I always thought that parenting was going to get easier as my children got older! Once they were young independent adults! If I am totally honest, it was what kept me pushing through in the younger years!
‘When they are more independent this will be easier!’
‘I can’t wait for the days when we can go away for a few days and leave them at home!’
‘When they go on holiday with friends and we have some peace and quiet!’
OH, HOW NIAVE I WAS!
What I never anticipated (and what hit me like a ton of bricks), was how mentally exhausting and challenging I was going to find these times! How each day was going to bring new worries and new fears all topped off with a fresh batch of hormones for them too! Whiplash on a daily basis! One day they like you the next you are a total inconvenience to them, and in fact was the bane of their lives!
I also thought (wrongly) that having three boys would mean I had less to worry about (inc hormones) too……..AGAIN WRONG!
The period of adjustment came for me when the boys started to pull away…. the days when I felt I was not a priority in their minds (despite the fact I was still chief pants washer and head chef!)
Letting me know they had arrived safely somewhere was the least of their concerns, just sending me a text saying, ‘I won’t be coming home tonight’ seemed an impossibility DESPITE the fact their phone was permanently in their hands! It was an inconvenience to them!
‘Mum stop being so over protective! I am ok, I CAN LOOK AFTER MYSELF’
I thought that sleep deprivation had gone forever once they had begun to sleep through the night, but it returned when they began driving, once they began hitting the pubs and clubs with their mates! I just can’t sleep until I hear that key in the door and them falling into bed.
Now, before we go any further, let me explain something. I am not a mum that doesn’t ever want her sons to leave her, would keep them at home forever, I am not even close to that!
I am loving every minute of watching my boys grow into men, watching them find their wings and learn to fly. Each one of them is making strides into the world in their own way and it is wonderful to watch. Everything taught to them in their early years, the foundations that have been laid, is now being put into practice.
That part of my parenting path has been completed, as it is now time for them to go out into the big world on their own and learn more lessons whilst growing in many more ways.
But this is the part I found so hard! My job as their Mum has evolved into a new level, and whilst that is very beautiful, I found the transition extremely difficult!
When they were small, if they fell over I was there to help them back up again and put a plaster on their knee. If they felt sad, they would tell me and I would hug it all better, if they had a great day, I was the first person they wanted to share it with ‘Mum let me show you the sticker I got at school today’ ‘Mum did you see the goal I scored today’
They started having difficult experiences to deal with. One had a boss that was a total arsehole, and my instinct to pick up the phone and give that person a new perspective, (the same way I would if they had a teacher they found difficult to communicate with) was strong! But I knew I couldn’t do that!
Another was having relationship problems, going around and around in circles, repeating the same patterns of behaviour over and over again, with no real idea as to how to make it better.
The list goes on, and I won’t bore you with the details, but ultimately what I found so very hard was watching them fall and having to pick themselves back up again! ME not being able to make it all better for them, after all that was my job as their Mum, wasn’t it?
I felt OVERWHELMED with the transition whilst the boys apparently went through it with such ease……I was also STRUGGLING to re position myself in this new role, I had got so comfortable in my way of mothering that I didn’t know how to adapt.
I had to find my place now that my world was evolving, I was very aware that I was fast becoming the parent I didn’t want to be! Worrying about everything, whilst others around me seemed to find it so much easier, they were so much more relaxed in the role.
I knew that it was time to dig deep, step out of this eighteen year comfort zone and do some work on myself. There was no way I could carry on feeling the way I was. I wanted to enjoy the new-found freedom that we were ALL experiencing!
I tapped it out using EFT and Hypnotherapy allowing me to re frame my position as their Mum on a deep level as well as raising my MINDSET game, It was time to stop holding on to, and focusing on the negative and EMBRACE the positive! all the
This new phase in our lives is and will continue to bring so many amazing experiences and I am now determined to enjoy all of it!
I am and always will be their biggest cheerleader, but I am doing it from a few steps back now! And when I find some situations tricky to get my head around, I take myself back to my own head space when I was their age and the amazing parenting I received.
The world was not a scary place, it was a place of abundant possibilities!
When I was 19 I decided to up sticks and go live in America for a year and the LAST thing I considered was my parents and how this may make them feel! It was MY time to live, to go and have adventures and I was going to seize every opportunity with two hands!
My parents were always there for me, and I knew that because the foundations had been laid from an early age. To this day I know I can call on them and they will be there, but they gave me the space to be all I wanted to be and do all I wanted to do!
My children HAVE to fall, to learn how to get back up again! They HAVE to experience arsehole bosses, crappy relationships, and difficult situations to deal with, so they can GROW and LEARN from them.
I now see it as my job to facilitate a safe place of unconditional love and support so they can come back, lick their wounds, share their angst, so I can help them find the message, find the way to grow and learn, and move forwards a better person for it!
I don’t believe it will ever be easy being on the side-lines and watching them experience sadness, hurt, anger etc etc , but I do know that it will always be easy for me to provide all the safety and support they need for them to become even greater than they are already.
Parenting is a tough gig, and has presented me with some of the biggest challenges to date. I will never forget being told by a colleague once, that your kids have to pull away, they have to fight against your parenting model, so that when the time comes for them to leave the family home, you all feel ready to move on to the next chapter. These words have stuck with me for many years and I hold onto them tightly on the toughest of days.
I am so passionate about my own self development that I created my very own transformation package for my clients! Which I have aptly named More Than Mum!
I wanted to provide a space here at The Nesting Place for women to implement the beginnings of self discovery. To show them that whilst it may be bumpy at times, the road is very much theirs to access at anytime!
That they can be all they are want to be (and some!) WITHOUT compromising themselves as Mum’s!
One recent client said;
‘My self worth is increasing daily. My confidence is higher than it has been in several years. I feel empowered. I feel more in control. I realise my identity now is just as powerful as my identity before I became a mother. Investing in myself has been the best thing I have done in years. I will continue to invest in myself as I’ve learned it’s vital for my mental well being’
So if you are ready, get in touch, I can’t wait to hear from you!
Steph Grainger (click here to read more about me)
Mum to three (almost) grown ups!
Specialist Fertility, Birth Trauma and More Than Mum! Transformation Coach