Moms, Kindly Scoot Out of the Way

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We moms can be kind of controlling. Are you intrigued because you are a mom, you are married to a mom or you have a mom?!! I write this message as a mom, who has a partner in parenting.  I don’t want to leave my sweet husband out of this!

I believe it’s in our nature to want everything to be wonderful for our children.  We want to protect them and we don’t want them to hurt – EVER.  Our wisdom and experience can certainly save them a lot of grief in life.  We think they need us to be in the helicopter over them, ready to slide down the rope to save them at any moment.  Hold Please — Land the Helicopter and Let Them Fly!

I don’t micromanage my kids.  It would have been much easier if I had, but what would I have taught them?  I was their parent and provided guidance, love, and boundaries.  I never went to a coach and stood up for my child’s right to play — I told my child to talk to the coach and helped them with what they’d say.  I never talked with a teacher about changing my kids grade so they could maintain a perfect GPA — I provided a good place for study and I offered techniques.  I asked for 110% effort — the letter grade wasn’t as important.  I didn’t call the parents whose child was being mean to my child — I provided ways to deal with the mean one.  (My children were never bullied in a way that called for me to step in — believe me the Mama Bear in me could easily do it!) I didn’t wake my kids up for school, it was their job, it was a part of real life.  I was actually horrified during USC’s 2006 Orientation Weekend when a mom asked how her child would wake up if she didn’t call him!  Really?

My kids are grown now, two well out of college and one who will launch from the University this Spring.  There are still many opportunities to control.  Where they are working, or IF they are working.  Where they are living.  How they spend their free time.  BUT — It’s not up to me to decide their future — it’s up to them.  They have their own dreams, their own passions.  Do I think I know the potential for an easier road for them — sometimes yes.  Sometimes my tongue is bloody from biting it!!  In the end, I enjoy watching them grow into their adulthood and discover life — real life!  Aldo’s and my parents allowed us to follow our dreams and passions, they were excellent role models on parenting and letting go of control.

Once the kids left home for college, I eagerly answered every phone call, text message or video chat!  When there are issues or problems, I assess whether they want me to be their cheerleader as they solve their problem or I ask if they want my advice.  I have plenty of advice to give!  Brad calls me “Ghandi” because of my advice and my quotations that are offered instantly whenever asked.  I wait when they call,  I listen, I ask if they want help, sometimes more than once just to indicate that I have help to offer!  Sometimes, they just need me to tell them how awesome they are, how great they’re doing at becoming the person God meant for them to be.

My need for control is given to the Big Man — given to God.  It’s given in daily prayer.  When I say daily, I mean that I have a continual conversation with God.  I know He’ll handle the issues within my life and my children’s lives.  I have faith that He is in control.  When I’m weak and just want to take over a situation, I go straight to my God — ask for His help, His guidance, His wisdom.  It appears in all forms to me.  Through thoughts, through words, through a radio station, through friends and family, and sometimes through complete strangers.  Listening is the key — listening to those you trust.

I encourage you to let go, just a little bit — this way you and they will know that it’s ok.  They will know that you’re there as a safety net.  You will know that they can manage.  Little by little, you can watch them bloom.  Pray for them, for their situations, their friends, their futures.  Put them in God’s hands.  He just lent them to us anyway for a short period of time.  Ask yourself if you need to be a cheerleader for them or ask them if they’d like some advice, just be prepared for the answer.

Parenting is not easy.  There is no perfect parent, no perfect way of parenting.  I have some ways of dealing with control issues that have worked for me and wanted to share them with you.  Mistakes have been made in the past 26 years of parenting.  More mistakes will be made — it’s inevitable!  I know that my God will help me through it all!  One day, one phone call at a time.

PS Scoot out of the way.  Give them wings.

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