Life was certainly busy. And overwhelming.
The cooking, cleaning, driving the kids to their sports practices, dance classes, gymnastics, music lessons, dental and medical appointments, birthday parties, and of course, daily Mass.
I did not have time to stop and think about how tired I was. I made my list for the next day, went to sleep, and then I got up and did it all over again.
That was me as a young mother and I thank God for giving me the opportunity, energy, and grace to experience it.
It’s different now. My kids are grown and they have their own children. It’s just me and my husband at home, and it’s quiet. Too quiet.
I’m still a mother, but by necessity, my role has changed.
I see or visit with most of my children every week. I babysit for them, invite them over, and they invite me to their homes. Some of them stop by while others call, text, or FaceTime with me. We meet for lunch or dinner and sometimes I’ll prepare a meal and take it over to their house.
They no longer need me to tell them what to do. My role now is to listen to them, unless they ask for my advice. They no longer need a mom to “mother” them. They need a mom who loves them unconditionally, supports their decisions, and is prudent enough to listen without expressing an opinion.
They know that when they tell me about what their little ones did, I will smile and enjoy their stories. When they tell me they are buying a new home, car, or something for their house, I will share in their excitement. When they have been promoted at work or are recognized for something they have achieved, I will be there beaming with pride for them.
Sometimes they need an ear to just listen while they talk about their day. Other times, they want to experience my reaction and see the expression on my face when they tell me how proud they are of their children.
It’s their turn to be parents now.
My children aren’t raising their children the exact same way they were brought up. They have their own style of parenting, and they have access to a wealth of information and knowledge that was not available to me and my husband. They don’t need for me to remind them that we did things differently while they were growing up.
Just as I was able to raise my children my way, now it’s their turn to raise their children their way. I will simply do my best to watch, encourage, praise, and love them along the way. More importantly, I will do my best to thank God every day for the numerous blessings that He has showered upon me and my family.