Why You Need To Help Your Kid Move Out

November 5, 2012 in Belinda,mentor moms,mom guilt

Today’s Mentor Mom writer should be familiar to you. Belinda, mother of four, and wise, straight-shooter, joins us today to remind us of our  goal in mothering. Leave a  comment thanking her; it’s good manners. 

I have had several conversations over the years with moms of all ages who say they don’t want their children to ever leave home. Maybe you even feel that way. If so, you must not have had a day like my Wednesday, which involved one broken DVD player, one upset tween, one overly excited dog that knocked over my neighbor, one kid who fell off her bike and scraped her knee, plus an additional 3 kids and a swarm of angry bees. All in the space of 30 minutes.

Truth be told, that kind of chaos is often the reality of life with small kids, and I don’t like that part! That sweet baby nestled against your shoulder is screaming 10 minutes later because he woke up and wants something. We don’t get to pick and choose which moments go on forever. I want to enjoy the golden moments and treasure them up in my heart. But I definitely want my kids to grow up. While it’s great to say how much you are enjoying your kids, how much you like being with them, the truth is when that kid is 43 and still lives at home, then people say, “Huh? What happened here?”

In our hearts, we know that’s not the result of successful parenting. We’re given these kids for a season, a season that slips by unbelievably fast. In that time, we have to love them, teach them, equip them with the tools to be successful, independent adults. That doesn’t mean they can’t come over for dinner every Sunday, call you regularly, or even live next door. But it does mean that although we never stop being Mom, never stop loving them fiercely, our role and influence in their lives changes, and should change, as they age. We have to allow them to grow up, to figure out how to be themselves. We can support them, encourage them, challenge them, but we no longer get to direct them the way that we did when they were 3 years old.

I once heard motherhood described as a season of personal sacrifice. That really stuck with me! Maybe you feel like after all you’ve done for your kids, they owe you. For me, part of this season is also the deepening understanding that it’s not all about me. Even my own life is not all about me. It’s been bound up with something greater. And so in raising my kids, it’s not just about what gives me pleasure in being their mom, it’s about what is best for them in the long run. Sharing the wonderfully good moments, and equipping them to walk through the challenging ones with dignity and grace. I’m not in this for the Hallmark cards I will receive some Mother’s Day down the road with the mushy, “I owe you everything” sentiment. Instead, I’m blessed to be along for the journey, getting to know up-close what wonderfully unique people God has created, what He has nurtured in my home under my care, and then seeing how they thrive as they live out the full, rich lives He has planned for them.

Parenting isn't about you

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Blond Duck November 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I totally agree!

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Belinda November 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Thanks!

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Holly November 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Belinda:
Great advice, from the most wonderful and strong mom I know. I only have one, and you have the best advice that I need to use and do more often!
–Your friend and neighbor that got knocked over by the dog 🙂

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pruningprincesses November 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

Hi Holly, Belinda is a wise mom! I love to read her advice and am so glad she shares here. I remember chatting with you at MOPS a few years ago, seems like a soooo long ago. Thanks for stopping by and supporting Belinda. If I remember correctly you don’t have a princess, but you might find encouragement here anyway.

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Ruth knudson November 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Belinda, thanks for the wise, well-written words of encouragement to this gramma! Sometimes I feel lonely with my grand kids so far away (including EPHG! ). we are very proud of you and A for the fine job you are doing as godly parents. Keep up the good work! We love you!

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pruningprincesses November 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

Hi Ruth, Thanks for stopping by the blog to support your daughter. It is so nice to “meet” you. I love to read Belinda’s words. They are so encouraging and wise. You were obviously an encouraging and wise mom!

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misssrobin November 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Amen! Beautifully said.

I have five kids. I have always seen my role as preparing them for independence. I love them and want to be connected to them forever, but I don’t want them in my house forever — I’m too tired. My oldest two are 21 and 19. They are both still at home. The oldest lived away for a while and even went to Russia for a few months to teach. I think her plan is to be here until she graduates. I can support that because I know how expensive the world is and with school she can only work part-time. Once graduation comes, I’m hoping she’s out on her own soon. It’s best for both of us.

The other one is in a serious relationship and will probably go from our house to her married house. As long as that’s in the next year or so I can probably wait.

Now if I could just get them to quit telling me all the things I am doing wrong as a mother and homemaker (which don’t hurt me because I know it’s part of growing up, but they sure are irritating).

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pruningprincesses November 7, 2012 at 11:27 am

Hi Miss Robin! Sounds like you are in a season that requires patience and waiting. As my girls gets older I’ve noticed the patience part can be harder for my not so patient self. Praying for you this morning that you will have wisdom and grace as you parent.

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TN Lizzie November 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Tell them you cannot remember all the advice, so ask them to write it all down for you. SAVE those notes, because there may come a day when you can show them to your grandchildren! The notes may someday be funny, though they are irritating now!

(Does it help to laugh about it?) Someday, when you are as old and wise as they – you too will be perfect!

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