It occurred to me this morning that I’ve had to become my own family counselor as a mama to grownups.
Mothering adults isn’t for wimps. If you are a champion mom of adults who glides through this season with ease, I’d like to know your secrets. It would be great to see a resource helpful for navigating this terrain without the negative responses of guilt, confusion, bewilderment, and even occasional anger. I think I can safely say there’s a market for your mothering prowess.
I have looked around for guidance materials on mothering adults, but thus far I haven’t found much. It seems there’s plenty out there on mothering babies, toddlers, and even teens. But adults? Not so much. Maybe it’s because everyone else is as clueless as I am.
When I have actually found relevant materials, they typically refer to damaged or toxic relationships with one’s offspring, and that doesn’t apply to our family.
I am learning that relationships don’t have to be destructive to be painful.
I’ve never fully understood the whole “leave and cleave” thing. Once in a class on marriage relationships, speaker Jimmy Evans explained that biblical “cleaving” actually does, as we might assume, mean cutting. I pondered that a bit and it made sense.
In recent years as our adult children have grown older, I have begun to more deeply comprehend the pain of that severance. I remind myself that this is the way it’s supposed to be. But it hurts.
To be clear, we have wonderful, even enviable relationships with our adult children. But as a mother to five adults, I am continually learning the ropes in this new season. And y’all, I’m a strong woman, but I’m about to buy some stock in Puffs Plus with Lotion.
I will quickly add that pain does bring growth, and for that, I am genuinely grateful. And to be fair, this season is certainly not all painful, and not even predominantly so. I think the hurt just sticks out because–if I’m completely honest–it was unexpected. I didn’t see it coming, and I guess that was rather presumptuous of me.
I have wonderful, amazing adult children whom I love with all my heart. And I am willing to admit that in my feeble efforts to mother them well, I’ve likely flubbed some of it up. One thing they can count on is that their silly, sappy mama is always working on learning and growing–even if I yelp every now and then.
I love them and I am for them, and that’s something they will never outgrow.