Momming Adult Kids: Denise Drinkwalter
In the whirlwind of life, we often find ourselves entrenched in roles that define us. Especially the role of being a mother.
Rediscovering Our Identity:
It’s an incredibly rewarding journey, supporting and nurturing our children through their formative years. Yet, as our children grow and become more independent, a new chapter emerges. One that calls for a delicate balance between being a supportive parent and rediscovering our identity. This journey is part of the course and direction of life we have all been handed. And it is up to us to help it unfold by bringing our attention, love, and care to this opportunity.
Yes, Denise, I read about it all the time, thanks. I have one problem how can I truly action this growth in a way that honours me and my soul truth? I have been trained for years to give and make sure everyone else is doing well. And when they are then I feel good, filled up, and fulfilled. Isn’t that just the way it will always be?
“This phase marks an opportune moment to step back and reflect on the evolution of our roles”
I am here to tell you no! It is the exact opposite. When we fill our own cups first then those we love and care for deeply will benefit in greater more enriching ways.
As our children navigate their own paths, it’s natural to feel a tug-of-war between the instinct to protect and guide them and the longing to explore our own aspirations, desires, and dreams. This phase marks an opportune moment to step back and reflect on the evolution of our roles, embracing the power of self-discovery beyond the realms of motherhood.
Four Compelling Reasons To Embrace Balance:
1. Empowerment through Self-Exploration:
As our children become more self-reliant- (yeah a huge win in that), it presents a golden opportunity to rekindle our relationship with ourselves. Embracing self-discovery allows us to unearth passions, hobbies, and aspirations that may have, let’s face it, definitely taken a backseat in the whirlwind of parenting.
What is one thing you would love to explore, for you, by you, because of you? That one thing that has been whispering quietly to you that your ego is telling you to ignore, but your heart is tugging you to explore? Begin with listening to that whisper and see where it can take you.
2. Separating Identity from Roles:
While being a mother is an integral part of our identity, and one that we don’t want to and can’t actually change, it’s crucial to acknowledge and nurture the person beyond this role. Exploring our own identity apart from the roles we’ve played is a powerful journey of self-realization. When was the last time you recall being you, 100% truly and authentically you? Not the Mom, wife, in-law, co-worker, etc… Who was she? What did she love to do? Why? What brought her happiness in her own skin?
“As our children grow, they require support in different ways.”
3. Setting an Inspirational Example:
By pursuing our own passions and personal growth, we set a remarkable example for our children. They witness firsthand the significance of self-care, individual growth, and the pursuit of dreams. I can attest to the power of this with my own personal story whereby I decided to take up running as a form of healthy living.
I did it for me, not for anyone but me and the results that were an unknown benefit were that my family, friends, and internet strangers became empowered through my actions. They were proud of my efforts and even more than that, they began to look at their own lives and make healthier decisions because they saw possibility through my actions and my commitment to me.
4. Balancing Support with Independence:
As our children grow, they require support in different ways. Balancing this support with encouraging their independence helps them build resilience, confidence, and self-sufficiency. Ah, of course this is brilliant but how do we do that and know that we have succeeded?
It is a process and a journey, and when you tap into separating yourself and your needs from the equation and look at their needs and understand without judgment things begin to unfold in a new way for you and them and the relationship. After all a grown-up kid relationship as a Mom is very different, gets to be very different and everyone is growing through the process of the transitioning role of Mom.
Four Steps To Help Strike This Balance:
So, how do we strike this balance?
1. Cultivate Self-Compassion:
Acknowledge that it’s okay, and actually necessary to prioritize your own growth and interests. Self-compassion is the cornerstone of navigating this transition gracefully.
“Engage with other women experiencing similar transitions.”
2. Carve Out “Me” Time:
Dedicate moments in your day for self-reflection, hobbies, or pursuits that ignite your passion. Even small moments count, actually consistency is key so begin with daily action in small doable steps!
3. Seek Support and Connection:
Engage with other women experiencing similar transitions. Forming connections and seeking support can be incredibly empowering and reassuring. Find those communities and connections that are wanting to support you for your growth journey and not to add to the stress of the changes as they unfold. If you want to change and grow then make sure you access the similar mindset and support that help you pave the way for you!
4. Embrace Learning and Growth:
Invest in activities or courses that fuel your curiosity and personal development. Embrace learning as a tool for self-discovery. It is my belief and life path to be a forever learner and when I am not learning and supporting myself in this lifetime that I have, then I will get stuck and remain stuck and all of life’s challenges will become insurmountable because they will just pile one on top of another. When we stop learning we stop living, and you aren’t ready to do that yet are you?
Embracing Your Evolving Identity:
Remember, embracing your evolving identity while supporting your children doesn’t diminish your role as a loving and caring parent. It 1,000 % enhances it. This phase of life is an invitation—an invitation to rediscover the multifaceted, remarkable person you are, beyond the roles you’ve played. Embrace it, cherish it, and allow it to illuminate your path to self-fulfillment.
Here’s to your journey of self-discovery and empowerment in the beautiful phase of midlife.
About the Author:
Denise Drinkwalter is an Empowerment Life Coach, is renowned for her extraordinary work with midlife women, guiding them to clarity, perspective, and inner strength. Specializing in supporting those navigating Empty Nester Syndrome, Denise is praised for her unique gift, genuine kindness, and transformative ability to help release long-held burdens and beliefs.
As a thought leader in the Kuel Life Community, Denise’s expertise extends across various platforms, including her signature course “Cut the Cord-Not the Ties” and coaching roles in prominent academies and hubs. Discover more about her empowering journey at www.denisedrinkwalter.com.