Motherhood and letting go

Our goal is to work ourselves out of the job we spend a lifetime perfecting.” — Ann Pleshette Murphy

Coinciding with graduation season, Mother’s Day always tugs on my heartstrings. Not only do we celebrate the women who gave us life, or raised us, but we also pause to consider what it means to be a mother.

For mothers of high school and college seniors, graduation season is the gateway to a new phase of parenting. I talk about this issue — and the art of letting go — in today’s “No Place Like Home” column on Royal Oak Patch. Click here to read it.

-In the photo above: My son Nate’s graduation day at the University of Notre Dame, May 2008. At left: Nate’s girlfriend, Andrea; Nate; my husband, Doug; and me. —

4 thoughts on “Motherhood and letting go

  1. The quote I used to use about mothering, “It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.” (I think this was the old Peace Corp saying.) I was in a panic my daughter’s entire senior year…and we fought like never before. Looking back, I think we were both doing some ‘pre-grieving’ and getting ready to face the future separately, for the first time. Letting go, as you say.

    Now she is married, expecting a baby in August. It was only 5 short years ago she graduated from high school. Though living separate lives, we are still very entwined — I hear that never goes away.

  2. OH Cindy, You nailed it with this one. Over time we adjust to the goodbyes, to the distances, to that little space in our hearts that wants them back if only for a bit longer. You used the perfect quote. We do our job right and we’re unemployed.
    I’m waiting for the day I get “re-hired” but as a freelancer — grandchildren!!!!

  3. Tara, that must be so exciting, knowing that your daughter is expecting a baby this summer! And you’re spot on about the pre-grieving. I went through the same thing with my son during his senior year, and we had some snarky moments during graduation festivities. In retrospect, I realize it was all part of the letting go process. (I heard it’s worse with boys … but perhaps that’s not entirely fair or true.)

    Bridgette and Debra, thank you for the compliments. It’s been rewarding to hear from so many moms going through this stage, both here and in the comments on the Patch column site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.