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Letting Go

For Me The Hardest Part of Parenting

I am struggling at the moment. I am struggling with my children becoming young adults, I am struggling with stepping back and letting go.

The fights are escalating, the misunderstandings are becoming common place, the emotions are high, lines are being drawn, unintended words are being spoken and offense is being taken.

Today I stopped.
I had to.

I don't know what else to do, I can't send them to their rooms, or confiscate their phone or ground them!!


Sometimes there is nothing else you can do.
I stopped and I asked “what can I do, what am I meant to? How can I make them see things my way? Surely I am not in the wrong here.”

I was surprised by the message that came as I sat and wrote. I was resistant and maybe even hurt at first, “this can’t be so, I am not like that!” And then I allowed. I allowed myself to hear what was being shared and I looked at things differently.
I decided to act like the ‘grown up’, I decided to do what I can to accept the change and look at it as a positive ….. well I will try, I know I will stumble.
Here is the message that came through for me………………

You want them to want you

You want them to need you

You want them to like you

You want them to learn from you, to look to you for guidance, even maybe permission.

They want to be independent

They want to learn their own lessons

They want to self sufficient

They want to find their wings, their tribe, their world, they want to decide for themselves.

You dig in and so do they and during these times battles ensue.

You are both right and therefore you see the other as wrong.

But there is no wrong, there are just differences, perceptions and change.

There is growth

There is separation, inevitable necessary separation

A part of you screams but “I’ve given them my all the best of me, the best years of my life. I’ve given so much to them!”

If you stop I hear the whisper from within you will gain clarity. Hear it now it whispers to you “but you dear you gave it willingly. You gave it freely you can’t now put a price on what you gave so enthusiastically.”

Their growth. Their development. Their independence can be a gift if you allow it be. If you decide it to be.

It isn’t about the validity of all you have done it is now about the importance of what you will now do, of how graciously you step into your new exciting role and sometimes the only way to do that is to step back and ask yourself what sort of relationship you now wish to build. What do you choose it to be built on, how do you choose it to look and feel?

You are all adults now but they are still growing into that identity. You have your identity and it is up to you to allow them to create theirs. The responsibility is yours right now. Be the grown up. Be the example. Now more than ever you will guide through example. What example do you wish to be?

Be honest.

Know your limits.

Be clear in your expectations but first make sure they are reasonable. Make sure they are worth it. Make sure you are willing to pay the price and then stand firm in them.

Make one of your goals be that the journey to true independence is full of love and gentle support. For you and for them.

Codependency and resentment is not the aim. Respectful, loving independence is and in that you can create a beautiful fulfilling close and unique relationship. Different than the past but in way less than.

The value of your relationship isn’t based on how much someone needs you it is based on how much someone wants you.

Aim to be wanted not needed……………

After I sat with this, read through it a few times and allowed it to settle within me I wrote to each of my three older children. Here is what I shared with them………

I am sorry, really sorry.
I am struggling more than I ever imagined I would with your ‘growing up’, with you turning into independent adults.
I have realised that I want you to need me and that isn’t helpful or healthy. I want you to be dependent on me so I feel valued and my life feels worthwhile. That again isn’t fair or healthy or even true.
You being dependant on me does not indicate the quality of our relationship, in fact it shows the opposite. I have thought the more you need me the closer we will be and I need to change that belief. I will change that belief!!
I am struggling with what my role is and instead of allowing that role to develop I have tried to hang on to my role as mother, mother of younger, dependant kids.
That must feel suffocating for you and I am sorry.
I want you to be strong, successful, independent and happy adults I just didn’t realise how much it would hurt to watch you do just that.
I have thought about this a lot and I need to change so much more than any of you need to!!
You need to do what you think is right for you. You will make mistakes. Sometimes big and painful ones but you will also make some amazing choices and probably make decisions that are far better than any I have made or could suggest. Regardless they are your choices to make. You need to decide the sort of life you want and what you are willing to do to get it. You need to decide the sort of person you want to be and then work to be that person.
You not me need to work that out!!!
Here is what I really want you to know.
Please know you have choices.
Know when you do nothing you are in fact making a choice.
Know your choices have consequences and those consequences will be yours to live with.
Please don’t let fear guide you and don’t let laziness or complacency or inaction become who you are.
Celebrate your successes
Celebrate your failures, they mean you tried.
Learn from your mistakes.
Learn to say sorry.

Love without fear.
When you hurt know that it will get better.

Make decisions even when you are scared.

Listen to your heart and soul.

Don’t hide or avoid things because they are hard or difficult or uncomfortable.

You have the whole book of your life to write and it is time I handed you the pen. This isn’t my book to write, it never was. I hope I continue to be a major character in your book of life but that my darling is up to you.
Be bold.
Be brave.

Be honest.

Be you.

And always know the one thing that will never, ever change is that I love you and will be here for you until I take my very last breathe.
I am so proud of you but now it is time to make yourself proud.
You’ve got this, go and create the life you dream of, just don’t sit around waiting for it to happen. Your life is in your hands.

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