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Coaching to Empower You

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  • Writer's pictureDawn E Geschiere

Parenting Hindsight: Love Letter From A Mom

Some hindsight wisdom from a mama to five amazing young adults…

Dear Mama (Papa too),

I'm going to be writing you love letters this month. I'm writing to you--those moms or dads still raising your littles (or not-so-littles), who still live in the same house with your kids. (Imagine that!) I'm also writing to those parents who are empty nesters, curious to hear your hindsight wisdom and experiences.

Each of these love letters will offer you my thoughts and perspectives around what it means to be a Mom to your "children" who aren't children any more--children who don't live with you anymore, children who each have their independent communities with their own relationships.

There's not a day that goes by where I don't think of my five now-grown children, not one single day. Ever. I'm not talking about thinking of them in one lump sum as a group. Oh my no. Every day each one of our five comes to mind several times per day.

I'm in this odd place with my own motherhood really, with what it means to be a Mom of adult children. Notice, even the term itself is an oxymoron: adult children. See what I mean about the weirdness of it all?

The next part of this love letter may sound familiar to you. It's actually from a blog post I wrote and published in September 2022. Since writing it my life has changed dramatically... Instead of living in the eastern United States, I now live Pacific Northwest. Instead of being married, I'm now divorced. What hasn't changed a bit is that I'm still a Mom to five badass amazing young adults and I still agree with every word I wrote in that blog post. Thanks for letting me repeat myself.

Parenting With Healthy Detachment

It’s important that you don’t get too attached. Yes, love them fiercely with all your heart. Yes, and… remember–it’s a healthy detachment you’re aiming for as your littles are born and you watch them grow at a pace that seems to accelerate with each passing year.

Imagine: You’re standing beside your children, watching each of them climb into a colorful hot air balloon. Before you know it you’ve cut the cords and you're watching them lift off into the sky.

You’ve prepared them for this day their whole lives. They’ve prepared you, too.

So what is it that makes it possible for a Mama to love fiercely with a healthy detachment?

For parents, HEALTHY DETACHMENT is intentional parenting that…

  • focuses on your children as distinct and separate beings from you–each with unique DNA, personalities, likes and dislikes and, and, and… You get the idea.

  • understands—eventually your children may develop (at least a few)) different values than you live by, values that they’ve formed from their own unique ways of interacting with the world around them. The goal is to be consistently living from your own values, holding the values most important for your family as a whole, and being intentional around giving your children developmentally appropriate amounts of autonomy and choice as they grow.

  • detaches from specific outcomes and expectations around their behaviors, their futures, and who they will become into adulthood.

  • lives in the present moment, responding to your children as they are now–sitting or standing right in front of you.

  • believes that your children are each unique and amazing–naturally resourceful, creative and whole beings.

  • remembers reciprocity as you parent, recognizing that your children have as much to teach and give you as you have to teach and give to them.

I’ll add that our five continue to inspire me, to show me how to live untethered—loving one another fiercely, while keeping detached from any unhealthy attachments that keep any of us from rising onward to new adventures.

Moms/Dads, intentional parenting isn't for the faint-of-heart. Whether you're experiencing fatigue, burnout, confusion or you're feeling disempowered--you're not alone. Let's connect to see what my coaching support might look like for you.

Meanwhile, do your best to maintain a healthy detachment--after all, that balloon will be launching before you know it.

P.S. Mother's Day Truths and Tidbits

Here's a related bit of strangeness to being a Mom of adult children. Mother's Day feels odd and weird too--at least for me. It's not a bad weird, nor is it necessarily good. It is what it is and it's real. Yet here it is, May 1st, and Mother's Day it's on its way to visit.

What about you, dear one? What's your relationship to Mother's Day? As I've talked with Moms over the years I've heard quite the messy mix of perspectives and thoughts on the day. It may be worthwhile to notice what perspective you're holding this year, to do a bit of processing around the day before it actually arrives.

Here's a link that gives the origins of Mother's Day--apparently we have someone named Anna Jarvis to thank for starting this holiday. (Although she actually tried to undo her own efforts when it became too commercialized, so she wouldn't to be thanked even if she were still alive.)

May also happens to be the birthday month of our firstborn child, which seems wonderful and not weird at all. I love that both celebrations ended up in the same month--a happy (and unplanned) coincidence, thanks to his late arrival into my arms.

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