Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Challenges of Motherhood

I hate the helpless feeling that I sometimes get as a mother and grandmother.  My children are grown.  That doesn't stop me from being a mom.  I hate feeling helpless when I know that my children are going through struggles.  I hate to hear that a grandchild has had a serious earache or a lingering cough or a high fever.  I hate to hear the voice of a child, who is an adult but still my child, who is sick and just not feeling up to snuff.

I hate to see what I consider to be bad choices being made.  I want to point out every pitfall that I see.  Yet, I don't want to encourage adult behavior that is more juvenile than adult.  After all, how did I learn?  I learned from my mistakes.

As a family, we've all been through so much emotionally.   I can barely handle it when my children also are physically ill with colds or the flu.  I think of those women during the flu epidemic who lost children, spouses or fought the flu themselves without antibiotics.  I marvel at their fortitude.  I wonder how I would have handled it.

I've often said that I tried to give my children roots and wings.  I have to admit that I have a very hard time with the wings bit.  I know that children must leave the nest and establish their own nests.  I celebrate that, but way down deep inside, I also have a very hard time not being a mother hen.

I used to joke that I wanted to hand in my mom badge.  I really don't feel that way.  I just wonder if a mom ever stops being a mom?  Is this a good thing, or is it really over the top to worry and feel helpless when we see our children suffer?

Life is real.  Sickness hits.  Serious illness causes great pain.  Divorce happens.  Financial problems can strike.  Jobs are lost.  This is all a part of life.  As a mom, I hope I have prepared all my children for the adversity they will face, but oh how I hate to watch it happen.  It makes me feel helpless.

I also know that they are capable and able to solve their own problems, seek their own medical care, and build their own support systems, make their own choices.  I am here for them, and they know it.  I know I also have to be careful not to be too much of a mom.  I sometimes have to step back in order not to cross the line and act like the mother hen that I am.  Do you ever struggle with this?