Whether you are an empty-nester or a new mom, watching your kids grow up is never easy. Along with all the trials and tribulations come a whole lot of questions. The question this week I posed was: How do you feel about your kids growing up, and how does it affect you?
As my own youngest son celebrated his 12th birthday recently, and with my daughter preparing for college in the fall and my 15-year-old getting ready to drive, I'm realizing my "babies" aren't "babies" any longer.
Here's how some other Laguna Niguel moms answered the question.
Angela, mother of four: "It is a very exciting season in my life, watching my children grow up, to see them as young adults, their unique personalities and how I have influenced who they are, individuals who care about others. It's wonderful to watch them go out into the world, living life
passionately, exploring all their interests, developing in there
careers or going through college and working toward a degree.
"It can also be painful at times, when they have broken hearts or things
aren't going as they planned, working through the consequences of poor
choices ... life lessons you know they have to go through to make them
better people. I'm happy to be the one they call for a shoulder to
lean on or for advice, arms open wide and my heart overflowing with
"Of course, the best time is when they all come together for a meal or
holiday, everyone is talking, laughing and having a wonderful time. I
look forward to the day when there'll be weddings, grandchildren, many
more family celebrations and gatherings! My children are the greatest blessing in my life!"
Debbie Angle, mother of three: "I think that kids growing up is a time of reflection for all parents. I watched my daughter go off to college four years ago, and the dynamics of our household changed and will continue to change as each child leaves home. Change is always difficult no matter how old we are, right? For me, I see more time on my hands as my job as CEO is winding down and my kids are becoming very independent. You would think I would feel sad to not be "the boss" any more, but I am actually excited to see where the next part of my life is going to lead. I will have time to explore different avenues and, hopefully, there is a spot out there with my name on it. Time for me is a good thing, and I plan to take full advantage of every path that opens up."
Teri Tachibana, mother of two: "As a stay-at-home mom whose last chick is leaving the nest come fall I, of course, feel sadness and loss. But, more important, I feel excitement for a kid who is stepping out into his own life. That was the point, right? As for me, it's definitely a time for re-evaluation of my place, a chance to rediscover who I am and where I want to go. A little scary, perhaps, but the last time I had the luxury of really focusing on me was decades ago! Parenting made me better, stronger, wiser and helped prepare me for this next phase of life. So, as an empty-nester, I plan to enjoy the view!"
Tomi McMillen, mother of two: "How do I feel about my kids growing up? I am sad some days because it seems so fast. I remember when they were toddlers and I could not wait until they were older, but, honestly, I wish they were at the age back when they needed me more. Time flashes by, so I believe everyone should enjoy their time with their children, because right around the corner, they will be out of the house."