So often we focus solely on the challenges of mid-life. There certainly are plenty. But there is so much joy in mid-life too. I was reminded of this recently while attending my son's thesis defense for his Ph.D.
As a mom I truly do live vicariously through my children. Not in a bad way. When they are younger we do become totally consumed by them. At times we loose ourselves in the process of raising them to be outstanding adults; often doubting ourselves along the way. It is natural to question our parenting skills. More often than I care to admit my insecurities got the better of me. Should I have handled this situation differently? Was I strict enough? Was I lenient enough? Was I over-protective? Should I have been more protective? But as they grow we can watch them and admire them and take pride in their achievements from a healthy distance.
I don't ever remember a time when I was 100% convinced that my parenting skills were perfect and that I handled every situation exactly right. Most moms I know will say the same thing. Then the children grow up and despite your mistakes and insecurities, they become pretty remarkable human beings. What an incredible feeling that is. Perhaps I did something well after all.
Not that the job asmother is over. Your children are always your children and I am not finished supporting them, cheering them on and being proud of their achievements. Certainly the role has changed. I find that they support me and bolster me just as much as I do them. I lean on them just as much as they lean on me. Seeing the wonderful, talented, compassionate and caring adults they have become has made me stronger. It's nice to know that I did something right. And if I can raise such amazing human beings, I must be pretty OK myself.