Dear Young Mother,
You are in a beautiful time of life. There are babies to love, toddlers to run after, and kids to run around. Life is busy with diapers, colds, doctor visits, laundry, dinner, and just keeping up. It’s crazy, it’s fun, it’s tiring, and it’s a very short time in your life.
I remember looking at each of my children for the first time. When we were finally alone for our first night together at the hospital I would spend hours staring at them. I wanted to remember their sweet little faces forever. I wanted to cherish the moment when they were completely dependent upon me.
Once we got home however everything changed. Life kicked into full gear and before I knew it we were celebrating their first birthday, second, and then before we knew it they were off to school. We had time. It was only kindergarten.
Those twelve years of school are going to go by very fast. Faster then you will ever imagine. In a flicker of a moment they will graduate high school, and be off to live on their own. When they do you will be back to where you were, well sort of. They will text, call and share with you their problems, and when they do you will have no control over their lives.
As we mature and grow with our children let’s consider how we can maintain our identity as an adult. If we do this then when empty nest comes the transition won’t be as hard. We will have our own hobbies, friends, and life outside of raising children.
A big part of our lives is spent raising children. When they leave our relationship with them changes, but our parenting doesn’t end their. If you have lived through your 20’s you know how difficult of a time that can be. Now imagine what it will be like watching your adult child live through that stage of life. You won’t be able to send them to time out when they disrespect you, or scold them when they do wrong. You will be limited to providing support, and praying for them.
God has made us to love and serve Him. Hopefully our relationship with Him is growing as we raise our children. There may be ministries you can be involved in when your kids are little, and when they leave you can devote more time to those ministries. God has a purpose for your life that includes raising children, and that is apart from it.
My youngest child will graduate high school in two years. He is the youngest of four. Being a parent of adult children is the hardest thing I have ever done. Just when I thought the easy part of parenting was here, it has become increasingly difficult.
I also face mid-life. A time where I am confused about my future, career, and direction for my personal life. Who am I? How do I live without the kids? I am on a journey of becoming me, and you are on a journey of becoming you.
Tip: If your kids are small, ensure that you are developing yourself as a person. Ensure that you do things you like to do, that you develop your relationship with your spouse, with God, and with friends that are not associated with your children.
This will help you when empty nest and mid-life arrive. You will be prepared to become you.