I picked up a book recently called “Doing Life with your Adult Children”. I haven’t finished it yet, so I can’t really give you a full review, but the concept was interesting to me.
Parenting and all the rules around it change drastically through the years.
In the early years, they need food, care, love and a lot of attention. I mean, you blinked and they got into trouble.
But as they grow, you keep them busy, you feed them, but they are less likely to get into as much trouble, well, you hope anyhow.
Instead, they begin to turn into adults that speak life into other young people, children and their character really begins to shine forth.
But the hardest part of raising children to adulthood is this place where you are letting go. You begin to let go of control and allow them to make their own mistakes when they hit the teens usually. If you are not, then you need to be. You are raising adults, not just children.
Often I have seen people that really focus on the fact to make sure you don’t lose yourself, your connection with your spouse or the like when you are raising a child. While this is true, there is often the other risk of neglecting your child or children for yourself and your spouse.
Taking time when you are raising children, to develop your hobbies, you identity is very important. However, it does not take the place of developing a relationship with your children. Often your hobbies can be about being a part of their lives. My third son is finishing his high school basketball career this year. For the last 12 years, I have sacrificed in many ways, sitting in the gym, traveling, missing out on activities that I wanted to do, in order to cheer for them at games. Do you know that I learned so much from those years? I am so thankful that I put them first over my wants. It is when your kid grabs you in a hug and thanks you for all the times you made him sports drinks or sitting in the stands cheering for him, that you know it was what you were made for.
Our love for our children is what makes us better humans. I have seen a lot of selfish parents. I am not talking about self care, taking care of your needs or developing hobbies. Those are things that are so needed for all parents I am talking about spending the time with our kids that builds adult relationships. Many people say, “The kids will be grown and gone and what you have left is your relationship with your spouse.”
While this is true in a way, you also have the adult relationships with your kids if you developed it while they were growing.
So, as I read this book and reflect on my little ones that are no longer little, I rejoice that I have had the chance to have a relationship with this children that are not anymore children.
Take time to spend with your own friends, develop those hobbies, but also learn to enjoy your kids hobbies as well along with your spouse. You might be surprised how much you would learn.