Does that mother’s instinct to always want to jump in and save your child from getting hurt ever go away?
I’m guessing the answer is no.
I have a hard time, sometimes, stopping myself from interfering. There are times when I’m pretty certain one of the kids is headed for heartache or a big disappointment or a bad outcome of some sort. I’m more likely to chime in with my daughter, who’s still in high school, or with my middle son, who isn’t yet 20. But with my oldest — who, despite the fact that he’s living at home, is an adult and should be treated as such — I’m having more difficulty walking this fine line.
Granted, if whatever mistake I thought he was about to make was life-threatening, I’d have no hesitation whatsoever about speaking up. But those aren’t the things I’m generally concerned about, simply because my kids — knock on wood — don’t seem to get themselves into life-threatening situations. Or if they do, I’m just unaware.
I’m talking more about the things I used to be able to fix. Like when one of the kids would come home from school, upset because someone hurt their feelings or because something happened that they thought was unfair. Mom could usually fix that, either with their favorite snack or some special activity or just some of that motherly encouragement and advice.
But when they get older, their disappointments get bigger and can’t be fixed with cookies and milk or one of mom’s pep talks. That’s hard — maybe even more so for us moms than for our kids.
Offering support — whether they take it or not — is still important, I think. But like it or not, it’s all part of growing up — for us and our kids. Maybe one day I won’t worry? I think not! Once a mama bear, always a mama bear.