Lately I find myself struggling to find the balance as our season in life changes. Isn't it amazing how you can finally start to get your footing in a stage, then wham! everything dumps over and we start again. In only a few short years we have gone from a bustling homestead full of teens, to an empty home with a grand baby.
When our children became adults, a whole new need for balance came with it. While we are still there parents, and forever will be, we are not their boss- nor should we be. There is need for balance to maintain a healthy relationship without hindering their independence. When asked by a parent how this is done I simply responded- it looks different to all of us.
For me, there is a tendency to tell them how to do it (not very balancing). As you can imagine this tends to grind nerves and set distance between us. Putting into practice the balance of being available without being in the way has helped quite a bit. I'm not saying there aren't times when a bit of 'motherly direction' slips out, but occasional is better received than constant.
Along with balancing our advice and directions, I found our time needs balanced. When they first left, they seemed more eager to come home for a weekend. Time as shown them visiting less and less, as is natural with growing independence, Not expecting them to drop everything and come over is part of the balance of respecting their space and their schedule.
Grand-parenting is another delicate balance to practice. New mommies don't necessarily take well to constant advice. Being available and willing to let them come to me when they are ready (if at all) is hard, but again, balancing. I can not tell you how hard I find it to sit back and remain silent sometimes (I'm sure it happened when I was a young mom too).
The last balancing I am finding these days is the balance of aging family. Giving our aging or declining families their space, independence, and integrity is hard. I am a do-er, a fixer.. I do not sit back and wait very well. My nature is to jump in and get it done, but that can tip the scale quickly. It isn't easy to let them decide they need help, but it does transition more smoothly if we do.
My empty-ing nest is a new challenge; one I am trying to balance gracefully. So far I have spent a great deal of time crying, praying and most often distracting myself with projects. In the end, I realize the only contentment I will find is in seeking the balance of being where I am, with who I am, for the purpose of what I am.