Monday, February 15, 2016

Embracing the Role of a Veteran Parent

The youngest two- all grown up
Recently a friend of mine delivered her first precious baby just as my youngest 'baby' flew the coop. Her parenting journey is just beginning as mine seems to have ended. Or did it? As we chatted over the joy of her beautiful little treasure, the reality set in: our parenting journey never really ends, it just changes. 

Enter the season of the veteran parent. 

Instead of being on demand, educating, protecting and providing for the needs of our children, my husband and I have now found ourselves in a 'hands-off' role. We are now long-distance advisers to adult children; the counselors they turn to when they need a booster shot of parent wisdom and tough love.

Instead of having babies to rock and homework to help with, we are now grandparents that enjoy the little ones for a day.. or from a distance. We are there to encourage other parents plodding the path we have already trod. 

As a veteran parent, I can gather my compassion and share my wisdom with the world around me. I can seek opportunities to be available to my grown kids and for those struggling to survive their tender fleeting years with littles and youth. I can be available, open and willing to step alongside and listen to one who is frustrated, broken, grieving and ready to quit; hold the hand of the parent in despair or the one who feels all alone. 

Friends, whatever stage of parenting we are in... we are all in this together. Let's encourage one another and be available to lend support!

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