So, you’ve finally made the shift from Mom to me. Adjusting to not being a full time parent is hard. You feel a little demoted. You are no longer the centre of his universe. You’re still Mom, but in title only, almost. Still, you understand, or at least, are trying to. And then, he returns. Whether he’s home for the holidays, or until he finds has own place, whatever the reason, he’s home. Again.
Relationship has changed; life will not be the same. You cannot expect things to be the way they were. He is still your son, but the human who has returned to the nest is an adult, a young one, maybe, but still an adult. He has been living on his own as an adult, to whatever degree, making his own decisions, choosing his own way. Reverting back to your role of a child’s mother will just make you both miserable.
Accept the change. Dare I suggest that you enjoy it? There is in fact a wonderful opportunity here to develop a friendship with your adult child. You can nurture a pleasant, mutually respectful an enjoyable relationship. It’s not always easy given the change in dynamics, but let logic prevail. Make the first move and treat them the way you would like them to behave. Respect their privacy and distance, keep unsolicited advice to yourself, listen well and don’t expect them to hang out with you, it’s more likely that you will have to fit into their lives.
Even though they are grown up, they still need emotional support – it’s no longer the “Look at me, Mommy!” type of attention and approval that they seek. They still need attention and approval but now it’s to support and build confidence in their ability to take on responsibility and succeed in the world. Just listen and you’ll know what he needs.
You will never not be Mom, but your role is constantly changing. Embrace it all.
Are you living with the return of the prodigal child? Home for the holidays? How’s it goin’? Share your story in the comments below. We’d love to hear.
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