A guest post by Kim Brush of Day to Day Adventures.
Motherhood is a calling and a job.
It defines who I am. Mom of 4. That’s it, my job description for the last 24 years.
I’ve poured energy, prayers, and my youth into my two girls and two boys so that they might become people that I actually want to hang out with in my spare time.
None of them is perfect and some days I still hide from them.
Teens are loud after all.
Mothering older kids
In general these days, I get a full night sleep and don’t have to do my kids laundry or get them dressed every day. The load is physically lighter now because we’ve tried to prepare our kids for independence.
But my prayers increase daily as I lift them up. They do battle each day as they face decisions, live with consequences and grow in character.
Motherhood’s burden is different with older children. I am closer to them in different ways than in early childhood. Conversations have become weighty at times. Some discussions will have ripples of effects for years and decades to come.
It’s not that the discussion with a 3 year old about sharing or being nice didn’t matter. It mattered so much at the time, and it laid a foundation for today. But now a discussion about what college to choose or teaching a daughter how to handle a boy pursuing her just seems BIGGER in the scheme of things.
And yet though we must have these open, transparent discussions, we must also hold on to our children with an open hand. Clinging too close to tweens, teens and twenty-ish children can create a situation where they don’t want to listen. It is a hard balance to achieve.
You know you have done something right when your oldest calls just to chat and we end up talking for over an hour. My son asks questions that I never thought he would ask.
“Mom, why did you do that when you were my age? Why did you make that decision?
“Mom, what advice do you wish you’d had when you were younger?”
And the one I love the most: “Can you come babysit soon?”
I have a grown son who has married, given me another daughter and a sweetheart of a granddaughter.
Being a grandma is the best kind of job.
Then I overhear my daughters singing together in the kitchen. In Korean.
Please don’t ask me to explain. I’m not sure that I can.
All I know is that they are best friends who “get” each other. One has lived through hell in the last year with her unexplained joint pain and fatigue and life just hasn’t gone as expected. The other is on the verge of completing her high school education and moving away to college.
They dance together because that’s what sisters do. Then they start flinging sarcastic comments at each other because, well, that’s what sisters do.
I’m so blessed to know that they love each other. We’ve always told our kids that they would grow up to be best friends.
It’s nice that they believed us.
Teens still needs mom hugs
Then there is the youngest son who has grown 6 inches in a year. Towering over me, he’s on the bridge between being a young boy and young man. As my extrovert, he is constantly talking and telling me the minute details of all his interests.
I just nod and listen even if it goes straight over my head. My momma’s heart rejoices that he is protective like his dad and watches out for me, yet he still loves to snuggle and hug. Seriously, he’d crawl in my lap if he could fit.
There is never a dull moment around here with older children, but I wouldn’t trade any of the late night conversations, the crazy kids singing, or the rolling on the floor laughter that we share.
The joys of mothering grown and almost grown kids are beyond words.
They think deep, play hard and challenge me in ways that still surprise me.
These children have taught me who I am.
When they were babes, I learned the hard lesson of sacrificing my desires for their needs. As they grew and wanted to play, I learned that playing together would teach them much more than many of the lessons I had in mind.
I saw what determination they had as they hit double digits in age. I learned that I could stand firm when things were hard, ugly and difficult. Now as they are all growing into adults, my knowledge of them seems so small because they have the future stretched before them like a canvas waiting to be painted.
I keep praying.
For spouses. For wisdom. For protection from evil.
But I also pray that God’s lessons are ones that show them the way to speak at just the right time, to love people, and to serve the downtrodden.
My burden is to love them. I’m want to see them for who they are, not for who I want them to be.
My burden is to teach them. I’m called to speak truth in love to them so they can grow and become Godly men & women.
My burden is to cheer them on. I’m get to celebrate the highs, to comfort in the low times and be present for every adventure they have in-between.
This burden is heavy as I live my hours and minutes to completion. Love has placed this burden in my heart and keeps me always ready to hear their voice when they have questions or want to share their thoughts.
These beautiful burdens have shown me who I am and who I want to be.