“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don’t matter and those that matter, don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss.
I cannot figure out what to call this age and stage that I find myself in, but because of my work, I am not a fan of labels anyway.
For more than 22 years, I have first and foremost defined myself as a mom, or more aptly Kyle and Laura’s mom. I love that role and it has fulfilled me and consumed me in the best possible way. But now that my children have figuratively (and literally) “flown the coop”, a re-definition is due. Of course, I’m still a “mom”, but the full-time status has been relegated to the past.
It is the process of moving out of their lives as they move into their own that is proving to be a challenge.
They are truly capable, truly able to do everything they want to do and I am here if they need help. And yet, it does take a conscious effort to remove myself. To stop having their wellbeing be the first and last thought of my day.
It’s not a matter of missing them. I do, but my heart does not ache every minute. It’s the practicality of moving from focussing on their lives and their wellbeing to….something else. When every decision has been made for more than 22 years with full consideration being given to everyone, it feels oddly selfish to just do things for myself.
The “finished product”, so to speak, is an accomplishment – we did do a great job raising our children. It was not a perfect job, and I didn’t know what I was doing a lot of the time, but they know they are loved and I hope that I instilled in them the knowledge, as was said in The Help, that they are smart, kind and important.
The greatest compliment they paid me was to ask me how I did it, how I raised them to be good people. I could not answer that because they raised me too. It was a joint effort.
And now, I have to find a new path just as they are finding theirs.
Perhaps if I just keep doing more and seeing the world from this new perspective, life will point me in the right direction.