The other day, I saw a link that said, "7 Questions to Ask an Older Mother." Being an older mother myself, I wanted to hear those questions. Some were questions I've been asked by younger mothers. The post led me to ponder questions I wish I had asked as a younger mother.
How hard will it be when they start driving?
Having our children learn to drive is something so common that we don't often stop to think of the power they wield when they get behind the wheel. My husband is in the auto insurance industry. Some of the statistics are not comforting. I'm better now, but in those early years, not so much.
How do I handle having a daughter living on her own?
Some of us assume that our daughters will find Prince Charming by the age of 25 and will not have to deal with issues of walking home from work in the dark, or riding the bus at night, with no one waiting for them at home except a cat. Thankfully, my daughter is aware of the vulnerability a single woman has, and is careful, but she is still a single woman living on her own.
How do I handle when my adult children struggle with trials, but don't want to open up to me?
When our kids are young, they bring every little problem to us. We may assume that our kids will always want to share each and every struggle with us. Some of them, especially young men, don't. And it doesn't mean we were bad parents. It means they are young adults with matters they may want to keep private. My older son went through a very serious break up at the end of his time in Bible school. He did not want to talk about it, but I knew he was struggling. I had to sit back. It was really hard.
How can I cope with feeling rejected when my children make decisions I don't like?
Our adult children will make decisions we don't like. And that doesn't mean they are bad decisions. We may think bad decisions are ones that are clearly sinful or foolish. Sometimes, they are not those kinds, but we don't like them. How does a Reformed Baptist mother feel when her child starts attending a Pentecostal church? We have to remember not everything is about us, and not take those decisions as a reflection of our parenting.
I taught my children the gospel, but they seem to be rejecting it. Where did I go wrong?
I can answer that question now, but it's a question I asked inwardly during some moments during the late teens and early young adult years. I had no older woman to help during those years. There is a sense of shame attached to having wandering kids, and I'd heard enough occasions of women judging other people's kids that I knew enough to be quiet. Thank the Lord, my husband and I had each other.
Maybe you've wondered these things. Maybe you've never given them a second thought. I know I didn't. But I wish I had been better prepared to deal with them. The time to prepare is before our kids leave, not after. The transition from having kids at home to being just the two of us is much harder than I imagined it would be. If I had any advice to offer a younger mother, it would be this: don't hover. The process of release needs to be gradual. And don't be afraid to let them make mistakes.
God loves our children more than we ever could. That is a wonderful truth to hang on to when we let our children out into the world. We may even question why God is allowing something in their lives. This is where knowing God is so crucial. And that is another piece of advice I'd offer a young mother: don't neglect your own relationship with God. Don't let the details of life interfere with it. You'll need that trust and faith in God.