This week I’ve been painting…….walls and a furniture project. Painting puts me in a somewhat meditative state, thinking about all kinds of things as I swipe the brush across the wall. Catching a glimpse of the turquoise paint underneath the electrical faceplate, brings me back to parenting the 10 year old. From there my mind wanders to the many hats I’ve worn as a parent. Among them nurturer, disciplinarian, chef and listener.
My mind has also been thinking about my blog, and why I’ve not been posting. I’m hoping it’s just a winter funk. But I’ve been doing alot of thinking about the purpose of the blog, and what I thought I would be sharing and questioning my “expertise.” I’m really just a working mother who enjoys working on projects, traveling and making memories as a parent.
This winter I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with my new parenting role………parenting young adults as they find their way outside the family home. Even though we’ve raised independent girls, they’re still in that phase of still needing us from time to time.
I’m often questioning if I’m doing the “right” things………am I giving enough advice, too much advice………do I text them too much, am I not phoning them enough……. should I be visiting them more, or less? It’s an endless battle in my head.
Some might say that the hardest part of child rearing is done, and now is the time to enjoy the young adults in the family. But I can’t say I agree. These young adults are still testing the waters of life, they still have questions and still need the unconditional support of parents.
The difference in this phase of parenting is that you’re just a bystander from afar. You don’t know what they’re doing, and you need to read the cues from texts and the short visits. You want to give them the space to figure it out for themselves, while still shouting encouragement from time to time, steering them to find answers and letting them make their choices in the marathon called life.
As parents we go from phase to phase of child rearing, each phase seeming to be slightly easier than the last (at least that was my experience). Does surviving through to graduation unscathed make me an expert? I don’t believe so. I didn’t always have the answers, and I still don’t have all the answers. I guess that, in itself, is a great lesson to pass on………..