If you are the parent of college age kids you will relate. If your kiddos are little, well...they grow up!
My kids have become young adults. Our third child of four recently graduated from college and yet to me he’s still "my boy.” OK, he’s 6’4” and has a B.A. in Theology, and he’s 22; but he’s still my boy! Visits home require washing dirty clothes, making cookies and tacos, and picking up a growler of the man-cub’s favorite craft beer. (I was a bit concerned when a flyer from his trip to Europe LAST SUMMER fell out of the pocket of a pair of shorts I washed...let's pretend he really hadn't worn them since then.)
Being a Mom of kids in their twenties is
hard stressful different. Maybe it’s not so much the physical exhaustion of non-stop action and interrupted sleep, but it’s emotionally tiring. Here are a few ways that mothering changes, yet stays the same...
You never stop hoping that your kids are safe. We Mamas just want to protect our offspring. I appreciate knowing that my children have arrived at their destination when they're traveling. This past weekend I had the recent graduate driving to two Oregon cities for a concert and a friend's wedding...my oldest son going from Chicago to Indianapolis for the 500 race, and a daughter driving from Nashville to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit a friend. Yep, they are kids-on-the-go and I was relieved to receive the “I arrived text or phone call.” I chose to believe the saying that "no news is good news"~for the kids who were too busy to touch base with their Mama.
Play dates happen. Years ago I was the Kool-aide mom who hosted slumber parties and had the sport court. Then my kids had friends with boats and trampolines that were way cooler than what our house could offer so they didn't always spend time at our place. Thankfully that changed as they left home for college. I’ve been fortunate to be able to open whatever home I’ve resided in to our kid's out of town friends. It is not labor-intensive like when you have a kindergarten classmate over. We’ve supplied the air mattress, hot tub, meals, conversation or games, breakfast with coffee, and Wi Fi. We LOVE having our kids invite friends for a night (or Thanksgiving, or winter break, or a weekend.) It is really fun to get to know who your kids spend their time with.
Daddy-son time is fun... As I drove home from work and approached our house I was greeted by a wonderful sight. My Man and my boy throwing Frisbee with our Sydney hanging out with them in the street. The biggest change was our current puppy isn’t obsessed with Frisbees so she wasn’t chasing them. Dads talk best with their kids when they’re doing something. Throwing a baseball or Frisbee, shooting hoops, playing a round of golf, sitting in the hot tub; all those activities are a safe time to engage in conversation with their kids. As I write this my man and boy are at the movie theater, enjoying the new X Men movie, popcorn and each other's company. Hang out together and conversation will follow.
Kids grow older, but family time needs to remain a priority. We laugh, we talk about future plans, we reminisce about fun memories, we listen to all the new things that have been happening and we challenge each other to follow God’s calling on our lives. I am grateful for kids who enjoy coming home and spending time with their Daddy and I and their siblings. In two weeks at least 5 of the 7 in our immediate family are heading to Minnesota for a family Reunion on my husband's side. Intentional time together is priceless.
Like I said, parenting changes as they grow. My former mothering questions used to be along the lines of; Will she ever sleep through the night? Will he be potty trained by the time preschool starts in the fall? The answers were yes and yes.
Is my recent graduate really supposed to go on a mission trip to Myanmar at the end of June? That is still being determined. Will my youngest figure out where and who she’s living with since deciding she’s returning to Whitworth in September? (Remember, I have four kids so those two examples are just a snippet of the things I’m praying about right now...)
I have to trust that my kid’s current “unknowns” will also be answered when the time is right. As I was looking up the subject of parenting adult children, I came across a wise quote on a Focus on the Family article.
"Your parenting in the flesh is over," It's time to parent him in the Spirit. Pray for your son and trust God to do what you cannot do — and He will."
This mothering thing changes as our children grow. Diaper changes and carpooling? Not anymore... Praying for my children? Yep. All the time...
How are you adjusting to this mothering thing as your children grow?
In His Grip, Jane