Saturday, May 21, 2016
I am the mother of two daughters, now 25 and 28 years old. They each live apart from me, in their own homes with separate lives. It was a day I often wondered about. Would they really move out on their own? How would I feel?
It was always a difficult adjustment for me, starting when they went to sleep away camp and when they were living away from home during college years. I remember days I felt as if my heart would burst from missing them and worrying if they were safe and happy.
However after a few weeks, I adjusted to them not being around. I still worried (it's in my nature). But, I was not on the "mommy clock". I didn't have to get everyone out and on their way in the morning nor did I have to rush home in the evening to make dinner and supervise homework. I wasn't juggling work, after school activities, birthday parties and play dates.
The weird thing was when they came home. I quickly resumed my mommy role and I was a bit put out. Don't judge me. I love my kids and always want them around. I wouldn't give up motherhood for anything. Yet, the freedom I came to know when they were away was a glimmer of what life might be like when they moved on as adults.
So when they left for college, while I worried, I was prepared. I slept late, stayed up late and finally was able to eat when and what I chose. Decisions about them moving back home came next. My older daughter, who owns a horse, moved upstate, assumed his care and found work in that industry. She has worked in horse breeding and racing barns and now works in a veterinary hospital. She loves it. Being about an hour away, I see her when our schedules permit - and more during the summer months. My younger daughter lived at home for a few years and moved to Las Vegas about a year ago. We talk, text and FaceTime, but I have not yet been able to go out to see her.
I am and always will be their mommy, but now from afar. I wonder if this is sort of what their birth moms feel like on some days. Not knowing exactly what they are doing, hoping they are well and happy and that the decisions we made for them and on their behalf were the right ones. After all, we all wanted what was best for them and made plans to help them succeed.
So far, so good.
Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA from March 1992 to March 2015, was Head Writer for Adoption.net, a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series She is currectly a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York, where she has a private practice specializing in adoption and adoptive parenting. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL.