Momming Adult Kids: Denise Drinkwalter
This question rarely comes across my desk: “When does it feel better?”
“When our adult kids get into rocky, challenging relationships or general life challenges that are piling up.”
Because, to be perfectly honest with you, we, as Moms, rarely, if ever, flip the focus on ourselves when our kids struggle with adulting. Many Moms I support struggle in various ways as their children are adulting. And, it can be exasperating when they move far away from us (further than we ever imagined).
When our adult kids struggle, the focus is 99.9% on them, not on ourselves as Moms. We put our energy into wanting them to weather the storms in their lives. Rarely, if ever, do we ask ourselves when does it feel better? Why is that? We have been conditioned to think of everyone else above ourselves, which hasn’t been a big problem until now!
When our adult kids get into rocky, challenging relationships. Or, general life challenges start piling up and they can’t seem to get out from underneath. The heaviness and weight of all that is going wrong, can cause Moms to suffer. Do you carry their stress in your heart, stomach, neck, back, etc? Do you get what I am saying? Can you zero in on your adult child’s circumstance that may be happening right now that takes you, your mind and your heart down into a dark place that only looks, feels and sounds like the depths of despair?
Moms of Adults, Let Me Ask You This:
“you know you are ready to do almost anything to ensure they survive this challenge they are experiencing”
When these instances happen, presently or in the past, let me ask you this….
Where do you spend your time? What do you focus on in your thoughts, mind, and body? Raise your hand if you have the propensity to want to get on the phone, jump on a video call, or fly across the country/world to go and show them they are worthy. And show them what they can do and need to do to fix it all. Of course, you know you are ready to do almost anything to ensure they survive this challenge they are experiencing.
Come on, raise your hand; no need to be shy. I know that is always my initial instinct too. We have all participated a lot in these kinds of internal dialogues and thoughts alongside you. You are not alone at all in wanting to help right the ship, help steer the course, and guide and protect our kids from the cruel elements that they get thrown into. Harsh realities of life set in. And, you are worried sick about how they can possibly make it through the tough slug that is before them.
I mean, after all, we have the solutions, the experience, the history of being able to show them how to get out of it. We know there is a better way, an easier way, a less stressful complex way if they take the time to listen to us and all our gifts of wisdom and do what we tell them.
Stand Back Moms:
So why don’t they listen, reach out, and ask for support, guidance, and assistance in problem-solving? There can be a lot of reasons why and even though every situation is different and there is not one answer that serves all here, there are some poignant strategies that will help bring your relationship together if you choose to employ them. Keep reading to discover the power you have to make a difference in a way that will be heard and have a higher probability of being received.
When we, as Moms, step back and release our responsibility not to take on their challenges and steer their life path from our lens experience, and we let them figure out and walk through their challenges with support; as determined by them, we give them way more than answers and what we see as critical in moving forward based on our experiences and way of doing life.
When we step to the side, with quiet fortitude and softness letting them feel us and the knowledge that we are within reach to listen and support them judgement free (and let me tell you that is KEY and the most challenging for us as Moms-judgement free), then we show them the power of their capabilities and lead them to learn through the tough times to learn and develop character and find inner strength as individuals.
“We have an excellent opportunity to support our children in ways we may have never experienced in our own family.”
Excellent Opportunity For Moms Of Adults:
Let’s take a moment to reflect on what we learned as a result of the difficulties we conquered in our life path. How did that improve your knowledge of yourself as a person, your relationships, your communication, your self-talk, your inner strength, your tenacity, and your empowerment?
We have an excellent opportunity to support our children in ways we may have never experienced in our own family but quite probably sourced outside of family relationships.
When you think of someone who believed in YOU when you couldn’t believe in yourself, how did that make you feel? How did they show you that you could make it, could do it, and could get through the tough days even when you didn’t think you could?
Did they judge you, or did they support you? Did they shut you down at every turn, or did they find the time to listen and encourage you?
Part Of Your Journey:
How can you begin to take the learnings and lessons from your support networks and mimic them in your current relationship with your struggling young adult child so that they know you will be there for them?
This is part of the journey for both you and your child, and when you shift your support to meet them where they are at, listen to understand and acknowledge that they can do it, you lift them up and empower them. Know and believe in your heart that they can create change and send that energy and trust out to them with love, support and unwavering time and distance as required so they lead their life journey now and you are no longer in control of the outcome for them.
(Truth be told, you were never in control of the outcome for them, as there is only one person you and anyone can control in this world, and that is YOU).
When do you think it feels better?
About the Author:
Denise is a sought-after international empowerment life coach who fully believes in the power of awareness, self-care, knowledge, and time. Denise has a gift and is able to combine her 31 years of award-winning teaching, and first-hand experiences as a Mom of three incredible well-established, happy and prosperous children to support the successful coaching roles she enlists.
She is an experienced Empowerment Life Coach and has worked with hundreds of clients taking them from being hollow, overwhelmed, and lost to finding purpose and zest for life! You can learn more about Denise here.