So I’ve done the infant thing, toddler thing, pre-school thing…all the way through the teen thing. And if wisdom means knowing what you don’t know, well then parenting has turned me into a side-eye sage. Apparently I’m wise as all get out because I pretty much didn’t know shitake through most ages and stages of raising my kin.

But alas, I am a survivor. And thank God, my kids are survivors too—which is nothing short of a backyard miracle.

And when your kids are mostly grown-ups, you finally have the time and head space to learn a thing or two from them. When your house is empty, it turns out silence speaks. Rather loud sometimes, and that’s a good thing.

Taking the time to reflect and observe the now independent creatures who sucked the life out of your DNA for eighteen years—while also filling you back up with love, of course—helps you realize you actually did some things right. Like, really right. And before you know it, you might be patting yourself on the back for being a bad a$$ mom!

Here are a few honest lessons for all of us from observing my three twenty-somethings:

  1. When observing your grown-up kids loving others with non-judgment and compassion—regardless of differences and acceptable societal “norms” you realize all the unconditional love you showered on them as kids stayed in their pores.
  2. Hearing them discuss adult issues is eye-opening and humbling. All the shaping and molding of their morals and character you attempted to do over two decades begins to morph into something greater and more mature than you envisioned. If you listen closely, you might even grow into a healthier world view yourself.
  3. Conversations with them over the phone open up a Pandora’s Box of new beginnings for your relationship. There’s something to be said for eliminating body language from the mix of communication. Specifically the eye-rolling, teeth-gritting, and red-facing tendencies. And that’s just the parents.
  4. Seeing them try, even if they fail and flounder for a while, means you for sure did something right. Doing something, anything, is the first step in the right direction. Expecting them to have their life figured out and a grand financial plan Excelled out over the next decade is unrealistic. We had no clue what we wanted to do or how we were going to do it in our early twenties. Yet, here we are, and in they came, and off they went.

So, it turns out all our worrying, vexing, freaking out, and doubting is a colossal waste of time for the most part. The important stuff mostly sticks, and what doesn’t our adult kids will figure out while walking along their own yellow brick road.

Just like we did.

And when they can’t, they might call us.

And we’ll be there.

What is your young adult teaching you?

Listen to the sound of silence, crazy Mommas!

Shelby is a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Certified Meditation Teacher (CMT), author, freelance writer, speaker, and love enthusiast who is passionate about helping others ‘change the way they look at things so the things they look at change.’ She has numerous stories featured in the national publication, Guideposts. She also has over 160 featured articles at online publications, including Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Parenting Teens & Tweens, For Every Mom, Love What Matters, and Today. Her book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”), co-authored with her dear friend, Lisa Leshaw, recently won the 2020 Publisher’s Weekly Book Life Prize as the finalist in the Inspirational/Spiritual category.