To Moms of Adult Children: You Are Not Forgotten


“When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself.” Nancy Friday

Motherhood is a thankless job.

You’ve all heard it a million times. And although it’s true in many ways, it shouldn’t be.

I think this saying originated from moms of older kids. Adult kids. Kids they’ve poured their all into and who, if they did it well, grew up and went off on their own. (Sometimes, even if they did it well, kids land back in the nest for a time, and that’s ok too.) ūüėČ

Moms often don’t get the appreciation they deserve. This happens no matter what age the kids are, but it seems especially true for moms with grown children. Somehow, the sparkle of motherhood seems to dull the older a mother’s babies¬†get.

Why?

The youngsters grow up and, ideally, they need you less and less. Outwardly, that is.

The kids mature.

Sleepless nights nursing or cuddling a crying baby turn into sleepless nights worried about your teenager. Time outs turn into move outs.

The excitement, doom and hilarity of the terrible twos is long forgotten and now¬†you’re¬†“just another mom” in the carpool line dropping off a moody tween.

The rallying of exhausted, unshowered moms covered in spit up and snot pacing the halls at 2 am has come to an end and now, it’s those same kids you¬†bounced and cradled all night long who are doing the same for their own babies. Before you know it, you‚Äôre the grandma, and the focus shifts again.

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It’s not until we get older and have our own children that we fully appreciate our parents and the monumental sacrifice of love they’ve made our whole lives. But by then, we are probably too busy handling our own lives and our own children to remember to say thanks.

A mom is always a mom. Her children are always her babies. But it seems to me that moms of older kids or adults are often forgotten. She’s¬†always standing in the background, quietly sewing the pieces together of the tapestry that is her family.

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I know I’m guilty of being so wrapped up in my life I forget to notice how wrapped up in it my mom is too.

Despite my advanced age of 29, she’s still my mama.

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She feels with me. She grieves for me. She loses sleep for me. She prays for me. She cooks for me. She laughs with me. She hugs me. She keeps me grounded. She celebrates with me. She silently and carefully plans things for me. She pays attention to me. She notices me. She loves me…unconditionally…endlessly.

She does all these things, not only for me, but also for my brothers, my sons, and everyone of us who fall under the blanket of her love.  She does it without thanks. Without applause or praise. Without recognition. Without expectation.

She does it because even though we are all grown, she is still a mom.

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln

So, to the moms of older children, on behalf of your¬†adult¬†children, I want to say…

Thank you!

You are not forgotten.

You are seen.

You are loved.

You are needed.

You are appreciated.

You are cherished.

You are enough.

You’ve done your job well. You’ve poured in your love with no expectation. You’ve sacrificed your needs for ours and because of that, it may seem we don’t need you anymore.

It’s not true.

We don’t need you less. We need you differently.

We need you in ways we don’t realize we need you.

And we thank you for filling in the holes before we even know they’re there. We thank you for the times you saw the holes and allowed us to fall in.

We thank you for your encouragement. Your bravery. Your patience. Your peace.

We thank you for your heart.

We thank you for holding our hands, both then and now. For braiding our hair and tying our shoes. For finding the balance between being our friend and being our parent.

For the long talks. Your wisdom. Your understanding. Your pain. Your grace.

For doing the hard things. For fighting behind the scenes. For the sleepless nights. The early mornings. And the long afternoons.

Thank you for believing in us. For cheering louder than anyone else in the stands. For every drive to football practice and dance recital. For every kissed boo boo and warm embrace. For being our safe place.

Thank you for always making sure we have clean clothes. For caring about our grades and being at our schools.¬†Thank you for remembering how we like our sandwiches and for cooking our favorite foods. Thank you for the little notes in our lunch boxes and the “Have a good day” texts before work.

Thank you for helping us figure out who we want to be when we grew up and for being the example we looked to to figure it out.

Thank you for your trust and your respect. Thank you for releasing us. And thank you for holding on.

Thank you for loving us when we were unlovable, and reminding us who we are when we forget.

Thank you for teaching us how to love. How to be strong. How to succeed. How to get back up when we fall, and what to do when we’re on our knees.

You are not forgotten.

It’s because of you we made it this far. It’s because of your love that we are able to love our own children. It’s because of your sacrifice that we are able to live independent of you.

It’s because of you.

Thank you.

Your are seen.

You are loved.

You are needed.

You are appreciated.

You are cherished.

You are enough.

You are MOM.

Thank you for all you do. You are not forgotten.

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