can’t tuck them in at night or read them a Bible story before bed, I can’t yell at them when they don’t do what I tell them to do…actually, I can’t tell them to do anything anymore; they’re adults. But there are some not so obvious things that I’ve learned my adult children don’t enjoy mom doing: calling every day to check up on them, giving my opinion without being asked for it, telling them how to train up their children, or asking about their finances, just to name a few.
The most important thing I’m learning is that I must allow them to fly. I believe that though my role continues to morph into something different than what it was when my children lived in the safety of my nest, it still has meaning and purpose. It’s an important role, designed by God for a reason. I have value to offer my adult children and years of experience as a wife, mother, and ministry leader should they desire to glean from it. But if I’m not conforming to my role properly, I run the risk of them running away from me instead of to me when they need wisdom or advice that only a mother can give.
So here is an invitation to you to follow me as I share what God has shown me (and continues to reveal to me) about my changing role as mom to my children who have gone from the nest. I’d love to connect with you, hear your stories and share some of your experiences as well (without names of course).
Leave a comment or email me, and please…share with friends that, along with us, need strength for the journey!
Learning to soar,