July 27, 1983 was the day I officially became a mom. Well, okay, we all know it was actually nine months before that but you know what I mean.
Ever since that day, I’ve been “the mom.” I remember hearing my boys squabbling about something one time and one of them said at the top of his lungs, “You’re not the mom!” They all knew who the official mom was and weren’t tricked into believing otherwise.
Now, almost 33 years later all my boys are grown, the youngest is 16 but well on his way to adulthood. I’m still the mom but my role has changed. They don’t need the direction they once did. In fact, they usually make it very clear that they would rather make their decisions on their own. That’s as it should be but how do you train yourself to step back and stop being “the Mom” in the same way you have always done it?
It isn’t easy. And now that I am again living with five of my seven sons, it’s more difficult than ever. I’m used to being the decision maker, especially those years when Randy travelled and I was trying to fill both parenting roles.
Now I am faced with a new season. It’s been a very difficult season so far. God is changing me at my very core. I’ve been watching and listening for the past several months and I’ve had a revelation. I’m not as indispensable as I’d like to think. That’s not to say I am having a pity party and crying over how no one needs me anymore. It’s just that I have come to the conclusion that my input is often not necessary nor valuable. Sometimes I just need to be quiet. So, I’m practicing.
Practicing listening more than I talk. Practicing stepping back and letting my adult children do things their own way. Trying to remember that all of them have had times when I haven’t been around and they have proven themselves capable of managing just fine without mom. It’s as it should be.
And, the truth is, this applies to other relationships besides my children. There are many times when being quiet is the better path.
This week I will keep these scriptures where I can see them.
Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
Psalm141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips
Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent