Not A New Mom...Just In A New Mom Phase
I am not a new mom, but I am in a new mom phase.
My very grown children, some of whom are married and expecting a baby of their own, are still thought of as ‘my kids’. When I say the words ‘my kids’, I don’t mean that I am stuck in an arrested memory of them being little ones needing my help with everything. No, I mean my kids as in I raised these people who are now adults, who will now be raising a family of their own, and I am not sure what my role is anymore. I am not even sure what to call them anymore.
I am certain I am not alone in this quest to figuring out this ‘now what’ in parenting. But it feels very personal just to me. I know how I used to parent when everyone needed my help, my advice, my direction. Now. Well now I find I don’t want to meddle (too much), overstep my bounds, or even suggest something that isn’t from sound judgement (at least in my head). Because I really want 'my kids' to know I am still here. I am still wanting to be a very big part of their life. And I don’t want to jinx it by saying or doing something stupid!
When raising children we give it our all. There are many late nights and many early mornings. We run ourselves ragged trying to get it all done…and for me I did it because I wanted to. I really wanted to make their Halloween costumes. I really wanted to pack their lunches with tiny little notes.
Or practice spelling and math even if I made a fuss it was too late or they should have started earlier. In short, I loved being their mom. I loved watching them create friendships, explore the world and share their secrets and discoveries. Now I find I hope and pray I will be privy still to some of their secrets and discovery…even if I am not the first person they tell. Because now I am getting familiar with my role. It is the one where I wait for information to be shared and secrets revealed. I tread lightly so as not to overstep, and I open the door to conversations by leaving the door open. And I still love being their mom.
So, as we look for ways to capture the true essence of being a mom, I offer this: Being a mom changes with every change our kids experience. Nothing we used to do applies except to love. To love them for who they are, for the joys they experience, the losses and the successes. Maybe love is the string that ties this all together. Maybe if we simply continue to be vulnerable and accepting to the place and space love brings us with our kids, then we will know what to do and how to do it. There will be no worries. No unanswered questions…except for one: What the heck do I call ‘my kids’?