Posts Tagged ‘#beingmom’

I read a blog the other day about mothering in the middle, when one feels a bit like a taxi driver, fast food cook supply manager, academic assistant, nutritionist, administrative assistant and cheerleader. I found myself reminiscing through that non-stop stage.

It happened to be on a day I was utterly bored.

You see, I am at the mothering young adults stage, the hands-off mothering stage.

The movement from mom in the middle to mom of young adults is similar to a hairpin turn driving down a steep mountainside … you’re moving at speeds you didn’t know possible, then, all of a sudden, you make a sharp turn facing the opposite direction … and the sun is obscuring your view, making it hard to see where you are going.

Our kids are all finished with high school and in varying levels of study and work. Two of our three are still living at home, one in another community. To be honest, I vacillate between wanting them to all be out and independent and wanting them all under one roof (mine).

This is the stage of hands-off mothering … unless they need me … RIGHT NOW! I am talking drop everything and help them right now.

This is where, I guess, boundaries should be developing … but I so need to be needed, and really, no one needs me as much as I desire to be needed anymore. So, I am struggling to draw those boundaries … wanting to be available if someone might have need of me (the struggle is real).

Then there is the I am gonna sever my tongue, from biting it so frequently part of this hands-off mothering stage. They need to be making their own decisions about their faith, their schooling, their work, their income and relationships … I just SO want to offer my opinions … all of the time.

As I was writing this post, hubby let me know what time one of our kids got in last ‘night’ (aka this morning) … gotta say, I really didn’t want to know … that ostrich with it’s head in the sand? I am getting to know him (or is it her) quite well.

I am learning that they need to make mistakes … their own. Live with their own consequences. It was a freedom I was graciously offered by own parents and I believe that I need to regift this freedom to them.

Then there are the heartbreaks … they are so real, so lasting at this young adult stage (though many can come to them earlier). Their relationship struggles, loneliness, uncertainty in their abilities, in their future, their jobs. Life for a young adult is not what it was thirty years ago, when I was twenty. There is little in society today, for a twenty-something that is typical … other than nightlife. And if they are not heartbroken for what is (or is not) going on in their own lives, they live vicariously through the hurts of their friends.

These heartbreaks ripple into my own heart … stories that include suicide, health struggles, drug addiction, sexual assault, homelessness and single parenting get processed with mom on SOS … and I have no answers when I am invited into these conversations … but I pray … how I pray.

At this stage, their friends are not necessarily ones that I know, have met, have made cookies with and carpooled to various events. Their friends are often faceless names that remind me that their life is their own.

Then there is the attempt to get everyone together for one meal … Oh my lanta! I think world peace might be easier to attain!

But …

They are learning, they are seeking, they are even thriving. They do good work, love deeply, seek justice, care for each other …

and they ask me to pray.

When they or their friend is in a tough place, they still ask me to pray.

And if that is the common thread of their need of me, at this hands-off mothering stage … then I will pray.

There is a video that I would return to (over and over) in those mom in the middle years, called The Invisible Woman (below). I realized, the other day, that it still has something to offer me at this hands-off stage of mothering:

“At times my invisibility has felt like an infliction to me,
but it is not a disease that is erasing my life.
It is the cure for the disease of self-centeredness.
It is the antidote to my own pride.
It’s okay that they don’t see,
we don’t work for them,
we work for Him.
We sacrifice for Him.
They will never see,
not if we do it right,
if we do it well.
Lets pray that our work will stand as a monument to an even greater God.”
Nicole Johnson


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Dear momma heart,

I have been seeing you … everywhere.

In a world that does not see you, does not see your efforts, your struggles, your sacrifices, triumphs, joys and heartaches, I have been seeing you.

You are in that woman with littles holding on, hanging on, squirming out of control. Or that woman who just dealt with a tummy virus that’s run rampant of your household, creating piles of laundry, and little sleep.

You are in that woman who is waiting, waiting for life to begin, waiting for life to be gifted to her. She is waiting to know, to understand the scientific and spiritual reasons why her body, designed to give life, does not.

You are in that woman who is always striving to do it right, to not miss an event, a function a stage. You are in that woman who is always in motion, yet feels like they are never making a difference … in the cleaning, the homework, the job, the marriage. You feel you have so many balls in the air, if one is dropped all are in peril.

You are in that woman who doesn’t know what went wrong. That sweet babe you held, was it not yesterday? Who have they become, and how did you become their greatest enemy? You are to spend time with them, yet you ache spending time with them.

You are in that woman in transition, from queen of the castle to joker in the basement.  You have gone from feeling constantly wanted and needed by everyone in your house, to invisible and forgotten. The only dividends that your investment is paying is in lines on your face and regular appointments for foils.

You are in that woman watching, watching your children explore their lives, mostly from the sidelines. You celebrate their victories and mourn their disappointments, their mistakes … no longer able to do more than offer cheers or a hug. You have gone from all hands on deck to hand folded in prayer.

You are in that woman who wonders what she did wrong. Her children are floundering, or won’t even leave the nest. She feels unable to move them on to mature independence, forgetting that it is sometimes, most times, a process … a slow, learn-from-your-mistakes process.

You are in the smile of joy and pride as you take on the a greatly needed, greatly loved role as Gramma, Nana, Oma … You are needed again … every weekend. You inhale the moments, you struggle for balance as work and snuggles compete.

You are in the far-off eyes of the woman in care, the woman waiting. Waiting for a call, a visit. You have your memories … your life spilled out to give life to your own. You would do it all again, but clean less, jump in the puddles with them, laugh more.

“I’d rather be a mother than anyone on earth
Bringing up a child or two of unpretentious birth…
I’d rather tuck a little child all safe and sound in bed
than twine a chain of diamonds about my [carefree] head.
I’d rather wash a smudgy face with round, bright, baby eyes
Than paint the pageantry of fame or walk among the wise.”
— Meredith Gray



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Monday night, as the lights dimmed in the gymnasium-turned-theater, I prayed again, for the millionth time,

“please let this be a positive experience for him.”

And I opened my eyes to the spotlight on my son.


When the night was over …

when we arrived home, all smiling from ear to ear …

when hydration and satiation were achieved …

when he was sleeping in his bed …

I thought of how this,

this stage experience for our son,

was a microcosm for mothering, for parenting.

When our son got a one line part in the play we were delighted for him, and we shared in his excitement.

  • Each and every success our children have we feel in our parental, parallel universe.

His commitment was great! Attending every practice without a reminder from me.

  • When our kids want something, really want it, they will do what needs to be done.

When our son was offered a larger part, we felt the mixed emotions of sharing in his excitement as well as fear for the expectations that would be upon him.

  • From jobs, to college, to travel, to marriage … all great opportunities for our kids, and all come with greater expectations.

When I offered to help with lines, I was told it was not needed, that all was “fine” (the new, nasty four-letter ‘f’ word in our house).

  • Sometimes our kids do not want, do not need our help … even when we ‘need’ to help.

That night, that first presentation night, my heart was pounding, as though I was the one waiting in the wings …

And that is the reality of parenting …

With each act of giving them control of their choices, their actions, their successes and failures …

Our mother-hearts are still tied by an invisible umbilical cord.

And, as they emerge from the wings onto the stage of life, our hearts walk with them …

silently whispering into their hearts

“you can do it”

while lifting them up to God in prayer, that His grace and protection might be on them.

And, like in the play our son was performing, The Outsiders, don’t we all have

Great Expectations that they would simply,

Stay Golden …


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