Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In Celebration of Mothers - Transitional Woman

I'm very excited to introduce you to Elizabeth, the Transitional Woman, today!  Elizabeth gracefully writes not only about the changes she must make in her own life as her children transition from childhood to adulthood, but also about the growth - both physical and spiritual - she is experiencing as she embraces these life changes occurring around her.  On her blog, Elizabeth shares her emotions and the wisdom she gains as she embarks on new adventures and provides valuable insight on how to navigate the waters of change we all must face with the passage of time.  I hope you enjoy reading Elizabeth's writing as much as I do!

Time to Grow Up

Allow your child to spread his wings and take flight
First you are the vessel or the mother ship as I’ve heard it called.  This tiny, developing person depends on you and you alone for his very life.  Soon, you deliver your child and he still needs you, but with the help of others, could survive without you.

The years pass, and your baby grows and grows.  With each birthday, he needs you just a little bit less.  He feeds himself, then walks by himself, then dresses himself and more quickly than you’re ready for, he operates the electronics in your home more competently than you.

Your baby is growing up.  As he grows up, you as a mom need to grow up too.

Mothers can’t help but become closely bound up in the lives of their children as they nurture and love and teach them.  But, the day comes, a little bit at a time but it does come, when your baby doesn’t really need you anymore.

Are you still stuck in the role of being Mommy?

In order for a child to emerge as an adult, you have to allow him to do it.  Your role in his life needs to change.   You are no longer “the boss of him” but something different.

Encourager, cheerleader, friend and mentor are some of the new roles mom has to grow up and accept.  No longer are you chauffer, food-provider, laundress, boo-boo kisser, coach and closest confidant and comforter.  Your young man or woman accomplishes these tasks alone now or has developed new relationships where someone else fills the need.

Your baby is generally excited about the change, but Mommy?  Not so much.  It helps if you can remember being 16, 19 or 25.  Did you really want your Mom in your life the same way you wanted her when you were 5 or 10?  Of course not, and your child doesn’t want you to be stuck in Mommy mode forever either.

He wants Mom - sometimes - but mainly he is ready to live his own life on his own terms.  You will always be special to your child and, if your relationship has been healthy and loving, you’ll always have a place in his life.  But be willing to let go and let him be an adult. 

Try to view this transition as a celebration.  You have accomplished one of the most meaningful jobs you could have tackled, raising a person to adulthood.  That young man is ready to take on the world and you gave him the tools to achieve it.  You have performed your job with excellence (or at least the best you could) and you have been promoted.
There are many years ahead of you to live, explore and enjoy and you’ll finally have time to do all those things you wished you had time for while your baby was growing up.

What are some things you look forward to exploring as your children grow older?  Do you have any children who have left home yet?  What do you most look forward to as your children prepare to leave home?  What do you least look forward to?

If you have a story you would like to share for "In Celebration of Mothers", be sure and e-mail me at dhsticklen(at)gmail(dot)com.  I look forward to reading your stories!


  1. So well put, Elizabeth! Just right on, and my kids haven't even hit double-digits in age yet. I loved the operating electronics more competently bit, too. :)

    1. Thanks Katy. When you become a *Mature* Experienced Bad Mom you'll get to make many new and different mistakes!