As our children grow and move from one level of their life to another, we as parents don’t always know how to handle their growth even though we may welcome it. How do you take your cute adorable child, and learn to one day turn them over to managing their own lives? To me as a mom this has always seemed to be a daunting task that I have avoided thinking about at all costs. Children pierce a deeper part of our “love zone” that cannot be described into words. We love them…We deeply love them.
Not only as a parent but as a single parent, I have had moments where I have been so caught up into just surviving. Spontaneity was not a family member in my home. Everything was well thought out, scheduled, budgeted for, calculated, and served a needed purpose. To be honest I don’t even know how I pulled it off when I reflect back on my early days of parenting.
Now as I sit here with my teenaged daughter, the stirring of how many more of these moments will I have with her is quite loud and robust in my ears? On one hand, I am so proud to see and feel the growth within me to be willing to accept that it’s good for her to spread her wings wider. To know she has a God given right to accept and carry out her life purpose. To know she will step out from underneath my “faith covering” to fully seek God wholeheartedly for herself is kind of exciting. On the other hand I won’t lie to you, I sometimes question myself and think do I pray enough with her? Do we spend enough time in the Bible? Do I teach her enough about how to handle situations when she is being mistreated? Am I explaining enough to her about her worth? Believe me the list can go on. I know within me that God already has a handle on the situation, but I’m her mom and isn’t this what I am suppose to do----worry? Of course not, but it can be hard to sort through all these parenting feelings and come to accept that it is God who is being so gracious to allow me the space I need to time release my stewardship responsibilities as she approaches adulthood.
Your children will grow up, and the chairs around the dinner table will soon be vacant one day. The house will become a little quieter. The grocery list will get shorter. The light bill will decrease. The neighborhood kids will stop dropping by to eat all your food. These things are a natural part of life as your children spread their life wings into adulthood.
I have now replaced predictability with spontaneity. I love the fact that I have a choice to balance them both now in my life. I would not say I finally have my life back all to myself now that my daughter is transitioning in life, because I will always be a mom, but I will say I finally have more time for myself to do a lot more things which makes me feel like I have my life back. If you are in this stage of parenthood, you have or are reaching a serious mile marker and you have much to celebrate.
Single parenthood is not an excuse for you or I to hide behind not wanting to meet new people or find love. There are tons and tons and tons and tons of single parents who, in some cases, don’t have the time to date and that’s totally understandable. However in more cases than not, most single parents are extremely interested in dating and finding love. Those that use their kids as an excuse just find more excuses as their children grow up. Each mile stone you reach with your children also means you are one more year older. You know that question we parents often ask ourselves when it comes to our children, “Where does the time go?” Well I am posing the same question to you as a single mom or single dad, “Where does the time go?” Don’t make excuses.
As you meet new people and find new love, those same empty chairs begin to fill back up with new faces. Not only do your children’s life wings spread wider, so does your life wings. See God is in the business of connecting people with people. Our children have always belonged to God. So as we turn our children back over to Him, God turns new people back over to us. Our family grows, our children grow, and our lives become even more enriched just because we responded to the desire that God placed within our hearts and we let God figure it all out!