Friday, July 22, 2016

Children become Adults and Midlife Mom's Lose Control

By now, 2016, I have one daughter who completed 5 yrs university, graduating with a BSc Biology. She has worked fulltime 1.5 yrs already. She live on her own those 6 years. My son is entering 4th year university. He lives in student housing during the school year.

So I've walked the waters of nest-emptying. I know my journey is somewhat similar to many, but also vastly different.

The Cost of Independence 

One thing that should be similar is experiencing a sense of loss of control once our children become adults. The adult process starts at 18 and moves forward to 21 where major independence is exercised by most. And that is a good thing. Step by step we should step back. 

My weaning process started much earlier in some ways. At age 10, I taught my kids to do their own laundry and I taught my son how to make simple meals. From then on they've continued to do their own laundry and know how to feed themselves.

Loosening the reins on our adult children is both freeing and frustrating. There are many things we'd like to lecture them on. There are things we'd like to do for them. We might be tempted to arrange things behind the scenes for them. We might try to pick out clothes. We might print out articles for them to read. But much of that will backfire.

When our adult children make decisions we disagree with or fail to take action when we think they should we realize we no longer have control.

Lack of Control and Anxiety

I read recently that anxiety is a response when individuals sense a lack of control. If anxiety is left to fester, it can turn into depression.

No wonder midlife women fight depression so often.

As moms of young children we had a lot of control. We controlled their activity choices, their payments to events, their clothing choices, their bedroom organization, on and on. Most of us found it fun.

But now as moms of adult children those decisions aren't ours to make. We're off the job!

When they go away to school, we have no control over their schedule, breakfast choices, friends, church attendance, and so on.

Where do You Stand?

Are you still trying to dominate your adult child's life? Have you learned how to let go?

Do you feel a little frustrated or anxious over a loss of control? Do you worry about whether to step in or not? Have you had trouble letting go?

This area of releasing our children and its affects on us is an issue most of us need to address.

What to Do

Perhaps the best way to overcome anxiety is to focus on what is within our control. Sometimes that's as basic as cleaning the dust off our shelves and controlling our own schedule.

Of course, praying is within our control too. But be careful not to use prayer like one might cast a magic spell.  That is, it's not up to us to try to manipulate God into making things go the way we want them to. It's better to give God the choice of what should happen.

Some of our children may go through difficulties as consequences of their choices. God may allow them to make mistakes in the same way he allowed Job to be afflicted or some to become lame before he healed them.

Though we want to spare our children difficulty, keep them pleasing to God, and have happy outcomes, we can't force it to happen our way. Our resolve is to pray that should there be consequences of their choices, that God will draw them to himself and use their difficulties for his purposes.

It can also be helpful to tell yourself, "This isn't the end of the story."

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Used a Christian-Focused Life Coach When I Needed One

When I was in the chair in the photo above, I thought I had the best house. It was brand new when we bought it eight years prior. We had the fancy deck built and the basement professionally finished. The large kitchen picture window overlooked a walking trail and sports field that was usually alive with activity. My children had made friends that were important to them.

Moving Panic

When my husband got notice of changes at work and decided we should move back East, I panicked. In my heart, I'd wanted to move back for quite a while. That was where my family were. All that was deeply familiar to me was there.

Yet my children had friends they'd have to leave. We'd be starting over yet again.

Support Needed 

Since the work issues were confidential, and the wife is never consulted anyhow, I had no one to vent to. I was angry at what had played out where my husband was concerned. I hated seeing him mismanaged. That our entire life structure was about to be overturned was disregarded by his management team.

His company did have a counselling program, but it was a random draw as to whom I would get as a counselor. Being a deeply spiritual person, I knew I needed the perspective of another believer. And that is when I hired a Christian-based life coach. Phone calls with her provided me with a safe place to vent, think through various issues, and find some form of support.


One of her statements offered valuable clarity. While listening to me compare where we were with where we were thinking of moving to, she noted one description was about a house, while the other was about people. We'd just paid a lot of money to finish our basement, and we liked the park, etc. But moving would allow me to join in with more extended family events and perhaps catch up with some old friends. Her comment magnified a need I'd had for some time. I knew the move would be good.

A New Home 

I needed my life coach's support at the time, and met with her after our move too.

After a couple of trips across provinces to look at houses, we finally found one. It was a lot more money than the one we'd left behind. It had a huge yard, a pool, a large garden, and the though of maintaining it was intimidating. But because we'd made every decision with prayer, we knew God was in it.

I rarely think of my previous home now. I don't care about it. My children have adjusted. We've learned how to manage our larger home. And, last year, we were able to pay it off.  Because it has a pool, family have visited more than they would have if we didn't have a pool.  It's been great.

I tell you this story to outline how hiring a life coach can help with situations most just deal with. You don't have to figure out your entire life with a life coach. You don't have to be searching for purpose. You can merely use her services for the confidential support she provides.

To contact me for life coaching or for a referral to one of my many life coach friends, feel free to email me.