Yes, yes, I know Mother’s Day is over. But being a Mom is everyday. Since the close of our mom day, I’ve been contemplating the joys and absolute ruckus that surrounds motherhood. This was my first Mother’s Day as an “empty nest” mom. Truth be told, I don’t much like having an empty nest.
Can anyone relate?
I love this stage with my husband, and I love my life, but there are days where I passionately miss my children. There are days where I passionately miss the drives to school and family dinners and the early morning wake ups due to yelling and banging on the bathroom door…okay, maybe not that.
Now, I’m in the stage of life where I get to watch my children raise their children. It’s beautiful beyond words in the English language. And all the grandmothers say, Amen!
As I watch my children care, nurture, and love—with their whole being—their own children, it occurred to me that the job of a parent is to love and train securing that our children will move away from us. I realized recently I don’t like this. I don’t like this one bit. You love your children with your whole heart, and then, they love their own children with their whole heart. You go from being the most important person in your child’s life, to a welcome addition to your child’s life. The day your child is born they rely on you for everything. As they grow older and more self-reliant they begin the process of pushing you away. I realized I don’t like getting pushed away. Necessary, yes, but I don’t have to like it.
If our children don’t push us away we have an even bigger problem on our hands. An adult-size problem and one that can’t be put on a timeout. We all know people who are still dependent on Mom and Dad, and it’s not a pretty sight.
As I watch my daughter and daughter-in-law lovingly and vigilantly caring for their little boys, I can’t help but think about the day these babies will be standing at the wedding altar watching the women of their dreams walk down the aisle. That’s when a mom has to let go all the way. We have to let go to secure the wellbeing of our child’s future life with the most important person in their life. Our kids go from being totally dependent, to not needing us at all. If that sounds harsh, let me ask you: What grown man is respected and successful who can’t forge his way into the world because he’s held back my Mom? We raise them to be men of honor and character and men of valor. When king David killed Goliath he was not holding his mommy’s hand.
Here’s where my problem comes in: as I watch my grandsons, I still see my own boys–ahem, men. To me, I still see and adore my children much like my daughter and daughter-in-law love and adore and care for their babies.
The love a mother feels doesn’t change because their children are grown. A mother’s heart remains endeared to the child she’s raised in a way that wants to protect, defend, rescue. But to protect, defend, or rescue a grown man or woman is to hinder their growth as adults. And it could quite possibly hinder God’s working in their lives. And so, a mother needs to find the balance in loving and not hurting with “over-loving.” Have I found this balance? I’m working on it. How about you? Have you found the balance between loving and hurting your loved ones? It’s like walking a tight rope slathered in Vaseline.
This world is hard—and sometimes cold and ruthless—with unyielding pain along the way. To watch as our child forges their way and navigates difficult seasons while we teeter on the Vaseline laden rope is one slippery circus act.
I love being a mom…did I mention I love being a mom?
I invite you to join me for a weekend away for daughters and mothers, of all ages. I have the honor of being the speaker for this fun mountaintop weekend experience. Go to AngelesCrest.com for this Mother and Daughter retreat.
Hope to see you there!