Having the ability to nurture and carry another human being around with you for nine months is, in a nutshell, AMAZING! The process of bringing that human being into the world, NOT SO AMAZING! I’ve digressed already. 🙂
For many of us who have shared the pregnancy and childbirth experience, we tend to feel a sense of ownership over these “little humans” that we delivered to the world. In many instances, this sense of ownership is a good thing because our ability to connect with and guide these “little humans” will oftentimes have a profound effect on the manner in which they navigate through life. The problem comes in when our identity is so closely aligned with our “little humans” that we wrap our hands around the chord and hold on for dear life when they become “big humans”. We don’t know what to do with ourselves now that they are not so dependent, and therefore, we are unable to stay in our lane.
I, by no means, have mastered the art of staying in my lane. I am a work in progress. Here is a recent example…
My daughters have many of my traits. One of them is, if you give us a time that you are going to be somewhere, and you miss the mark, you will have hell to pay! Plain speak, don’t be late! We attach promptness to value, so when an individual we care about is not prompt, we internalize it and feel devalued. Years of life have taught me the art of fluidity. Plain speak, “one monkey doesn’t stop the show”. I have learned to adapt and move forward whether or not someone is present or prompt. I have also learned that I am not a perfect human being as much as I would like to believe that I am, so I have to leave some room for others’ imperfections.
My daughters are not at the stage where they can or even want to appreciate fluidity. As a result, when they are unhappy about something, they shut down. As the “all-knowing” woman that bought them in this world, I find myself injecting myself and my opinions when I am present to witness these moments. I try to comfort and give advice and figure out ways to break the spell. After all, I am “the one and only”. I AM MOM! Suffice it to say the “one and only” is writing this post because advice on fluidity is not well received amongst my tribe during these moments of crisis. Plain speak, the size of the volcanic eruption is greatly minimized when I simply STAY IN MY LANE.
For those who have not yet experienced children who have reached maturity, please keep the fluidity comments to yourself and simply stay in your lane! Your words of wisdom and desire to make things better will more than likely cause things to erupt into an all-out “shit show”. Especially if you are the mom of girls that you have raised to be outspoken and opinionated.
ALIGN YOURSELF WITH YOUR CHILD’S SIGNIFICANT OTHER
Sorry parents. I know that you want to believe that your “little humans” will love no one else as they love you, and I guess in a sense, that is true. With that being said, it is highly possible and more than likely that your beautiful little cherub is going to grow up one day and love another human being deeply. Think about it for a second. Isn’t that precisely what you did? If not, contact me so that we can unpack that in private, and I can make some good counseling recommendations for you. 🙂
Your child’s significant other is your ally! Use them! After all, there is a high probability they are the cause of the problem. So, let them fix it. When they can make your “little human” come out of that funk they created, do not be jealous! This is not a competition.
If you are a control freak like me, this is an incredibly tough lesson to learn. It took a lot of unnecessary arguments and tension to teach me this valuable lesson. And, I am still a work in progress. I have to get clear signals from my daughters, like eye rolls, that the “shit show” is about to begin before I am able to remember that I need to stay in my lane.
Plain speak. No matter how hard we try, there will be situations that we just can’t fix in our children’s lives. That is okay! Trust me, your super-parent award will not be snatched if you choose to do nothing. In fact, by doing nothing, you might just be creating an even greater human than you expected because you are giving them the opportunity to figure some stuff out on their own.
So, grab a martini, turn the music up and stay in your lane! I promise things will go much smoother.