Friday, June 18, 2010

On Being a Parent

Life moves quickly, ever changing. Just when I find myself settling into a routine, life happens and the cart gets turned upside down. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, just different.

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!


shelia said...

Thanks for sharing!
As a mom of 3 in college and 2 married..what i've learned that Momma keeps learning!

...and that GRAND PARENTING is the VERY best!!!!

~~Deby said... many of them in life...I sometimes have learned when things are "less than perfect, or what *I* thought they should be: What is, Is...and I leave the rest to the Lord..not always easy.
I think it is WONDERFUL that your adult children still have to be PART of the family as in chores etc...yes..that is real life..
good job, Tracy

Kelly said...

I am very glad to hear everyone is well.

Luci said...

So glad to hear all is well. I loved this: "Home should be a place where discussions can be had without being judged, where they can try new things without too much risk." I completely agree. You and your husband sound like absolutely marvelous parents. Your children are so blessed to have you in their lives!


Becky K. said...

Oh, it is very interesting the changes that our growing children bring. This weekend is the first time we will leave the boys at home alone with all of the responsibilities of jobs,a boatload of animals and the house.

You have spoken much wisdom in this post.

Becky K.

Mrs.Rabe said...


So glad to hear everything is going so well, and that learning is still taking place.

As a new grandma, I am learning a new place in my son's life. I want to be helpful, but not take over, be overbearing, or annoying! :) I also have a daughter who is an adult living here, working part time and helping with the gardens etc...she is a busy young woman!

Thanks for the great post.

Dede said...

Thanks for the update, Tracy! Have been thinking about you and your family lately. So glad to hear all is well.

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

I am so glad that you and your husband were there when Autumn needed you. Had that safety net not been there, we can only shudder to think of what might have happened.

Sounds like everyone is happy and healthy.

Grace said...

You're a wonderful mother :)

Jodi said...

Sounds like you all are having a busy summer! I imagine Collin is missed by all, but he'll have such great stories to share when he returns.

Tracy said...

I was just thinking about you early this morning and wondering how things were with you and your family. I'm so happy that your absence from blogging has been about living life in all its fullness.

It's good to hear that your kids are doing well and looking ahead in life.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Thanks for this update!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Thanks for this update!

Tully Family said...

I had heard about Autumn & had been praying for her & your family. God bless & thank you for this post- good things for Eric and I to ponder over.

weavermom said...

Tracy, I have cut back on my computer time and have not visited in quite awhile and missed the post about Autumn's return home. I am so, so sorry to read about Autumn's marriage - what a hard heartbreak and path to walk through. My heart just hurts for her and for you and your husband as well. I visited her blog as well and am glad to read that she is slowly healing.

Glad you are enjoying them being home even with the changes! :)

Miss Gracie's House said...

Thank you so much for these words of encourgement...we are in the same trenches now...the delicate balance of having a grown daughter still at home...tricky times indeed...I am sorry about your daughter...that must have been so hard for your mother's heart.