CSM (Can’t Stop Mothering) Anonymous

There are all kinds of self-help groups around these days, and I’m sure I qualify for more than one-but the one that I need the most help with is the one to help stop over-mothering.

One of the hardest parts of getting older, for me, has been adapting to the changing roles that a mom plays in the life of her children. It doesn’t come easy to go from having a starring role in your kid’s lives to being a bit player. There are no awards given for Best Mom in a Supportive Role.

While it is hard to change thinking, I am determined to get a nomination for this award, from the only ones who matter-my boys. Only one of my 3 boys is married at this point. One has a serious girlfriend and the other is single and lives 3000 miles away. Married or single, they are all full grown men, totally self sufficient (meaning I no longer do their laundry) and do not “need” their mama.

Despite all my cognitive awareness of their separateness from me–they are forever my babies (even the one who is 6’5”!)…. I might need occasional reminding of that fact. Sometimes from them. Many times from my hub. Even a few admonishments from others. Ouch.

So I do what other Icantstopmothering people do: I keep looking for people I can mother.

I’ll take anyone-my nieces and nephews, college kids living away from home, young adults who want a home cooked meal, young families where that mama just needs a break, single parents who are weathering a new divorce. We had a 15 year old Native American boy who lived with us for over a year and that was good for both of us. He needed a momma and I was honored to be his for a while.

I am always on the lookout (prowl) for those who need a mother: At church or in Target. I have a no discrimination policy. Some of my favorite people to mother I have found in the strangest of places. Some have come to me as HO’s (hang ons) of other friends. Others I have downright stolen.


And it baffles me why I am this way—I have a great life outside being a mom. I have an amazing husband and we LOVE empty nesting (even though our nest is rarely empty). And I gotta admit—I kinda LOVE that! I am always making soup for the freezer and buying extra groceries..just in case, you might never know who will show. I keep clean sheets on the beds, just in case, someone needs to stay.

Just in case. Mother words. “Don’t forget to______, just in case.”

Pathetic you say? For crying out loud- move on and embrace a new stage of life! I am trying, really. And on most days I do a pretty good job of letting go…

It’s just that sometimes, I look back, in my minds eye and wonder where the days went. The days of active mothering when little boys had scrapes and cuts and needed kisses for boo boos, and every trip outside brought back a rock or feather as a gift for me. Precious memories of a bygone time.

All the years of sitting on the sidelines cheering at lacrosse games are helping me now to remember how I need to be in their lives.

Sitting on the sidelines cheering them on. Yes, I’m sure that’s best.

I’m just not a “sidelines” kinda girl….yet. So, moms of America, be good to your kids-I just might try to mother yours!

And while there is not an award for Best Mom in a Supportive Role-there should be.


This entry was posted in Family, Midlife Maze, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to CSM (Can’t Stop Mothering) Anonymous

  1. Nancy Wirth says:

    Amen sister. What about “Cheerleader Mom of the Year”?

  2. Debi says:

    I say once a mom always a mom…especially if you’re good at like you are! God has blessed you with a wonderful spirit of nurturing and being there for those in need…and you have run with it!

    Empty nesting is great…we did it for a little while…LOL! It gives you a chance to reconnect with your wonderful hubby and remember why you fell in love with him to begin with and to fall more deeply in love with him all over again….and the reason you became a mom to begin with!!

    Don’t forget….those boys will be having babies of their own and there will always be more boo boo’s in the future for you to kiss! So, take this time to rekindle the love you started this whole journey with!

  3. Carol says:

    It takes a village to raise a child. Our village needs you!

  4. Laura Beth says:

    I have someone for you to nurture… Stephanie, this is all such wonderful stuff-write on!

  5. Connie says:

    I totally can relate Stephanie! The days were sometimes long , but the years went by so fast ! With only one of my four still home and two married- one across the country and one on another continent , I often reflect on the very same things- as well as how to be a good mother-in-law! I too try to always be prepared – just in case! God has been teaching me that I need to release the need to know, and the need to control ,and the need to be significantly needed and important . Ouch! My skin needs to be a bit thicker as they navigate their way into new territory as well! I have never bitten my tongue so much 🙂 It is so different from how we have mothered for most of our adult lives thus far! We are still vitally important to our grown kids, but the baton , once passed , continues to move on. I found that I had to grieve the end of this chapter of my life ( more than once) in order to fully embrace my new supportive , cheerleader role. I have learned to be a prayer warrior , much like Aaron and Hur supported Moses. When their support was weak, everyone suffered! By God’s grace, we can be content to be ” the wind beneath their wings”. I cherish the times now when I am asked what I think or what I would do or my kids ask me to pray over the phone with them! I even get excited when they ask me to help them paint! God has clearly shown me that He’s got this! But don’t short- change the world ! Spread your excellent mothering around! I can’t wait for the grand- mothering to begin, hopefully in the not too distant future !
    Ps I did get a puppy 🙂

  6. heidi says:

    You can mother me any time! P.S. I want to be just like you when I grow up. I am so glad you are writing this so I can learn how 😉

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