The words below are not my own, but how I feel and I am stealing bits and parts of a comment written on another favorite blog of mine.....Mary Ostyn. I have changed a few sentences here and there, but I really like how she says what she says.
-----"Seems like every stage of parenthood is about growing and stretching and adapting. When you’ve got babies, a lot is physical. Picking up, carrying, doing everything for this little one whose needs don’t know day or night. It is a precious and wonderful time, but oh, so tiring.
In the middle years there’s much teaching and learning, accompanied inevitably by challenging behavior, with the need for loving, creative and consistent consequences. During that phase of kids’ lives, it seems like I’m always thinking, scheming better ways to encourage kindness, right behavior and wise habits.
But now, with two of my children officially adults, I’m having to learn a new, less active style of parenting. It’s less and less my job to be a problem-solver. Instead I’m called upon to sit back, wait, watch, pray, hope. To be available to give advice, but to wait til I am asked to give it. (Although I have given advice when not asked). Oh, this is hard for me! Crazy-hard. Harder than getting up six times a night with a teeny one. Harder than teaching a 6 year old to read. Harder than dealing with an ornery 13-year-old. Harder even than riding with a brand new driver. I’m a doer, you see. A person who makes things happen. This mothering transformation reminds me of a line from the movie Aladdin: “Phenomenal cosmic power. Itty bitty living space.” The line refers to the genie in the lamp, of course. Stay with me for a second.
As a mom of younger kids I’m used to occupying a large space in my kids’ lives. With grown kids I’m realizing the need to stuff myself back in the lamp, to give my kids space to live life on their own, to wait til they call on me for help. Oh, there are times when I live at a loving, comfortable distance. Other times I successfully fake composure by biting my tongue hard and smiling a lot. But other times I just plain fail. I’m all over decisions that should be theirs, in their business, sure I’ve got a better plan of action. Yeah, maybe I have reasons to want to step in.
Freedom to choose also means freedom to make mistakes, after all. And sometimes I can see them coming. But, hello!? Who doesn’t make mistakes? Mistakes are a part of life. So lately I’ve found myself in this herky-lerky uncomfortable place, acknowledging the normalcy – the necessity — of my shrinking role in their lives, but faltering at times in the execution of that new role."
In my own words.....parenting of older children is so different. It is after all what we are supposed to do.....to raise them, guide them, teach them, love and nuture them.....so that they are ready to be indepedent and go out on their own. I wonder if Heavenly Father feels this way when he sends us to earth?