Mothering from a Distance

My mom would say, “ I love to see the grandkids’ headlights, but I also love to see the taillights “. Now that my husband and I live close to all the grandchildren I understand. I love to see them, but they do bring a change to our quiet lives. If I keep them for a period of time, I’m worn out when they leave. Keeping them busy, keeping them fed, and keeping them happy is a full time job. It’s a fun and rewarding job, but hard. Sometimes it’s so much easier mothering from a distance.

Things have now changed. I see pictures of them doing school work, playing outside, riding bikes, and loving on their dog. I see them on FaceTime. I hear them play the guitar, watch them jump on their new jumpy jump. See them dance around. But it’s not enough. I don’t get to hug them, smell their sweet hair, or rock them. I don’t get to encourage them from the sidelines. I don’t get to do craft projects with them. I miss that terribly. I just miss them.

Where as I do miss the grandchildren so much, the part that is the hardest is not being there for my grandchildren or my children. I miss my grown children just as much. The other day my daughter had a migraine. Ok, so I’ll just go get the two grandchildren and give her a break. Oh, I can’t. My son picked up his kids for the weekend, so I’ll just go have dinner with them. Oh, right. I can’t. Things that I did almost automatically, I have to stop and think now. Is it necessary? Will I be jeopardizing someone’s health? Will I be putting myself in danger? Now, I’m being forced into mothering from a distance.

“As a mother, you do so much for your children, no matter their age.”

You do anything you can to make life a little easier for them. Whatever it takes. But with this health crisis you have to evaluate your actions. As a mother who jumps in full force I have to stop and ask myself if my actions are for them or myself? Am I offering help because I feel a need to be needed? Am I truly the only answer or I’m I just hoping I am?

So, with all this time to contemplate my actions I do realize I’m very comfortable being needed, maybe even dependent on it. And yes, maybe it is for me. Maybe it feeds something in my mothering soul. Maybe it’s a very selfish action. So knowing this, the first thought is I need to change. I need to back off and let my children handle situations. Maybe I should be mothering from a distance in their everyday lives and give them space. Maybe I should say “what ever you think is best” instead of rushing in with my opinion.

“I’m the mother who offers her opinion not because I think I’m right, but because I think I can save my children some pain.”

Now my second thought is, I’m not that mother. I’m the mother who offers her opinion not because I think I’m right, but because I think I can save my children some pain. I’m the mother who rushes in to ‘save the day’ not because I love wearing the hero’s cape, but because I dearly love my kids. I’m there not because I think they are not capable of making a decision, or living their best life, I’m there because I’m so very proud of them.

I’m the mother, good, bad, smothering, loving, hurting, caring, bossy, and hands on because they are the children and grandchildren who were given to me by God. And God knows exactly how to match mothers and kids! Thank God.

Victoria Prevost

Victoria Prevost is a guest writer born and raised in Mississippi, but has spent time living in Hoover, AL; El Paso, TX; and Stuttgart, Germany. She is retired from the Corps of Engineers after 30 years. She is married with two children and four grandchildren. She owns an antique business, Vintage Vic and when she isn't out junk'n, she loves crafting, volunteering at her church and spending time with her grandchildren.

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