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For Moms of 20-somethings: Holding on and Letting Go

Video Transcript

This goes out to all of you moms of the 20 somethings. I am one of these moms. It’s amazing how for so long now we’ve been raising kids, like, for so long. I lives have pretty much, you know, revolved around those people. Those now grown people for over 20 years. For over 20 years. And now they’re grown ups and parenting is a whole new ballgame.

It mostly has to do with staying out of the way instead of saving their lives on a daily basis. And that is such a turnaround, isn’t it? It’s enough to give you whiplash as a middle aged mama, because now all of that tending all of that vigilance that made us great moms to notice what’s up with the kids, to notice when their emotions shift, to notice if they might be getting little sick, to notice if maybe their grades have dropped and their attention is slipping to notice who their friends are, to notice how late they’re out to notice every aspect that we can as stewards and tenders of these little humans suddenly.

Well, it’s not super sudden, right? It does take a few years. But honestly, looking back, it feels like suddenly it’s our job to stay out of the way. I recently got some letters back from my first love, my first my first kind of serious love in college, Aaron And there’s all these letters that I wrote him when I was in college.

In other words, when I was like 20, 21. These letters, I was reading some of them and my gosh, they’re so dramatic. They’re like, you know, a lot of questioning, a lot of loving him so much and a lot of inner torment about what to say and when. And it’s like dramatic and the details that I thought were important about what I did with friends or, you know, what my concerns were, my my body image, my attachment, wounding, concerns like these are like the most dramatic versions of what’s still going on inside of me.

But as I was reading these letters, that phone call, I can’t decide whether it was good or bad, but I know that I wanted so badly to tell you I love you. But I knew I couldn’t do it without crying. And I didn’t want to make you sad and never want to talk on the phone anymore. That’s how it gave me a lot of, like, perspective of what my 20 something kids are living in.

Because this level of like, questioning and not knowing and this deep, passionate drive to get it right and to be important to someone or something, I can just feel that 20 something year old like anxiety, the extra levels of anxiety and drama and it’s really helped me put in perspective just the lives of the 20 somethings around me, including my own kids.

And it’s reminding me of this poem that I’ll share, I’ll share here. That’s Kahlil Gibran. Your children are not your children. They are the sons and the daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but they are not from you. And it goes on. And I’ll put it in the notes here. And between that poem that I keep reciting in my mind and the feedback that I can get also from my kids about what’s right for me to share and what’s too much for me to share and what’s right for me to suggest and what’s over the line.

For me to be very intrusive and nagging. And then I have my guides, my spirit guides, reminding me that my kids have their own guides, my children have their own soul path. My kids have their own invisible team. My kids have their own souls that chose me as a parent. Yeah, but that was just one of many choices the soul made to come here and live here and be here in a human body.

So I just wanted to share this so that if you have kids that are in their twenties, maybe some of this reminder can help you too. And maybe we can just connect about how it’s a different kind of hard to parent grown ups responsibly, not nagging me in such a way that they still want to hang out with us.

And on that point, I just want to also acknowledge that the experience of having an estranged child, in other words, a grown kid who no longer talks to you. I worked for a while with a client who was a coach for estranged parents, parents who had, you know, grown mamas often grandmothers who were estranged from their child, their grandchildren for a number of reasons.

Sometimes it was because the kid was so far into an addiction that it wasn’t healthy to be connecting with the kid in a deep, enabling way. Sometimes it was because the kid became a fundamentalist religious person and and disowned the parent. And sometimes it’s because there were traumas or things that happened in the past that were not forgiven.

And so the separation is there. And so I just want to acknowledge that when I was looking into that with her, it’s something like 30% of women over 50 have a child who is partially or fully estranged from her. So this need for separation, healthy detachment.

I can’t even imagine how hard that would be if one of my kids was fully separated from me or if I lost a kid to death. So, yeah, pretty deep stuff. But these reminders that I’m getting both from my grown kids, from my guides, from my past 20 year old romantic self, and from Kahlil Gibran, another is once just to remember to practice the Serenity Prayer and to stay with ourselves and stay with our own process and to love our kids.

Kahlil Gibran says You can give them your love but not your thoughts. They have their own thoughts.

I’m with you in this. I’ve got no easy answers. But I do think that this is part of our rebirthing into this second half of life, our ability, our practice, staying with ourselves and allowing the people around us to have the dignity and the power to give them their own dignity, to give them their own discernment, to encourage them to stand on their own two feet, giving them support when they ask and when they need.

But to hang up the managerial apron, no longer the manager of our kids, of our partners, of our parents. We’re not their managers. I found this helpful, and I hope you do too.

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About Mellissa

Mellissa was a Stanford-educated business lawyer until her intuitive abilities awakened in the year 2000 with the birth of her daughter.  Now she bridges the worlds of business strategy and intuitive intelligence. Creative designers, Fortune 500 executives, and thought leaders hire her to teach them how to Channel their Genius – to create on demand, to stay in their flow state, and to create lucrative businesses that follow their souls’ calling.

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