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.