“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
Have you ever wished things didn’t have to change? That you could freeze a moment in time and keep things like they are? Yeah, some moments are worth keeping with you forever but change is going to happen. It’s bittersweet but it’s true. Those beautiful moments will pass and you’re left with the wonderful memories.
I love this Dr. Seuss quote. It reminds me that I’ll always have those memories. It also reminds me that I’ve been so fortunate to have the life experiences that I’ve had with my kids and my family.
We’ve had vacations, special events and lots of snuggles. There have been explorations and learning that lit up my kids’ eyes. We’ve had lots of birthday celebrations and countless movie nights. I’m grateful that I’ve had this time with them and these experiences. The time that I spent raising my kids is something for me to cherish as I grow older.
However, I’m not crying that the intense child-rearing phase is over. It was hard. It was emotionally painful at times and it was exhausting at others. I definitely smile when I think about those memories! I smile because I made it through this phase of their lives. I smile because I know that I did the best that I could. I also smile because I know that I can think about myself again in a way that I haven’t for a very long time.
I also smile because I’ve been blessed in so many ways when it comes to my children. I count as one of those blessings the fact that both of my children are independent and seeking their own ways in the world. They like to make their own decisions and they like to create their own paths.
Now, instead of being responsible for getting them out the door, I get to be a mentor to them. They come to me with questions and concerns seeking guidance. I listen and help them come to an answer but I try really hard not to dictate to them what they need to do.
The way I see it is they have to make the decisions. It’s their lives so they need to make the choices that will make changes in their lives. I wouldn’t want to have that responsibility over them for the rest of their lives. They are both smart and capable and able to to do these things for themselves. So, I trust them to do what they need to do.
Don’t get me wrong. I miss those days when they were young. In most ways it was easier to calm their hurts and ease their pains. Nowadays, those hurts and pains are much more complex. Even with that complexity, I let them ask for guidance instead of me dictating what they need to do.
With this shift from full-time mom to mentor, I see that my relationship has shifted with my kids. I can see that I’m still mom but that being their mom has changed.
As both myself and my kids continue to grow, I’m sure our relationships will continue to evolve. That’s okay too! I’ll look back at these memories of when they were young adults and smile that I had the chance to be there for them. I’ll smile knowing that I helped them when they needed it but that I also gave them the freedom to spread their own wings.
As a mom, your role never ends. But, that role will continue to change and grow. You can make it what you want. You can cry every day because your kids don’t need you the same way anymore. Or, you can smile at the memories and look forward to the new relationship that you’re forming with your kids.
So, enjoy your kids no matter what their ages. You’re making memories that you can look back at someday and smile that you were part of their lives.
I’m currently offering introductory sessions to help you make this transition from full-time mom to mentor. Sessions can be done online or in person. Click here to schedule your first session today.