Life has changed
This pandemic that we are in the middle of has changed life for most of us. It’s temporary of course, but the uncertainty that comes with these changes causes anxiety and stress that is on top of the worry of whether we will catch the virus. As empty nester moms, we have the additional stress of wondering if our young adult children are staying safe. Just because they don’t live with us now, it doesn’t mean that we don’t still worry about their health, safety & livelihood.
I spoke with a mom recently whose son was staying at college even though he could come home for the rest of the spring semester. He had decided to stay at school because of several reasons. The first reason was that he was independent & he wanted to prove that he could navigate this all by himself. The second reason was that he was comfortable where he is at school. He didn’t feel lonely & he was doing okay as he was. The third reason was that he felt tension between himself and his dad. Staying at school was his way of avoiding this tension.
Hearing all of these things didn’t make it easier for this mom to accept his decision to stay at school. She still wished that she could bring him back into her fold at home. IAs you know, at times like these, moms want their kids at home. We want to protect them like we did when they were small children. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible.
Seeing this independence in your kids is a good thing. We want them to be able to navigate the easy and the hard. It’s just difficult for us moms to let go sometimes. We’ll forever see our kids as the 5 year old who scraped his knee and needs a kiss to make it better.
I get it! I have kids that are away from home during the pandemic. My daughter is established in New Mexico and my son is in Florida, while I am in South Carolina. I can’t run right over & deliver a meal to either of them if I want.
Thank goodness for so many ways to stay connected right now. My kids aren’t too fond of video calls, but they are great at texts & Facebook messenger. I get pictures and updates this way. It works for me. I’m trying not to hover and micromanage how they deal with the pandemic. Their independent nature would only rebel if I did. I’d rather they use their skills to stay safe and healthy instead of trying to defy me.
You never stop being a mom!
Being a mom shifts as your kids get older but it never goes away.
Last weekend, I went to visit my parents in Tennessee. I was able to make sure that they were all set to ride out the pandemic. The entire time I was there, I was also thinking of my son still in a dorm room in Florida & wondering if I needed to head there next.
So, no. The concern for your kids never goes away. I’m sure my mom was feeling similar feelings for all of her kids and grandkids while I was visiting with them.
Now, I’m back at home & trying to navigate doing everything from home just like so many other people are doing. It’s not easy balancing the concern that I feel for my kids and trying to figure out life right now.
What to do?
What does a mom do during these uncertain times if the worry and anxiety is growing?
Well, we can deny it’s happening, ignore the frustration & uncertainty, drown in the anxiety, or we can take the time to sit with the uncertainty, notice how we feel and find acceptance for those feelings.
Only by accepting where we are now can we begin to take our next steps. Instead of trying to mentally & emotionally run from the uncertainty, try to lean into it. Feel everything. It’s not going to last. You won’t get stuck in that uncertainty. Instead, by doing that, you’ll be able to move past it and find your groove in this current reality.
So, be with what is right now. Find ways to accept it & then make your choices about what you’re going to do until this is done. It’s not always easy to do this. I know. But, it is the only way that you can move forward with less pain, frustration and anxiety.
We can do this together. You don’t have to be alone during this uncertainty. I’m still giving online sessions and I’d love to talk with you. Set up a free 15 minute call with me. Together we can come up with a plan to help you through this time.
Stay home, stay healthy & wash your hands!