I am pleased and honored to have Ginger Newingham, a wife, mom, missionary, adoption advocate, crusader for all things just, blogger and old farmhouse inheritor, joining us on Notherhood. She comes to us moms of adult children from the perspective of the adult child telling us how, in her words, “my mom is nailing it!”. Ginger reminds us how good this season can be as our days of disciplining are done and how spoiling our children can now be a good thing. Thank you, Ginger, for sharing a tale from the other side of Notherhood.
I have three sons under the age of eleven. I live in the thick of naughty words, failed potty training, ignored directions, and sassy backtalk.
I’m contemplating moving hours away from my children. Buh-bye kids. I’ll call you on Sundays. It’s ok if you don’t come visit all that often. I promise.
What would happen if I constantly replayed my boys’ daily offenses in my mind? I could lay in bed reflecting until I concluded my children are absolute monsters who will grow up to be psychopaths.
I’m pretty sure I spend 50% of my day lecturing, disciplining, and enforcing time outs. I just might quit. What if I just didn’t anymore? What if I stopped correcting my children? I’m gonna try this. No more disciplining.
I’ve also decided I’m going to do everything just to make my children happy. I want to take them to a favorite restaurant or offer to let them relax as I clean their playroom from top to bottom. Don’t lift a finger, kids. I got this. It’s ok if I spoil them.
This post has seemingly started off as the WORST guide to parenting. But in reality, that’s only because of the age of my kids.
If my kids were 24, 26, and 30 instead of 4, 6, and 10, those mothering techniques would actually work. As opposed to the worst mother ever, I could potentially be seen as a mother worth imitating and revering.
Like my mother, for example.
Because my mother is the mom of an adult child, she can parent in a way that would make me look negligent. (click to tweet)
1. My mom is hands-off.
My mom lives around two hours from me. She’s never once asked my family to live closer. She doesn’t make us feel guilty for not wanting to move in down the street.
In fact, because we don’t live in the same town, our times together are more concentrated and more focused on our relationship. We don’t take for granted the occasions when we do visit.
I’m sure my mother would love to see my family more often, but she never guilts us for being busy. She stays in contact through occasional phone calls and regular texts – not panicking if we are too distracted to respond immediately.
2. My mom remembers everything I did wrong.
While lying in bed and counting my children’s sins would be detrimental to our relationship, my mom has a different perspective. She can recall moments of my imperfection (rare, of course) and see the bigger picture.
Apparently, I disobeyed and ignored my parents at least once. My mom also remembers when I said naughty words and talked back. But, I was corrected and I learned. Now, I do very well obeying authority (I ALWAYS wear my seatbelt, y’all!) and I rarely (rarely) say naughty words.
I want my mom to remember my offenses and counsel me through those same offenses of my children. Yes, they might be monsters now, but so was I at one time. And I turned out ok. My mother’s wisdom of the big picture is invaluable.
3. My mom doesn’t lecture or correct.
I recently got my nose pierced. I’m a 32 year-old-woman. It’s fine, guys.
My mom hates it. I knew she would.
But she has never directly shared her opinion with me.
I can deduce her feelings of disapproval, but she has never outright lectured me on how she believes a nose piercing to be rebellious or immature.
My mother has stopped correcting me.
Now, if I were committing major sins or traveling down a wayward path, she would say something (and I would want her to). But it’s no longer her place to give her opinion or offer her discipline for every little choice I make.
She raised me and corrected me when I was in her home. She lectured me when it was appropriate. These days, it’s not. Her role in parenting has changed.
4. My mom spoils me.
I recently was having a day where I just was worn out and feeling blah. My mother offered to drive two hours and cancel 48 hours’ worth of plans to come and stay with me. Had I let her, she would have come, cooked my meals, and cleaned my bathroom. She would have insisted I sit on the couch and read a book.
She would have spoiled me.
As a young child, my mother taught me to work hard. She passed down skills of homemaking and cooking. Now, as an adult child, she knows I’m capable. But sometimes she just wants to spoil me rotten.
She wants to support me when raising preschoolers is hard or life is busy. She wants to love me through difficult seasons and moments of discouragement.
Motherhood looks different on my mom than it does on me right now. Maybe this is true for you right now as well.
The actions that would make me seem like a horrible mother cause my mom to receive my respect and thankfulness. Mothering adult children is a totally different style of motherhood. (click to tweet)
Since being the mom of adult children includes less lecturing and more spoiling, that life stage doesn’t sound half bad.
Title photo credit: Pixabay.com lillaby