These words you are reading on your screen have been a long time coming. I’m a bit nervous but beyond excited to finally get this going. It’s almost been a year since that first “we’re working on it” post.
This post has been prayed for, dreamt about and even agonized over at times. I wanted to choose just the right words that would form just the right message to start this ministry of encouragement out on just the right foot.
I sincerely hope this works. And by “works”, I mean I hope it ministers to all the nothers out there. I hope this space feels like we’re locking arms and walking down a new path taking us into more of the unknown but not alone. Some of our paths may be hard and some good. This notherhood ride is often such a mixed bag. I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you here for a while because I think we need each other.
You can read more about my who’s, what’s, why’s on the About page regarding what my goal is here in this space that has already become sacred for me. It is an honor to share with you a piece of my heart and story as a mom of adult children. It is a stage I entered blind and utterly clueless and couldn’t find much support in. Now a few years into notherhood, I’m seeing how wonderful it is to watch our children successfully living out our hopes and dreams for them and living out a few of their own as well. All of those incredulous, seemingly thankless and exhausting years of the hardest work we’ve ever done was well worth it.
In the movie, Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear and Woody exchange adventures and the phrase “To Infinity and Beyond” was coined. It is a phrase we’ve quoted in our family for two decades now. I can’t think of a better entry into this new phase of motherhood we will call notherhood than to scoop you other nothers up and take you along with me, “To Notherhood and Beyond!”. Are you ready for the adventure?
As I prepared for this site to start up and for what direction it should take, I asked some fellow travelers on this adventure of notherhood what they would say was their biggest struggle in being a mom of adult children. I also asked them what their biggest joy was. They answered honestly and agreed that I could anonymously share their answers here with you.
KW said: Navigating the tricky waters of being involved, asking questions, etc. with marrieds, we’re no longer their “person.” It’s tricky to let go without appearing disinterested or uninvolved. Ugh. Letting go in this way is so hard. Still trying to find that balance.
AS said: As well as knowing that they’re hurting and that we don’t really get to be the band-aid person anymore. I have a new perspective on “leave and cleave”. I used to only think that we had to leave our parents and cling to our spouse. But we, as parents, have to let them leave.
DW said: Not overstepping my bounds with the marrieds and soon to be marrieds….knowing their go-to isn’t us anymore!
AS said: I think my biggest struggle is not being able to jump in and save them when they’re really struggling. And on top of that, them not needing me to save them. It’s what we raised them to do but it still is so hard to not be needed when you’ve been nothing but needed for 18 years or so. There are so many joys! Getting to be their friends now after all those years of having to be a parent and having grandkids!!!
AS said: A joy for me is that they still want to come visit us so I must be doing okay.
AB said: They grew up- and then out- of church. They left God behind. I’m thankful that God doesn’t leave them behind. He’ll be there. Always.
AS said: One thing that has become clear and good to me is that once they fly I think of my job changing from parent to more of a cheerleader.
RL said: The biggest struggle for me is wishing I had done some things better.
Can you relate to any of what these nothers have shared? What is your biggest struggle and greatest joy as a nother (a mother of adult children)? Would you please share with me and others who are longing to share the journey?
Feel free to share here in the comments or over on the Notherhood Facebook page. Let’s chat. Let’s dive in this adventure together. We need each other’s supportive “me too” and words of encouragement.
To Notherhood and beyond!!
photo credit: Brooke Cagle via Unsplash