Someone observed that mothers work themselves out of a job, and I think that's true, at least in one sense. We work to train our children to become independent, to be able to live on their own, without our help.
In another sense, though, I think once our children are grown, we are blessed if they invite us back into their lives, not as someone they need, but as someone whose presence and help they want.
If – when – this invitation comes, we have to be careful not to fall back into our old mothering patterns of teaching and training. The relationship changes when our children take on adult independence.
Even if it looks to us as if they haven't quite accomplished maturity or independence, once they become adults, a healthy relationship is not the same as it was when they were children.
It's hard for me sometimes – OK, most of the time! - to refrain from telling my kids what I think they still need to know. I try, but often I'm in the middle of a “lesson” before I realize I've started talking. I'm trying to do better!
How about you? How do you maintain a healthy relationship with your adult children, respect their independence, while still remaining available to help when they ask?
I'm just wondering . . .