I found this picture in an ad in a magazine in the seat of an airplane. It perfectly illustrates the conversation I recently had with a couple of moms in my generation. One was an empty nester and the other a soon-to-be empty nester. We were nostalgic as we realized our mommy-ing days were over. Yes, we will always be the “Mom”, but our days of daily caring for and pouring into our kids was at their end. Our eyes moistened as we discussed the future—even though all of our kids are doing well.
Why are we that way? Why do we grieve life’s transitions? There are many reasons, but today let’s discuss one—Our busy daily lives numb us to the reality that life will change. We’re clueless to the changes happening every day so we unconsciously believe the lie that nothing will ever change. Then when life brings the inevitable change we are caught off-guard. The seemingly suddenness of the change makes us mourn the past and inevitable future.
The very thing that made us good moms—involvement in our kids’ lives—also distracts us from looking to the future and preparing for it. Life by definition is change—birth, growth, learning, training, release, and independence. As moms we often don’t look past the learning/training phase towards releasing our kids to be independent self-sufficient adults.
Moms, here are a few ideas to help you be prepared for the day when today becomes tomorrow.
~Get Your Head Around the Truth—Every so often compare your kids’ earlier pictures with their current pictures. Soak in the reality that they are growing and maturing and that’s a good thing. Realize that the process will continue until one day they are on their own.
~Prepare Your Kids—Teach them life skills. Let them make mistakes. Let them make age-appropriate decisions.
~Prepare Yourself—Pray—Talk to God about where He’s taking you next. What steps is He showing you to take now?
~Do It—Even if it’s only one small step. Often in the season of intense parenting we don’t have time to add a major life change. But what is the next small step God is leaning you towards? Continuing education? Exploring small business opportunities? Adoption? I don’t know what it is for you, but God will tell you.
~Enjoy Today—Today won’t last forever so enjoy it. As the cliché states, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Yes, not everything in parenting is a big deal. Enjoy your kiddos in the midst of messy rooms, crazy outfits, and their even crazier ideas. This is precious time that will never happen again.
I’d love to hear how you enjoy today while preparing for tomorrow.
*More on raising and releasing your kids in Queen Mom.
**More on becoming all created you to be in Princess Unaware.
**More on having lifelong influence in your kids’ lives even when they’re making decisions you don’t agree with in Love No Matter What.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.