My youngest child turned 18 in October. That’s it – I managed to corral them all to adulthood.

Where’s my prize?

As it turns out – and to be honest, I already knew this since I have done this 4 times before – getting them to 18 is just the beginning.

They actually still need you quite a bit between 18-25, and between 25 and 30… I’ll let you know, but so far, even though the need changes, they still want/need you after 30 too.

Change Is Good, Even in Motherhood

The way my relationships with my children has changed over the years has been as much about my growth as it has been about theirs. I understand much more why my mother always said that motherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual – you learn as you go. This has been so true. But you don’t just learn how to parent by having kids; you learn how to live, how to love, how to let go.

Letting Go Is Hard

Letting our little humans take control of their own lives is really difficult, even when they seem to have it all together and have a decent plan for the future. There are so many what ifs out there that it’s easy to get caught up in the worry. But if you allow that worry to fester, the way it’s perceived by your kids is that you don’t trust them or have faith in their abilities. You have to believe that you armed them with the knowledge and experience they need to take the next step – and that they’ll text you when they need more help (and they will, a lot).

This Is What It’s All About

You have literally been preparing your kids to leave the house since the day they were born. Every day you were fostering their independence – teaching them to feed and dress themselves, go to the bathroom on their own and shower themselves. You taught them how to navigate the ups and downs of friendships and relationships, and how to assert themselves. Now, you have to let them get out there. Am I really talking to myself and encouraging myself to handle this step? Of course I am. But I hope it helps some of you, too.