I’m a parent. Been one for over 16 years now, but this whole parenting thing is tricky business. How do you transition your parenting duties from childhood to adulthood?
We spend years getting our kids ready for the day, feeding them, tucking them in at night, and performing overall daily care. Then all of a sudden they’re older, capable of caring for themselves. They no longer need us to care for their needs as we had done for so many years. They can bathe themselves, dress themselves and even get their own food ready.
It’s like a constant tug-of-war between the parent we used to be and the parent we need to be now. We must remind ourselves constantly to “let them do it” and avoid jumping in to do it for them.
The most difficult part for me has been not tucking my son in at night. How do you go from taking your kid to bed every night, to just saying “goodnight” and let them take themselves?
My son, because of his mental age, doesn’t know that at his physical age most moms don’t tuck their kids into bed. He’d probably let me do it forever. But I know, and in an effort to assist him in becoming independent I must treat him like the young man he is.
But, I’m realizing that this is much harder than it should be. Simply saying “goodnight” from another room as he heads off to bed is such a foreign concept. So instead, I follow him to his room and stare at him from the doorway with a confused expression on my face, wondering what to do next. I can’t follow him in and give him a hug, because that would negate what I’m trying to do. So do I just walk away?
It’s funny how difficult all of this is. My mother made it look easy. I thought it was only me who had to struggle with growing up. How wrong I was!
Transitioning from Mommy to Mom is much more challenging than I expected. How do parents do this?