Welcome to Free At Last Mom! Learning to Let It Go!
Hi Y’all! Free At Last Mom here! For my very first post I have to start out by saying I LOVE MY KIDS! For years, they were the most important part of every day. But – they aren’t kids anymore! My son will be 30 (Gasp!) next week and my daughter is 27. Both have lived on their own for several years, but it wasn’t until the last year or two that I was able to “Let It Go!” I was the sort of Mom that had to be in control of every aspect of my children’s lives (which was a sore point once they began living on their own). Realistically once a Mom always a Mom. The hardest part of being a Mom is realizing that your kids don’t need you anymore. They rarely ask your advice. They have their own lives that don’t include you and quite often you know nothing about what is going on until after the fact!
When they each went out on their own, I was frantic if I didn’t hear from them each day. I was crazed if I visited them and their house was not as clean as mine was. Some of my favorite lines were: “you didn’t grow up with dust in my house- you were raised better” or “your clothes were never wrinkled when you lived in my house – you were raised better.” It seemed like everything I said to them ended with “you were raised better.” And then suddenly I realized one day that I was not accepting them for the adults they had become and by not accepting them I was admitting that I was afraid that I hadn’t taught them how to take care of themselves the right way.
Starting about two years ago I made a conscious effort to let them live their own lives, because I couldn’t live my life until I let them go. It was a hard process! In the past if I hadn’t heard from them by a certain time each day I would call just to check in. That was the first thing I let go – it was hard – it made me crazy – I picked up the phone 3 or 4 times every afternoon to call one of them, and then I would put it down and tell myself to wait for them to call. And guess what? After a few days each of them called to ask why they hadn’t heard from me! Next, when I visited their homes I never said a word about the dog nose prints on the windows and doors and the few dishes in the sink (when the dishwasher is right next to the sink) or a little bit of dust. I will admit after a visit I get in the car and go on forever to their father about those things because after all “they were raised better!” but I don’t say it to them.
The final and hardest transformation I made was not forcing my opinion or advice on them. Now when they ask a question I always say tell them what I would do followed by “you have to make your own decisions – I can’t tell you what to do. You have to do what is best for you.”
These days my kids call to check on me. My husband and I live a simple, free life – doing as we please, when we please. It has taken me several years to not worry about what the kids are doing or where they are going – when they need me, they will let me know. It hasn’t been easy but after several years of worry I have “Let It Go” and I am loving every minute of every day! My bathrooms are always clean. When I need something it is exactly where it is supposed to be. I no longer have to hide my favorite snacks. I can spend each and every day doing exactly as I please. So, what do my days consist of now that I am free? I can pick up and travel whenever I please. I can eat when I want to. I can sleep when I want to. I can go out all day and only come home when I feel like it! The possibilities are endless! Because I’m a Free At Last Mom!