Children grow into young adults before our very eyes. Many assume this means the parenting days come to a close. They assume wrong. Parenting changes? Yes. Ends? Never. Our little charges become our friends, sharing their hearts, struggles, and joys. Sometimes the struggle is harder than others. There's a delicate balance when you're a parent between helping, and helping them find their own way. For several of my children, I'm now about the business of the latter.
My two older children left our home this past year: one got married, and the other went to college. Having them back in our home has been good, but we've had to step back and re-evaluate. Working on relationships is time-consuming and sometimes emotionally draining, even when things are going well, which they are.
Having older children in the home should be beneficial to both the parents and the children. For the young adults, they need a haven, a place to return at the end of the day where they know they are loved. Home should be a place where discussions can be had without being judged, where they can try new things without too much risk. At the same time, no parent wants an adult child free-loading while they are left behind to hold everything together. Relationships are give and take, and thankfully, we've discussed that for years in our home. This doesn't mean that we don't have our conflicts just like every other family, but it does mean that they aren't hearing something new for the first time.
And so, our family dynamics keep evolving. Autumn returned home from a failed marriage, Mac returned from college for the summer, Collin headed off for 5 weeks to work as a camp counselor, and Abigail, my baby, has a regular baby-sitting job earning $10 an hour!
Mac and Autumn are working 40 hour weeks, arriving home exhausted, but still pitching in to do dishes, mow the lawn, etc. This is the stuff real life is made of. Good husbands and wives can't arrive home at the end of the day and expect to do nothing but think of themselves until they return to work the next day. And so, the training continues.
As for me, I'm busy in the garden, preparing school lessons for the upcoming year, and building relationships. My husband continues to bless me daily with his patience and love. We are well. Thanks for asking!