Midlife women certainly go through a lot, we are constantly having to manage change in so many areas of our lives.
This week, the story I have been witnessing has been about our young adults settling into university.
I know this is the first time letting go for a lot of you and you are right – it is so painful saying goodbye even though you know it is absolutely what they need to be doing.
Some of you may also be saying goodbye to those who have decided on a gap year and the dreaded goodbye at the airport is looming.
I have been through both these scenarios and in four months I will be waving goodbye to my baby girl, Rose as she flys to Canada for her gap year or two. Yikes!!
I thought I would share some of the strategies I have developed to help manage this exciting and yet sad time of our life. If you don’t have kids but have a business that you birthed and now you are handing the mantle over, these tools could apply to you too.
The first thing I do is try and clarify in my mind what is good about them leaving. My two eldest girls, Katie and Tessa have lived in Australia for five years. I have always reassured myself that Aussie is only a hop, skip and jump away so I can get to them quickly if I need too. In fact Katie had only left home for three weeks and she broke her arm badly skateboarding. Darling husband thought I should rush over. I did think about it however common sense took over and I managed to sit on my hands and stay put. I decided there was a difference between rescuing and learning to become an adult.
(It has proven true that it is relatively easy and cheap to cross the Tasman. They come home regularly for weddings, funerals and Xmas and we pop over there too.)
I clarify in my mind that Rose needs to go to Canada and become more independent. She has had three sisters and myself cleaning up her messes so needs to learn the art of domesticity. I will miss her dreadfully however I won’t miss the nagging bear I have become.
What do you need to clarify in your mind?
Next come the emotions and what I have learnt is there will be tears but there will also be excitement and pride. Allow yourself to FEEL it all before you pour that Gin and Tonic.
Pride is an interesting one. I remember when I had my first visit to Oz, to spend time with Katie and Tessa who live together. I had so much pride entering their world and experiencing the life they had created for themselves. To see the values and beliefs that you taught them weaved through their life as well as the new threads that they have woven, is the best feeling in the world. The relationship of mother to child becomes adult to adult which is so cool. At times they still need you to be mum and nothing gives me more joy than fulfilling this role.
This last week all my girls have been booking for OE holidays and once again I feel so proud of seeing my daughters succeeding in creating abundant lives for themselves and acknowledging the confidence leaping out from them. This makes my heart swell.
Katie is spending two months in Bali- again, and a month in Sri Lanka surfing before she heads home to start her midwifery at 29 back here in N.Z. Yah!
Tessa is spending time in Portugal, Spain, Ibiza, Greece and Croatia (and yes I do feel slightly jealous).
Ella will met Tessa in Greece and Croatia to sail around the islands for her 21st before she mets Rose in New York where the two of them will fulfil a life long dream. I hope Rose realises she won’t be able to take her darling Maltese poodle – Molly, who has always featured in the dream.
Rose then heads to Canada to start her new life and Ella pops into Hawaii before heading home. This is crazy living and even though I will worry about them until they arrive home safely I am one proud mama bear.
Thank goodness for social media and Rose and I have already talked about our weekly ZOOM calls. When I traveled I only had the three monthly Poste Restante visits to hear news from home. I bet the same was for you too.
Having holidays to visit your children also helps and I am already planning a trip to Canada with a stop over in the States to visit a couple of mentors. (This is in September, only 3 months after she leaves, oh well a midlife women has to do what she has to do).
As I already mentioned we head over to Aussie quite regularly and get swept into the girl’s lifestyle. This year hubby is joining Katie in Bali for a week at surf school. Experiences we wouldn’t be having if the girls did not leave home. Isn’t it fantastic that at Midlife we have the freedom and hopefully the money to do this?
Back to the dreaded farewells, they may want to orchestrate their farewells and we need to respect this. Katie chose to say goodbye at home and only wanted her dad to take her to the airport where as Tessa wanted us all there. Knowing Miss Independent Rose she will also want to say her good byes at home but I certainly hope not.
Your babies leaving home is a time to acknowledge the wonderful job you have done as a mum and as hard as it is they need to leave the apron strings and become their own person. I read some wise words a women said about her child leaving “you will always be the lighthouse shining the light for them to find their way back home.”
If you are feeling alone, scared, overwhelmed and lost at the thought of letting go, please reach out. Make a time to have a FREE conversation with me or contact me here. I have been there and Yes it can be a heart breaking time however I hope you also have read that it can be a rich and rewarding time.