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                                                                                                                                             Not Mommy Anymore
                                                                                                                                          Does this sound familiar?
                            
                                                                                                                         
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Motherhood -- Whether you stay home with your children or work outside of the home, motherhood is a full-time job that never ends. Once you're a mother, you are a mother forever and for all of eternity. While the bible says there will be no marriage in heaven, it does not say any such thing about being a parent. There's no going back and nowhere you can hide. It's a done deal, forever and ever. 

When that first baby pops out of you, the joy can just fill your heart and not just because that kid is finally out of you. You've got your baby in your arms. And that joy lasts till the first time your new bundle of joy cries and cries with no end in sight. Then real motherhood begins. The worry begins, mixed with the guilt of just wanting some sleep. Oh, the much-needed sleep that will not come again till, well ever. 

Yeh, basically you can kiss sleep goodbye and find a good eye wrinkle cream. Use it morning and night, and don't forget to do those belly crunches to bring that waistline back into shape, so that you can lay off those antacids you began taking in your pregnancy. And good luck with that. Your body shape, your teeth, your complete nervous system, will never be the same. But YAY! You're a mommy! 

The Letting Go Begins -- From that very first moment that you pushed your bundle of joy out of you, you began to let go of your child. And with each new milestone, you let go more and more. The excitement and worry that comes with wanting to know that your child is on schedule for all of those milestones, is all part of being mommy, 24/7, no time off, no vacation days ever. You cannot even remember what it felt like to just be you. As a truly loving mommy, you bust yourself and give decades of your life for those that you gave life. Then one day your oldest child is grown and moves out, and you are left with the emptiest feeling you've ever felt.  

You can't explain how you are feeling and nobody really cares that you have a hole in your life that you are sinking into. So, you do what comes naturally, you do for your child. Your child gets a place to live, so you buy anything you can to help your child get that good start in his/her new home. Something needs fixed, you are right there wanting to see to it that it gets fixed. Your kid gets backed up on cleaning, you are right there with your two willing hands to help. You visit as much as your child will allow you to, and you have those Sunday dinners at your place that you live for all week long. And your kid will never have to learn a lesson the hard way, because you will always be there to prevent that from ever happening. You keep your phone right by you at all times, because you must always be there at your adult child's beck and call. You are a 24/7 doctor, counselor, lawyer, and banker. No matter what you are doing, when your kid calls, you turn into SUPER MOM TO THE RESCUE to fix the latest problem your kid has found him/herself in. You are needed!


When the time comes, you do the same with your other kid(s). And one day you realize you are working more as a mother than ever before, and you wonder when your kids will take responsibility and grow up, so that you can finally be "off the clock." ehem.... Then someone tells you that you are not mommy anymore, you are mom, and you wonder where that person was years ago, not that you would have listened back then.

But you do come to finally let go. Depending on the kid, all could work out well. When you pull back your help and let that bird fly, that bird learns to soar. But what about the kid who doesn't? What about the kid who became resentful of that help, to the point of being vengeful, still had no problem taking that help and even at times expects it, but is now resentful because he/she has prideful insecurities that are not of your making? 

Here's a true story, other than the names that I am changing. Bob and Sally are married. When on the road, Bob gets upset if Sally tells Bob to not miss an upcoming turn. But if Bob were to miss that turn and Sally had said nothing, Bob would get upset that she did not remind him. Sally received Bob's wrath either way. Grown kids can be this same way with mom, resentful and yet expecting. It's a mixed message. While family should always be able to count on family in times of need, all else should never be expected and always be appreciated, and that includes things mom does. No matter what, moms need to let go and let adult kids grow up. However make no mistake, this can be very hard if things go badly with an adult son/daughter, before you come to realize these things. But better late than never, to let go and let that adult kid learn to be a grown adult. If your children were loved and did not suffer any abuse as children from you, then there is simply no excuse for those children to not grow up and be able to appreciate you and honor you as their mother and treat you well.

When your children are full grown adults, you are not mommy anymore. However, you are still mom. And if an adult son/daughter does not want to honor you as such, which simply means to treat you as special and instead treats you flippantly, then you have no obligation to have an active relationship with him/her during such time. If an adult son/daughter chooses not to honor you as his/her mother, that relationship is over.*
Treating a loving mother flippantly is a sign of an immature adult, one who might actually be thinking it makes him/her mature, as he/she confuses controlling mom with being in control of him/herself. And if mom goes along with this, then mom is allowing this adult son/daughter to keep her in mommy-mode. Moms need to treat adult sons/daughters as adults, even if they are behaving otherwise. Don't be kept in mommy-mode.  

So, do not be surprised if you come to realize you were not the only one stuck on you being mommy. But no matter the case, eventually you let go and salvage what you can and go on with life and possibly get a dog. Be grateful you were a good loving mother. Better you errored by loving your kids too much, than not enough. And perhaps one day that love will be fully appreciated. But don't live for that. You're not mommy anymore.

*2 Timothy 3:1-3 "This know also: that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, without self-control, fierce, despisers of those who are good" --Notice this is speaking of adults (men, meaning adults), that they shall be "disobedient to parents" and "despisers of those who are good." Christian children, when grown and walking in the flesh, they can fall into any temptation. And we can see how so many adults today are going against the teachings of their parents. With modern-day counseling being so anti-family and pro-selfishness and teaching that everyone is toxic (see here: https://www.debrajmsmith.com/Toxic.html), it is no wonder how the devil is managing to pull this off. Rest on the scripture that says well-trained children, when older shall not depart. They can stray, just as we all can stray from God's teachings, but they cannot depart. Where they go, all your teachings go with them. -- A strayed son or daughter can run, but can never hide from any and all good ways you trained him/her up to be. Eventually, even with an estranged son/daughter, here or in heaven, you both will have a new relationship.

 
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 Debra J.M. Smith