Friday, March 31, 2017

Nine Reasons Why I Love Being A Parent To My Adult Children

     When our children prepare to graduate from high school or college, we as parents often struggle in a tug of war over power with them. We spend years shaping them into the adults we hope they'll become, but inevitably, their future is determined by the choices they make----whether we agree with them or not. Relationships between parents and their adult children can become strained during this time, which is why it's so important to know when to let go and to let them be independent.

     I know several parents who suffer from "empty nest syndrome", and letting go of their adult children has been a challenge. As for me, I was thrilled when my children matured and became self-sufficient.

     There have been times when I haven't always gotten along with my children. We've had our share of disagreements and hurt feelings. But rather than dwell on the growing pains of change in our relationship, I prefer to celebrate the positive side of being a parent to my adult kids. And there are so many reasons why.......


1. I'm never lonely. I socialize with my kids most weekends, and they're my best friends. I can trust them and confide in them on just about anything. But I also have to be prepared to face their criticism, because they have their own opinions and will tell me if they disagree with something I've said or done. For example: when I saw a cute little wombat on television and decided to adopt one off Amazon, they stopped me. They also prevented me from ordering a life-size squirrel costume as a birthday gift for their father. I can't believe they thought he'd prefer lower bowl tickets to a hockey game.

2. I no longer have to support my children financially. Unless, of course, there is a shortage of kale chips and quinoa. The money I'm saving now goes directly into a hormone therapy fund to combat my menopausal tendencies. It's a win-win for all of us.

3. We can have healthy debates on politics and religion, even though we are on opposite sides of the aisle. And just like congress, we can never come to a total agreement.....but that's okay.

4. My adult children now have an appreciation for the old school tunes from the 70's and 80's, and I appreciate their genre of music....kind of. At least I tell them I do.

5. They clean up after themselves when they visit. The only time it gets a little crazy is when they bring their dogs over. That's when my house turns into "The Hounds of Baskerville", and things get pretty messy.

6.  We can share libations together at a party. It's all fun and games until someone loses a shoe and ends up hungover the next day. But it isn't me---I already paid those dues during my own youth.


7. They share my sense of humor. When they hear that their father (in his youth) thought it was smart to quit his job and drive from Missouri to Florida during the heat of summer in an unairconditioned, 1972 Fiat, they think it's hilarious. Who else would move across country in a vehicle the size of a clown car? Like me, they find humor in every one of their father's unfortunate decisions.

8. We keep in touch almost daily. The beauty of social media allows us to share embarrassing memes with each other on Facebook and Instagram, or send one another snapchats of ourselves with distorted faces and animal ears. Okay, I'll admit, I'm the only one wearing the bunny ears.

9. Best of all, as adults, we have a mutual respect for one another. I'm proud of them for being resilient, self-sufficient people, while they appreciate my ability to simultaneously write a paper check and actually speak to a human being on the phone, rather than send a text.

    I really do love being a parent to my adult children. Despite the occasional argument over how many pets are considered to be a hoarding habit, we are a close bunch. Because of them, I enjoy eating kale and quinoa while listening to rap music. And I'm damn proud of it.


38 comments:

  1. I have never really understood the whole empty nest depression thing Marcia. I'm with you in being thrilled that I have self-sufficient adult children who actually like me (and each other). The sheer joy of having our house to ourselves and then opening it up for visits from them (ours are further away than yours!) delights my heart. Mine are coming home for a few days over Easter - can't wait for them to come and then I'll be fine with waving goodbye.

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    1. We are definitely on the same page, Leanne. Have a Happy Easter!

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  2. I haven't quite achieved all of these milestones, but I'm getting close. I can relate to being in frequent contact, and to getting to have more adult conversations. I'm also not completely "out of it" anymore. My oldest thinks maybe I have a bit of wisdom:)

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    1. Yes, it does take them awhile to realize that we actually DID have a life before they came along, and that we were once young, too.

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  3. Yes. Empty nest? Time to go out and do something!

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  4. My boys are 19 and 22. And, I have to say, I was so very ready for them to fly the nest. Not that I don't miss them. I really do! But, it was time. And, I really like the relationship we are building with them ad they mature. (Well, the 19 yer old still has some major maturing to do yet! But, he'll get there!)

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    1. Those are great ages. It takes the boys a bit longer to mature, but they will get there. I have a 21 yr. old that I'm STILL waiting for him to mature!

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  5. My kids have gotten so much smarter than me I sometimes wonder what advice I could ever offer now. Do you ever get the feeling that they just may be parenting you?

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    1. Yes----absolutely. In some ways, this generation is much further along the we ever were. I blame technology for that.

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  6. Fabulous, Marcia! Love this. The pic at the end...omg, hilarious! Empty nest has its perks, for sure. What nice family you've made!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! It's always a work in progress!

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  7. Someday, I, too will have an empty nest! Meanwhile, I'll enjoy what I have. All my kids (And more importantly, grandkids) close. Close enough to trip over. Literally!

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    1. But I'll bet you're loving every minute, Diane. You have been blessed with such a lovely family, my friend.

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  8. One of the wonderful aspects of parenting adult children is the way they introduce you to new interests--theirs, of course, but because they're interested we take note and educate ourselves on or about whatever it is. They expand our minds--after all those years we spent trying to expend theirs. Great payoff.

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    1. Yes---I coudn't agree more. I have learned so much from them----even some things I wasn't sure I was ready to know about, ha-ha!

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  9. I never 'suffered' empty nest, that's for sure! My sons and I got closer as they got older and closer still when they were out the door. I enjoyed them more and more as they went through their teens and, ultimately, out on their own.
    b

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    1. Isn't it wonderful to see them turn into mature, self-sufficient young men? It makes a mama proud!

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  10. Fun post. Our son is 36 and recently engaged. I imagine his wife will soon be taking over our boy's emotional well-being. Oh Happy Day!

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    1. You will love every minute of it. Congrats on his engagement!

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  11. Love this and am happy to say, I have the same close relationship with my two twenty-something aged sons. Its a special, extra proud time of life when you look at your kids and not only love them, but like them.

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    1. Isn't that the truth? It's an awesome feeling to know your have raised such wonderful young men.

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  12. I agree with so many of these. I love talking politics with my kids and unlike my husband (and my mom), they never get mad at me. I love socializing with them, being able to try new cocktail ideas on them is so cool. But, unfortunately, I don't get to talk to them every day. In fact, one of them I think has forgotten that he has a mom. Well, until his funds start to run low. Or he needs an airplane ticket somewhere. {{sigh}}.

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    1. Ohhhhh. ....I feel your pain. I remember my oldest son being the same way when he was in college. We only talked about once a week, or maybe even less....of course, until he needed cash, LOL.

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  13. I'm with you - I LOVE being a mom to my adult children. But what's up with all the dogs and why do they always have to come over! I don't get that. But, oh well. At least I see them all the time.

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    1. I don't get it, either. I guess they don't want to leave their fur babies home alone for too long. And not all of our dogs get along!

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  14. Love your post, wonderful thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. There really do seem to be really wonderful things about parenting adult children, Marcia. I hope that my son lives nearby as an adult and comes for dinner and libations on the weekends!! Your family seems like such fun.

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    1. You two are very close, so I am betting you will have the same relationship!

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  16. I think if we can look at our adult children and say we are proud of the type of adult they have grown into we have done a good job, I for the most part am proud of my adult children

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    1. You are so correct, and isn't it a nice feeling??

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  17. Aw. Of course I can't relate but I think you've raised them well for you to have this kind of relationship with them.

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  18. Your posts always prepare me for the coming years. He will be a freshman next year and he already thinks he knows everything. He keeps saying, stop treating me like a kid which I don't do...well, we are mamas..some habits die hard. May be I will be as happy and content as you are when he leaves but I doubt it...LOL...I love the part that he is growing up and we can have straight discussions about any topic. I don't have to watch movies ahead and then give a green for him to go. Well, I am digressing. :)

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    1. It sounds like you are already on the right track!

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  19. As often happens, I can identify with much of your reflections. My two children (23 & 26) have developed into two worthwhile & genuine human beings and I'm immensely proud of them both. My son and wife are very similar in temperament (shortish fuses) and used to clash regularly when both under same roof - they get on much, much better now he's left home and we only see him once per week!

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    1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.....

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