I am a happy and proud mother of four children. One of the happiest moments in my life was when I became a mother. Upon becoming a mother, a switch turned on, the “mommy switch”. Life became centered around providing for, teaching, and protecting my children.
Time marches on, they grow up and become their own person. Each child starts their own lives, finding spouses and having their own children. In the process of each child growing up, and establishing their independence, I have learned to control my instincts and impulses as a mother to tell my children what they need to do, choices they should make and direct their lives. I want to protect them from making the mistakes I made, feeling the pain of those mistakes. As a mother, I still desire for my children to be happy with no pain or disappointments. My words at times is considered “unwanted advice”.
This “unwanted advice” or meddling can cause problems in the relationship with my children and their spouses. But I have not learned how to turn off the “mommy switch”. I keep my words to myself, but how do I deal with the desire to speak? I voice my concerns in prayer.
When things happen in my children’s lives, things I can not speak to them about, I pray. I take the energy of concern and put the words I desire to speak and focus them in prayer for my children.
My children are now parents. They have experience with the “parent switch”. They are starting to feel the desire to speak to their teenage children about concerns, yet also realize they have to make some decisions on their own as they are becoming adults. My children are learning the challenges of the “parent switch”.
My children learning the “parent switch”, they now understand my difficulties of when I said something they considered meddling at the time, to be the voice of a concerned loving parent.
Recently I was asked by one of my children of how to speak to their teenager about a situation. My grandchild thinks they have been bullied at school. When all the facts were brought forth, they and another student was competing and verbally “fighting” to be best friends with one student. We had a discussion on defining bullying. Then the discussion turned to what makes a friend. A person who chooses to be friends with one person at a time, does not know what friends truly are. There was no reason both of you could not be friends with the student at the same time.
Granny talking to the teenager, although it was the same words used by their mother, had a different effect. A useful verbal communication because of the “mommy switch”.
Living with the “mommy switch” is not easy. Being a parent is not easy. Being a grandparent is a little easier than being a parent, but still has challenges. The “mommy switch” is an important part of our make up in becoming a mother, carries over in being a grandmother. Learning to control the tongue with the “mommy switch” is the challenge.
Still, I love being a mother. I thoroughly enjoy being a Granny. And I look forward, although I hope not too soon to the adventures of being a great-grandmother.