Category Archives: Mama or Mother

Transitioning From Being Mama to Become Mother

According to the dictionary the word hindrance means:

  1. a person or thing that makes a situation difficult : a person or thing that hinders someone or something
  2. the act of making it difficult for someone to act or for something to be done : the act of hindering someone or something

Now let’s look at how our well intentioned self could be a hindrance or a stumbling block for someone else especially for someone we love. I’m speaking to mothers in particular today but this can apply to anyone in any number of different situations. Keep reading and there just might be a few nuggets of truth here that may benefit you.

I decided to write this today because of some recent conversations I’ve had with women when it comes to their grown children. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female there always seemed to be the same concern. This concern manifests itself in our desire to prevent the child in our opinion from suffering needlessly. Naturally this maternal instinct is inbred in us early. For many it’s while the child is still developing in our wombs and for others it kicks into high gear the moment that precious bundle is placed in our arms. It doesn’t matter when it kicks in the fact that it does matter. The problem arises as we nurture and instruct our charges many of us suddenly have no idea how to let go and let that child, especially that grown child spread its wings and “fly”.

As much as it pains me to tell you this, mama, it’s time to let go and be “mother” and not “mama”.  What’s the difference? So you don’t get confused and I start receiving tons of emails this is my definition: Mama – the one who takes care all of her child’s needs, from hunger pains, diaper changes, skinned knees, sibling fights, loss of best friend to helping with homework. That’s mama! Whether you birthed that child, adopted the child or had to become the parent for any number of reasons these are things that a mama does. Wouldn’t you agree?

So what about mother? Well again this is my opinion – mother is now that person who recognizes that her main job/responsibility is over. Sure that grown child will still needs her but on a different level. Now they’re making choices and decisions for their lives that have nothing to do with her wishes. And because mama has done her job well she must trust that the lessons taught stick and the child will make sound choices and decisions.

Okay snap out of it and welcome back to the real world. As mothers we know many of the pitfalls that may befall our child or children and it is that maternal instinct to serve as a buffer that could pose a tremendous hindrance to the child. As much as we may want to keep them from being hurt, we can’t. It’s a part of their rite of passage to adulthood.

Our sons are in many ways more resilient so we mothers tend to focus our attention towards our daughters. After all many of the things our daughters experience we may have already experienced and because of our lessons learned we feel obligated to share this knowledge with our daughters. It doesn’t matter if they’re not interested we simply must shake them into understanding what we do is for their own good. This is especially true when it comes to matters of the heart. We know that male/female relationships are complicated. We have learned to listen to our intuitive self and recognize warning signs that our daughters suddenly seem to have completely lost. We shudder in horror as they make decisions we KNOW are bad for them. And if there’s a child involved then we’re doubly concerned. So we talk, we plead, we preach and we cry. But to no avail.

This beautiful child we brought into the world has suddenly lost all prospective. Never mind that we once did many of the same things. All we’re doing now is putting a wedge that will only harden her heart and fill her ears with wax. So what’s a mother to do? Well I’ve thought long and hard on this and this is what I’ve concluded. First let me remind you that I’m a mother to 6, a grandmother to 30 and I have 2 great-grandchildren and through it all I’m still young in mind, body and spirit. I hope this gives you an idea that I might have learned a few things over the years. After all:

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
– Honoré de Balzac
With that said try these:
  • Realize that just because your child is grown you haven’t lost them even when it takes them a while to call and check on you
  • Accept that your job for the last 18 plus years has changed and you now have been promoted
  • Allow the adult child to make their own mistakes – they’ll remember it better than you sharing your war stories
  • Be a listening post now and only provide advice when specifically asked (and then tread lightly)
  • Accept that your child will not choose the mate you want for them, they have to discover this for themselves
  • Love unconditionally
  • Let Go and Let God
  • Pray often
  • Develop your own interests – you’ll have less time to worry about your child
  • Cultivate your spirit, mind and soul by rediscovering the person you put on hold while raising your child
  • Remember all the good qualities you instilled in your child and know that they will return to them once they’ve experienced their own life bumps
  • Don’t judge but leave the lines of communication open – one day she’ll be there with a broken heart and then you can be mama for just a moment then return to mother and remind her she’s much stronger than she’s giving herself credit for
  • Pray often
  • Remember that you too once had to walk a similar road and wow you’re still here!
  • Love unconditionally
  • Pray often

And if you fear your daughter may be in an abusive relationship, express your concern and if you don’t have the words visit, you’ll find a free e-book with steps you can share.