Defeathering the Nest

While my nest is certainly not empty, it is beginning to feel somewhat cramped for space. Not in the literal sense at all; there is more than enough room. But in the figurative sense. With all three children making leaps to new levels in the fall, the attitudinal space is what feels all too cramped lately. 

My husband still feels the need to guide every step and pave the way for every new adventure. And in the way that he does those things, he is right – they still need guidance and advice. 

I, however, being the more emotional one, am admittedly ready for some of these attitudes to find their own way. I love them, and would do anything in the world to help them, but sometimes it’s quite difficult to maintain my own emotional sanity in the midst of the growing confidence of teens and young adults. 

I remember well how they are feeling. At their ages I thought I  was all grown up and was tired of my parent’s guidance. Not that they weren’t good at it, I was just itching to try my own hand at adulthood. I wanted to order my own day and make my own decisions and tell everyone around me how they would fit into my plans (rather than asking permission or seeing how two or more sets of plans could merge). 

That is where it seems my own children are finding themselves lately. Not wanting to be under our roof and still doing our chores and doing what we tell them to. And it is right where they should be. 

But being the one who tries to emotionally balance all these egos is exhausting. 

My husband tells me to mind my own day and they will have to work around me. That makes five people in the house that would all be trying to make it work that way and exactly zero people understanding that some elasticity would go a long way around here. So I try to be the elastic one, but I am sure that some days see my elastic self being snapped across the room – flying through the air on my way to land a sting against an unexpecting victim. ( I have confiscated enough rubber bands from middle school children in my day to know the damage that can be done through a carelessly aimed shot.) 

Now, I am the one having to adjust – still trying to help my husband uncover their unmet needs so that we can make a way for them to get what they need means I still have to do the (figurative) backpack checking to see what is left undone. But that means I have to be creative in doing so in order to maintain my status as helpful mom rather than prying, snooping, controlling wench. 

Everyone wants to be a family, but everyone wants control of how the family works. I just want a nap.

I know that my place is ordained. That it is purposeful in these trying days, but sometimes I struggle to see myself in these verses:

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (‭Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭25-28‬ NIV)

But I know that it is when I am weak that He is strong. 

Lord, I pray today that you would guide my restless spirit into the peace that you alone can bring. I pray that you will help me to still my tongue when it would be harsh, but let it speak instead your truth and wisdom. I pray that you would order my mind so that there is no confusion found in me, for you are not the author of confusion. I pray that you would guide me through the process of helping our children to become the adults you would have them to be, while not loosing sight of the woman you made me to be as well. I pray also for the comfort and closeness that marriage can bring in all its changing seasons and that I would yet be a helper to my husband and not a hindrance to his own growth in you. Thank you, Lord for all your ways, for they are surely higher than my own.

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7 thoughts on “Defeathering the Nest

  1. I think my old nest looked a lot like yours! And I was exhausted from being the one to try “to emotionally balance those egos.” I eventually learned how to not put myself in the middle – not to try to explain my husband to my kids (it was mostly with my daughter) nor my kids to my husband. I did put myself in the middle for a long time, and I was clearly the rubberband! My Christian therapist gave me another approach, and it really worked. When there was a power struggle or miscommunication, I would tell hubby that I knew he loved (insert child’s name) and that when he was ready, I was sure they would be able to talk it through and work it out. And I said to my kids (most often to my daughter) that I knew she loved her dad, and I was sure that when she was ready, she and he would be able to talk and work it out. So I supported both sides, but without putting myself in the role of rubber-band! I admit that it was hard sometimes, my mama’s heart grieved when my kids felt hurt, and my heart ached when the man I love felt so misunderstood. But I was able to love and support without being torn into bits. I shared this with lots of girlfriends – they attest to it working during those tense teen/almost adult conflicts.
    Sorry – this became long and advice-giving, not usually my type of response. Maybe I should have just said “I can so relate!” Moms are the barometer of the family – we feel all of it! And God made you that way, and He is with you and your family – He understands!

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  2. Oh how I can relate to this. My nest was so much like yours. I like your analogy of the rubber band. I was the elastic one, the one holding all together and hoping I wouldn’t snap. Now my children are all grown and gone and I miss them. I do enjoy having the time with just my husband and doing what I want to do without interruption of children but also really enjoy when they come to visit. To encourage you I never felt that I was like the Proverbs 31 woman when my family was young but now on the other side my children make it known to me all the time how much they appreciate everything I ever did for them and the family as a whole.

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