Raising your kids after you've raised them.

 Raising your kids after you've raised them.

21 year old daughter (calling me from a friends cell phone): Mom I lost my phone. I've looked everywhere and can't find it.

Me: Did you try "Find my I Phone? (Amazing app you can stalk your kids with)

Daughter: Oh yeah, great idea. And oh, I also think my purse was stolen.

Me: Are you hammered?

Daughter: No, not at all. I was drinking earlier but I'm fine now.

Me: How in the world did your purse get stolen?

Daughter: I turned around for just a minute and it was gone.

Uh-huh. Right. So that was the beginning of a three hour odyssey during which time (keep in mind she is 500 miles away, a senior in college) we determined that she didn't just turn around for a minute; she left the bar without her purse. Something about Kansas kicking Missouri's butt in basketball. But I digress.

She called the police and accompanied by an officer, I tracked her phone on the app and guided them to the area where it was. Sure enough, not only did we recover the phone but her whole purse as well. Whew. The fact that a friend had picked it up to hold onto it for her and didn't call anyone to notify her...well, that's another issue. At 3AM when I finally went to sleep, I lay there in bed thinking about how after 24 years of motherhood I am still raising my kids. She and I had some long talks the next day. Mother to daughter.

On Chicagonow.com there a lot of gals referred to as "Mommy Bloggers". That's typically reserved for women with younger children. They are some amazing, hilarious, talented women. Then there's women like me with grown kids; one two years out of college, the other one about to graduate. We still mother our children as much as when they were little, just in different ways. I will call myself a "Mom Blogger".

Raising kids in todays world is a job that all of us mothers know is the hardest yet most rewarding thing we do. I could never imagine my life without my girls; I can't remember what it was ever like to NOT be a mom. But there is a misnomer amongst some people that once your kids are 18, you're done. They're molded and that's it. So not true. The things that we do for our children change. They have more freedom as they get older but we still have to guide them.

We get so used to them living with us when they are young. It's everyday life. We don't think much about when they are in high school and suddenly they are leaving for college. We raise them under our noses but then we have to adjust to their being away. But not just that - we still have raising to do. They don't leave the nest (prepare yourselves early for the day they leave for college) and know everything. The phone rings and rings. "Mom, how do I do this?" "Mom, I need this". "Mom, I wish you were here, I miss you so much it hurts". Dagger to the heart.

When we sign up for the job as mother it's not something we can quit if the going gets tough. It's a job that you continue for your whole life. We want to keep them safe. Look at the mom who just lost both her legs from throwing herself on her kids to save them from the wrath of a tornado. I would do that. It's no different now when they are away at school or living somewhere else. I still advise; I still "raise" my kids.

Does it get tiring sometimes? Yep. Would I ever change a thing? Nope. Will I ever stop worrying about them? Nope. Conversation between my Dad and I last week:

I am in Milwaukee on a sales call and my phone rings. It's Dad.

Me: Hi Popsy, what's up? I'm on a call.

Dad:  Mah Baby! It's starting to snow pretty heavy, I want to make sure you drive safe on your way home. Call me when you get there.

Me: I promise Mah Daddy, I'll call you as soon as I get home. Love you.

Dad: I loves mah little baby.

He is 79, I am 54. I rest my case.

 

 

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  • That is really sweet! I hope my kids call me for everything too. And congrats on two college grads - wow!

  • Thanks Jenna, they will, believe me. And thanks about the college grads. No more kidneys or livers but it was worth it ;)!

  • You are very lucky that your daughter wanted to call you when she lost her phone. Sadly, when I was in college I would of called everyone before my mother. I'm already approaching the stage where I feel like my Kindergartener doesn't want to tell me things. Any advice how to keep the communication lines open forever?

    P.S. And how lucky you have that relationship with your dad too.

  • In reply to Yoga Mom:

    I was the same, and I think it comes from knowing that you're going to be in really deep doo-doo. Perhaps making sure that your K-er knows that you're not going to go ape when s/he admits to losing or breaking something?
    With teens I have found that having a family dinner as much as possible is the most effective way of keeping the C lines open. I really think it has been a life-saver for me.

  • In reply to Yoga Mom:

    My husband and I always made it extra clear to our girls that if they were up front and honest with us, there would be less anger and aggravation. That started when they were old enough to talk. Plus, I agree with Expat, family dinners are critical. We made a point to have them just about every single night. We included our girls in most everything communication wise and it has really paid off. We have built their trust that they can always come to us and even if what they have done angers or disappoints, they know there is unconditional love.

    Thy are more upset when they know we are disappointed as opposed to angry. And as far as my relationship with my Dad, he has always been a softie. Since my mom passed three years ago, we talk every day at least twice. I wouldn't have it any other way :) Good luck!! Just caring about these things is half the battle. Sadly, many parents don't.

  • We should start a club. Last month I had to deal with the DMV because college Freshman had lost her license under similar circs. Do you know how difficult it is to replace a license when you're not even in the state? And because she's 19, I wasn't allowed some of the information anyway. And then someone found it on the street and handed it in to the college police. (That thing has 9 lives).

    Or there's my 16 year old who phones yesterday from school.
    "Mom, is my guitar there?"
    "Where?"
    "In the house."
    (Me with bad back, unable to move), "I don't know and I can't get upstairs to find out. Didn't you take it to school this morning?"
    "I don't know. I might have. I'm not at my locker."
    (Translation - I can't be bothered to walk to my locker, so I'll get you to find out the answer for me.)
    Grrrr.

  • In reply to Expat in Chicago:

    Sounds sooo familiar. Exhausting, isn't it? But we wouldn't change it either. And the family dinners you speak of, I found that to be key in daily communicating. Plus, they were so much fun!!

  • I am getting a lot of good pointers from this post and comments. The biggest one I need to remember is not to yell and lose it when my son gets in trouble...I certainly don't want him to stop communicating with me. Thanks, Teppi and all the commenters.

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