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  • Writer's pictureTawaina Jones

Parenting Adult Children: Letting Go

The bond between mother and child is unconditional. Being a mother is the most important and most influential role that we will ever have. Being a mother changes your life completely; and we love every moment of it. It is loving another human more than you love yourself. It is supporting dreams, building self-esteem, and many teachable moments. Mothers wear many hats as a teacher, nurse, cook, caregiver, supporter, counselor, finance manager, housekeeper, event planner, travel agent, chauffeur, laundry aide, activity director, and so much more; sometimes simultaneously.

So why do adult children treat mothers like a non-factor? Like it is optional to have a mother. HA! That is what it feels like sometimes.

Are you a non-factor?

This past holiday I experienced being a non-factor in my adult children lives and it hit me hard. After a few tears and much thought, I realized that I have held on to them as if they still need me like they did as children. As they have grown to be adults my role in their life has changed and their role in my life has changed. This new parenting role is challenging and complex. We are still parents and that will never change; however, we must learn to accept where they are in their lives and vice versa.

So, guess what, I am NOT a non-factor, simply put, our roles have reversed and that is okay!

Now I understand why older parents travel the world and live their life to the fullest. I'm thankful that I learned this while I am still young. I am not just a mother. I am so many other things and have so many layers.

Looking forward to this new me in 2021!

I wrote a love letter to my children. I hope you find it to be an awakening for you as it was for me.

Love Letter to My Children...

I just want to thank you all for just being who you are. I am grateful that God chose me to be your mom. Being your mom has not been easy and I have made mistakes along this parent child journey. I have watched you all make mistakes, mature, and go off into the world. While also still growing myself, making mistakes, and changing accordingly. I always TRIED to put my best foot forward with all of you. I love you all so much. Many of the choices I have made has been because of my need to protect you.... protect your feelings, your mindset, your self-esteem, you physically, your emotions, and even tried to control the future. etc. As a mother, I have tried to speak life into you when you were feeling down or discouraged. That is what moms do. It is like a job that we cannot turn off; however, adjustments can be made.

I apologize if I made things uncomfortable or more difficult in your life.
I apologize for trying to impose my own thoughts morals and values.

I have decided that I need to adjust to you all being grown and having your own lives. As we all prepare for next year this is the stance that I am taking...

I will respect your boundaries as adults.

I will stay in my lane.

I will mind my business.

With that being said....

I am not your therapist.

I am not your advisor.

I am not your babysitter when it is convenient for you.

I am not your bank.

I am not your backup plan.

I am not your crisis manager.

I am not your Uber driver.

I am reduced to what you want me to be in your life, and that is not a bad thing, and it is ok with me.

Next year will be different. I hope you all extend Grace, Forgiveness, Love, and Freedom of being an adult to me, as I plan to do for you all.

Love Mom.

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Tawaina Jones, LPC, CPCS  

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