I’m cresting toward 60. (cresting is an understatement since I’m rapidly approaching the shoreline) I’m the parent of adult children (who are in their 30s). I do realize that once the line turns pink on the pregnancy test, you have signed up for life. You never stop being a Mom, or most of us don’t. But at some point the thought tickles, maybe even teases, your frontal lobe that maybe, just maybe, your job duties will diminish somewhat. And maybe, just maybe, you can turn and focus attention on your own dreams and passions.
That is the place I’m finding myself right now. Now, let me quick to note, I am unequivocally, unabashedly crazy about my kids. They are truly the great loves of my life. But I do harbor ambitions of getting some traction with my Be Brave. Lose the Beige blog and business. After all, I’m obviously not getting any younger.
But as I slumped in to meet my business partner this morning, I confessed to feeling like I had been pulled from pillar to post by my little darlings. (My husband says I’ve been pulled more than salt water taffy) You see, I think as Boomer parents, we have become exceptionally good at solving our kids’ problems, or at least helping them brainstorm their way through them. This creates quite a dependency– for both of us. They frequently turn to us for guidance and advice. And we don’t necessarily mind most of the time. We like keeping the connection; we are addicted to the feeling of being needed; and we are incredibly opinionated, particularly when it comes to our kids’ lives.
But sometimes we can experience burn-out. I think that is what is happening to me this week. My son, who is finishing his Ph.D. requirements, is tired of being poor and living so far away from his fiancé; his labradoodle, who has served as a lifeline over this extended process, is quite ill. David is beside himself with grief. My daughter is in the process of extracting herself from a 5 year relationship; her inner city basement apartment was fire-bombed recently; and she feels like she has chosen a poor and possibly unsafe replacement residence.
The texting, phone calls, visits, and emails consume a considerable amount of my time. There is also the matter of my battered spirit. It is difficult, if not impossible, for me not to experience anxiety when my children are suffering. Thus, there is not a lot of time or energy left over to focus on my own work. I think this may be a clarion call for advise…how do we maintain a healthy balance between parenting and pursuing our own passions? Text, comment or email with your thoughts….