How many of you have arrived at the zenith of your life and feel that you really have not lived? I was speaking with a charming dedicated mother of two recently who contacted me because she is in a rut with tendering with her children.
There is a twist here, her children are 23 and 25 respectively and have been mono-coddled ever since they were both toddlers, and this relationship dynamic has failed to evolve to a state where the mum has anything that resembles a life worth talking about.
Her frustrations are palpable and when you listen to her angst; you just know that for her to do anything other than what she is doing will feel like the abandonment of her children. Can you relate?
We have a three-way adult relationship, only the adult children are mentally locked into the habits of a quarter of a century, habits that have been fueled by the unconditional love and commitment of a wonderful mother. Only the adult mother is clear that if she is lucky enough to live for another 25 years, it cannot continue like the preceding 25 years.
CHANGE is one of the hardest things to do for many of us; particularly where there is a deep sense of accompanying guilt as in the case of the above example. Nevertheless change is necessary; moreover to do anything to resist change can turn out to be counter productive, manifest into that horrible feeling of regret of time lost, or the continuation of the status-quo.
When we choose to have children, it is (and should be) a serious commitment, from those early formative years, through school, college and University, it is a significant and indelible aspect of life itself.
For me, the adolescent maturing period of say 16 – 20 years, should be about adult hood preparation, and perhaps for the parent a quiet sense that ‘I have paid my dues’, and have graduated with honors from maturity school in anticipation of the rest of the exciting discoveries that still remain in life. However this is easier said than done. Emotions can play havoc at this stage, and unless the children have adjusted to the prospect and acknowledgement that it is now their turn to embark on their yellow brick road of adulthood; breaking up all of what has gone before can prove too much to deal with for all concerned.
It is clear that the onus is on both parties; the parent and the children to acknowledge the need for change. The children will have gotten into an unrealistic, self-growth limiting comfort zone, while the parent really should after 25 years loving dedication, be courageous enough to throw down the gauntlet and declare “It’s My Time Now!”