I remember the glorious day that my children were born. The moment that I held them in my arms. I already felt like I knew them from holding them inside me for so long, but there is something so overwhelmingly stunning about gazing at them for the very first time.
You do your best to keep them safe. Teach them all the things they need to know. From feeding themselves, to doing homework, we mold those tiny lumps of clay into small people, and then guide them into a preteen, teen, high school graduation, and then hopefully onto higher education. And somewhere in all of that, we deal with sickness, broken hearts, sports, driving, dating, body changes and acne.
Like a tornado ripping through a small town, you turn around and do not even recognize the grown individual standing before you. So what to do with this person? Now in my generation when you became an adult you wanted to get out and try on the world. Apparently, that is not the case in the new generation. It is statistically more likely for young adults to reside with their parents these days.
This last week my oldest daughter (23 yrs) and her husband (30yrs) were told they had to move out of our home. This did not go well. It began to cause all sorts of anger and hurt feelings. Why is it wrong for me to want my kids to prosper outside my house? They had spent much more time than we had expected in our nest, so we decided that there was nothing left to do but become a pusher. Now when a momma bird pushes a baby bird out of the nest so it will learn to fly on its own, that is a beautiful part of nature, however, when a human momma pushes her child out it can appear not so beautiful.
I have learned three things that are imperative as a pusher:
- You must use tough love in this situation. This is, in my opinion, tougher on the parent. You must look stern on the outside while you weep on the inside. You must seem indifferent as your heart breaks within you at every nasty comment you endure. You must say what you intend and stand by it, if at all possible. Treat it as a business transaction. Remember, there is no crying in Business.
- Stop allowing them to depend on you, remain neutral. You can not solve their issues for them. They have to learn by themselves. They must make their own mistakes. The longer you do it for them, the longer it will take them to become independent.
- Remind them that you do love them, but that does not mean that you can rescue them. Your thoughts, prayers, and love are their’s and they should hear that even if they do not understand it right away.
Our children are our blessings from the Big Man upstairs and they take a lot of time and energy to raise. I love all 3 of mine and am thankful that God allowed me to be their mother. I heard it said the other day that age 18 was an invitation to move out, and it made me chuckle. If only those kids realized that. The quicker the younger generation starts accepting adulting as a real part of life. This would include paying bills, rent/mortgage, working, etc, because anyone who has made it to the mature side of life knows that they did not get there by doing nothing.
Okay, so, I admit it. I did it. I pushed one of my birdies out of the nest. I looked my beautiful daughter in the face and I said, “I know you don’t understand this now, but you will thank me for this one day.” My statement was answered only by a negative head nod. I know she can not grasp it now, but once she learns to fly it will be a different world, and she will have a better outlook and attitude. She will grow from this experience and so will I.