As a mother you reach a challenging point when you decide that you can no longer be your child's safety net. Ryan is 22 and the beginning of April he moved out with to live with a friend. Initially he planned this for the month of April while we had the house on the market, but then he thought he might like to live with his friend Mike until the end of the summer. This had to be Godís timing because we were so busy putting the house on the market, that he sort of slipped away. I'm an oddball because I like having my kids living at home. I was able to adjust to this because Ryanís clean and tidy level of acceptability is a far cry from mine and now that the house had to be visitor ready every day I was ok with it. So my son moved out and I realized that I worried less. Perhaps it was because I didnít have to see him oversleep and get up obviously late for work, I am not sure but it was a bit of a relief. Not to mention the fact that I didnít have to fight his sloppiness. Finally it didn't seem so final because Ryan was moving out until the end of the summer, at least that's the plan now.
If I were to analyze my parenting I would say that I didnít allow my children to fail and face the consequences enough. This was naively motivated by love and it wasnít until later in life that I realized it was not a good thing for my kids. It didnít help my kids grow and it loaded a huge burden on me. An impossible burden, because there is a limit, I could never negate poor adult choices. No mother wants to see their kid suffer but the reality is if they make certain wrong choices that is what will happen. Which in a roundabout way brings me to where I am today, accepting that they are adults making adult decisions with adult repercussions. Itís hard because you donít want them to be hurt but sometimes we learn best from our mistakes and consequences. Your children become adults and their choices determine their success. This is a hard truth to swallow when they make a bad choice because no matter how hard you try or how much you love, they make their own choices. On the other hand it is also their success when they make positive choices and accomplish goals that they have set for themselves. So do you let go? Many times parents will joke to me that they are in it until the kid turns 18, but thatís not true. Itís for life, you never let go, you always love them and continue to be connected, concerned and caring, but ultimately what you let go of is guilt. The choices they make are not the choices you made or willed for them and if you tried your best as a parent and loved fully, then what more could you do? Sure we all could have had better parenting skills but ultimately we let go of the guilt, because after all itís their life and their choices.
ďDo not confine your children to
your own learning, for they were born in another time.Ē Ė Chinese Proverb