Recently, one of my sons was struggling with a personal issue. He didn’t have to say a word to me, I am his mother, and I can read him like a book. I asked him if he was ok, and he said he would (eventually) be in a much better place emotionally. Of course, that sent me on a worry state of mind, taking me down memory lane to when he was a little boy needing his mommy for everything. Isn’t it funny how that changes with time? One moment you are the most important person to your children, and years later, you are having to remind them to call sometimes just to let you know they are still alive.
Even though my sons are grown men, I still struggle with making sure my parenting skills are on point, and I still question my methods, decisions, and abilities. Did I do right by them? Was I or am I a good parent? I’m pretty sure most (if not all) parents deal with those types of questions. But when things like regrets, and shame flood my mind, I pray through while affirming and encouraging myself, simply speaking positive things to the me from back then, and the me of today. Otherwise, there would be no sleeping, ever again!
I resolved to spend quality time with my son, and encourage him the best way I knew how; by listening to him, and by pampering him (it’s how I roll). We went shopping to his favorite craft and models’ shop, we had his favorite food for lunch, got coffee and pastries, and ended the mom and son date meeting up with his wife and son for more shopping. Throughout the day, he shared his thoughts and feelings, and I had a better understanding of where he was emotionally. We had a great time together.
In all honesty, I selfishly loved feeling needed and appreciated as a mom. On several occasions, he expressed what a great day it had been for him, and that meant the world to me. Many of you who read my blogposts are parents, and I’m sure go through situations when you wonder if your children still find value in together time with you. You probably also wonder if your advice and wisdom mean anything to him/her or them anymore. My response to that is a definite yes!
My father passed away more than 10 years ago, and to this day, I yearn for his phone calls to check on me. I still wonder what advice he would offer to my current struggles. I enjoyed talking with him, and felt a strong sense of satisfaction when I could tell he was genuinely interested in every word I said. My mom and son date reminded me that my children still need me, perhaps in a different way than when they were small, but my presence in their lives is still valued and needed.
If your relationship with your child/children is difficult or broken, you still have time to mend it. How? Be present, pray for them, give them your time, Affirm them, and simply listen. Those are the best gifts you can give them. Oh and when you take your twenty something year old son to a craft/model store, never, ever make the mistake of calling it a toy store…Your welcome!
(Featured photo by Anastasiya Schlottmann -Instagram: @anastasiya_s_photography)