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.