I’ve just realised something, once your kids are grown and capable of making their own decisions the responsibility is no longer yours, or in this case, mine.
Why didn’t I think of this before?
Here I’ve been feeling quite down about them all growing up and leaving home but there is another side to it, I don’t have to take responsibility for their actions any more.
I still get to love them and care about them and worry about them, let’s face it, I’m never going to stop worrying, that’s an inbuilt mechanism, a default setting but they are the ones who have to stand by their actions and decisions. I’ve done my but to give them some standards, set some moral guidelines, what they do about those are up to them now. The oldest one at least. The younger ones have a bit longer to wait for that freedom.
When your kids are very little it is almost impossible to imagine what it is going to be like when they are grown, how it is going to be as a parent of grown, adult, children.
No one likes to see their kids make mistakes so I suppose if I thought they were really going to regret something I probably would have trouble not saying so no matter what their age, but hey, I’m their mother, if I don’t care who will.
My mother operated on a more traditional basis, she still does. Think of it as an unspoken agreement that she wouldn’t ask and we wouldn’t tell, that way she wouldn’t have to get worked up and upset and we wouldn’t have to get scolded and annoyed. It works for my Mum but I don’t fancy it. I’d rather know, that way I can support when everything is going well and agree the other person is the one in the wrong when it goes wrong.
Perhaps begin closer to their age also helps, perhaps not believing that every place and every person is trying to lure my kids in to a life of evil and debauchery also removes some of the pressure. My Mum saw threats at every turn.
And now I’m worrying that I haven’t been worrying enough and perhaps there ARE threats at every turn. I’d better give myself a metaphorical smack, knock some sense in to myself.
Then again, I’ve still got at least two funny faces on whom to focus all my worry and parental hassling, so I’m not at the end of the road just yet.
Which is good.