My mom died when I was 30 years old. That was 33 years ago, and I have missed her every day of those years. I still had a lot to learn from my mother, not the least of which was how to be a mother to grownup children!
At 30 years of age, my mom was the first person I called when I needed advice or help or comforting or just to get the feeling that my world was safe and ok. In those days, calling mom was not as easy as it is now—no cell phones, just long distance! So long, comforting chats weren’t possible and advice was given quickly and clearly, lol.
We have four children—two boys and two girls. Actually, two men and two women since they are all older than 30 these days and closing in on 40 rapidly. I am struggling with how to “mother” these adults with their own, busy lives. They are still my babies, whom I carried for 9 months each. I still love them so much and would love nothing better than to make their lives perfect and easy for them.
I’m shaking my head here, because life is not easy for anyone and no matter how hard I wish or pray for it, our children will have to learn their own lessons. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am an intrusive mother/mother-in-law to them all. I just wish I could be of more help, because right now:
- Three of our children have or are in the process of getting a divorce. I don’t wish them to stay in a bad marriage, but sometimes I wish I could hold them and make the hurt go away.
- Three of our seven grandchildren are moving away with their mother to another state. I can’t express how much I am grieving this, for Rory and me and for our son.
- One of our daughters is valiantly fighting to find her strength and direction while separating from her husband. I am so proud of her, but wish she didn’t have to go through this.
- Our other daughter is excelling in her career and as a mom, but using all her energy to do it. While I am so glad she has a wonderful best friend, I miss being her confidant and go-to person.
- Our other son is engaged to a wonderful Filipino woman with an adorable daughter and soon we will be fitting them into our extended family. I hope I can be her friend and help her learn how to be an American!
As a mom, I am naturally most close to our daughters, because they talk to me more. Both of our sons are strong men who “do it themselves” (as they have since they were 2!). Lately, I have begun to understand that my place is no longer as confidant, advisor and friend to them. Rather, I am now the Nana who will spoil their children, answer late night calls about sick children and listen (and possibly advise) to problems with those children. I am no longer welcome into their personal lives as younger women. I’m not sure I am even welcome to be around their friends!
I guess this is all a natural progression of life. It is hard for me to be objective about this, because I would so welcome one more day or even one more hour with my mom. I never reached that point with her because she was sick, I had babies, I needed her so much—I still do. She was the master at being who she was supposed to be. I know she would have done this right. Because she was perfection as a mother, absolutely perfection.
So, now that I have got myself crying over my mom again, please leave comments about how you as a boomer are handling your relationship with your grown children. I could use some advice here!
Feeling sensitive in my amazing grace-filled life.