You Never Stop Being a Parent
No matter how old my children are, I will always be their mom
My three children are all adults. They are functional, independent people who lead busy and productive lives.
And, I am proud of each and every one of them.
They are, however, still “under 30”, and, correspondingly, they are sometimes TOO fiercely independent
One of my daughters has recently encountered exceptional burdens in her life. Because I’m her mom, I love her, and I care deeply. I am deeply pained to witness the loads she is carrying by herself. But, she shrugs off my inquiries, and gestures of help, because it’s “her business”.
I have tried to explain that offers from loved ones to lend support, are not made because we think she’s incapable of handling things herself; on the contrary, she’s an exceptionally capable person. It’s just that, because she is carrying such a large load, those of us who care, would like to do whatever we can to lighten that load a bit – so that she is not carrying so much weight alone.
I remember back, to when I was the same age. I could handle it all, too – or, at least, I thought I could.
As I have grown older, I have learned that, at times, we all need a shoulder to lean on. Whereas I once rebuffed offers of help from my own parents, I now consult them regularly – even if it’s only to use them as a sounding board, so that I can more effectively sort through my own thoughts and feelings.
I have come to discover, that although I am a capable, intelligent and fiercely independent person, I am also lucky enough to be part of a family - and to have family members (both my parents and children) who love me, who care – and who CAN really help lesson the weight of my burdens, when life deals some bad cards.
I recently heard a line in a TV show: “Don’t be too proud to ask for help”. It’s good advice for all of us. I have also come to realize that sometimes it takes more strength, and is a greater sign of functional independence, to recognize the need for, and to ask for, assistance.
When my children were teenagers, they knew everything. With age, comes the wisdom that nobody knows everything – there is always something new to learn.
Ironically, I ask my adult children for advice, talk to them for therapy, and, yes, even ask them for help when I need it. I depend on them to be there, when I need them.
Now, I can’t wait, until my children realize that letting their mom lend help and support at times, is not a sign of weakness – but, rather a further sign of growing wisdom and maturity - and "practical" independence.
My shoulder is ready to lean on, and my heart is always open with love.
It (hopefully) all comes full circle.