With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I thought I would dedicate this week’s episode to motherhood, especially for all you mothers to adult kids. This is a topic that I coach on a lot in my business, and believe it or not, it’s one I find so much fun.
We all have hopes, dreams, and expectations for our children as they grow up, and this often manifests as a tendency to control. But now that we’re in the second half of our lives, we have to learn to be the kind of mother we want to be, with our kids who are now full-fledged adults, maybe even with children of their own.
I learned all my best lessons from motherhood, so this week, I’m offering three helpful ideas if you’re also a mom to adult kids, so you can stop living your life vicariously through them, and start creating your own fun, vibrant growing life. You can have the best relationship with your adult kids if you want, and I’m showing you the tiny shifts that will make a huge impact in doing so.
If you want to make 2022 a year to remember, you have to work with me! You can sign up for a free coaching session by clicking here. I promise that by June of this year, you’ll be a different person showing up to your life in a completely new way, and you’ll love every bit of it.
WHAT YOU’LL DISCOVER IN THIS EPISODE:
The best lesson I learned from motherhood.
3 helpful ideas if you’re a mom to adult kids.
Why it’s vital to stay out of your adult kids’ business.
How to cultivate the best relationship with your adult kids.
My honest experience of being a mother-in-law.
LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE:
FEATURED ON THE SHOW:
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I am Kym Showers, and this is Reinvented After 40, episode number 34: Adult Kids.
Hey, friends. Welcome to Reinvented After 40, a podcast for all you women in the second half of life who are ready to take responsibility for your own wellbeing and create a life you love living.
I’m your host, Kym Showers, and after spending the first 40 years of my life people-pleasing and following all the rules, I was exhausted and ready for a change. I reinvented myself. I stopped outsourcing my happiness. And I’ve been brave enough to live a different kind of life.
I’ll be here each week to help you do the same thing. It’s gonna be fun. Let’s go.
Hello, everyone. How are you today? It’s a beautiful Thursday here. I worked out with my trainer this morning and swam. I got my eyelashes done today and my eyebrows tinted. It has been a good day. And now I’m recording this podcast. It’s been such a fun productive week this week. So, I realized this morning that this episode comes out on the Thursday before Mother’s Day. So, I thought it would be super fun just to talk about being a mother of adult kids because I coach a lot on it and because I love being a mother of adult kids.
The second half of life we have to learn how to be the kind of mother that we really want to be with our children who are now full fledged adults with their own children. So, we’ve had to kind of do our own little transformation or a lot of letting go. And honestly for me the last 10 years, the last 15 years and I know my kids would tell you the same thing, I have changed so much in this area, probably more than any other. I raised my kids, I think I was an okay ish mom. I think I was a good mom.
I’ve always been a good mom, but I definitely had ideas about who I wanted them to become and lots of dreams, and hopes, and expectations. And I ended up being more controlling than I wanted to be just to be honest with you. But I know that we all have a tendency to be controlling as moms. And that always comes from a place of fear, not from love. So, I’ve learned a lot. And I am very proud of all the progress I have made. I love who I am now as their mom.
And I actually love who I was raising them. They are spectacular humans. I raised two of the most amazing humans on the planet. And even with all my flaws and mistakes they just turned out beautifully. And I’m so proud of them and I’m so proud of me. So hopefully you can say the same thing. Today I want to offer you three helpful ideas if you are a mom of adult kids or even if you’re a mom of kids that will soon become adults or will one day become adults. I have learned all of my best lessons from motherhood as I’m sure you have too.
The number one lesson for me is being able to let go of trying to control my children and let go of the idea that I know what’s best for them. And let go of my expectations for them, and my hopes and dreams for them. I love my kids so much, I love the relationship I have with them now. They’re amazing and they’re perfect just as they are and so am I. I want you to borrow all of those thoughts. I have changed so much over the course of the last 31 years.
I had my son Riley right a month before I turned 30. And then two years later I had my daughter, Clancy. And they of course have been the joy and the loves of my entire life. They were the best cutest kids. And they’ve just grown up into the best cutest adults. Because I never had a good relationship with my own mom, that shaped the ideas that I had about the kind of mom I wanted to be. I was very committed and very determined.
I wanted to be a happy mom who showed up, and was involved, and was very supportive, and positive, and a mom they were proud of, and a mom I was proud to be. And I got it right, you guys, at least half of the time. I know for sure it was 50/50 all the way through. I definitely tried my best and wouldn’t do anything differently though I know I made a lot of mistakes which I was supposed to of course. We’re all supposed to make mistakes.
My kids have the exact mom they were supposed to have, to give them the exact life experience they’re supposed to have. And that’s my first helpful idea for you today, just loving and accepting what is, not regretting or wishing it was different, or wishing you would have done something differently. It’s not useful to think like that. I don’t think like that anymore. I love the mom I was, and I love the mom I am now, flaws, mistakes, and all.
Accepting and loving what is gives me so much peace and freedom to just show up the way that I want to and keep moving forward, and growing, and evolving, becoming the woman that I really want to be. Becoming the mom and the grandma that I really want to be.
Another useful idea, my idea number two for you, if you have adult kids is believing, knowing for sure actually that they know what is best for them. Because it’s true, you guys, you don’t know what’s best for your adult kids. You might think you do. You might be very practiced at it, your brain thinks that you do but you 100% do not. Your brain loves to come up with all the ways you can advise them, or fix them, or keep them from ‘making the same mistakes you did’. But that doesn’t work, trust me. You know what’s best for you. They know what’s best for them, it’s as simple as that.
And unless they specifically say these words to you, “Mom, what do you think I should do”, unless they specifically look you in the eye and ask you, I want you to keep your opinions to yourself. And believe in your kids, believe in your adult kids, know that they know what’s best for them. They know what they’re doing. I mean they know what they’re doing half the time and half the time they don’t know what they’re doing. But it’s the same for us, we act like we know what we’re doing. We don’t even know what we’re doing half the time.
And we’re all supposed to make mistakes, it’s the juiciest part of our journey, our failures are the juiciest part. If and when they make their ‘mistakes’, it’s just not a problem. It doesn’t have to be a problem. They’ll grow. They’ll learn what they’re supposed to, they’ll evolve just like it was all supposed to be. They’re living their own life and it is absolutely not your life. The life they are living is not a reflection on you, good or bad. Stop making their lives mean something about you as a mom, good or bad, it doesn’t and it’s not useful. Just love them, believe in them, cheer them on.
And in the meantime, spend your time, spend your energy on making decisions for your own life instead of deflecting. It’s such a good way to avoid our own work is when we’re just stuck in this cycle of trying to fix our kids lives. It’s all nonsense. So instead of spending any energy worrying about them or wishing they were problem free and happier I want you to stay in your own life and you do the work on you to be the healthiest, happiest you, you can be for your sake. Stay out of your grown kids business and stay in your own.
It takes some retraining of your brain, think about your own self and the way you are thinking, and feeling, and acting. You only know what’s best for you. You don’t know what’s best for your kids. I promise you, you don’t. Shift your focus from them to you. It’s actually better for everyone. It will help your relationship with your adult kids so very much. And they’ll feel so much better to you.
My third useful idea to practice is the story you tell about your relationship with them, whether you’re just telling it in your head to yourself, you’ve made up a story, whether you’re saying it out loud to convince people, you’ve made up a story. If you wish you had a closer relationship with them it’s completely possible. It is completely up to you. Your relationship with your kids is made up of the thoughts that you think about them.
You create your relationship in your mind, we all do. And there are three components of it, what you think about them, what you think they think about you, and what you think about yourself as their mom. That’s it, that’s your relationship you have with your kids. It’s all the story you tell yourself in your head. It’s all made up by you and your brain. You might as well think thoughts that serve you so you can show up with them with good vibes, to be someone they actually want to be around, that they don’t just feel obligated to be around.
But you are actually someone that they trust, and they love, and are excited to be with. If you have all kinds of drama spinning around in your head and you’ve convinced yourself that you’re not a good mom, or that they’re not good kids, or that they should call more, or validate you more, appreciate you more, or they should be doing anything different than what they’re doing.
If you think about them and about yourself in any of these ways, you’re going to show up when you’re with them, weird. You’re not even going to be like the person that you want to be with if you’re thinking these thoughts. You’ll show up weird, and controlling, and you’re not going to be fun, you’re not going to have fun. And it’s just not going to be a good time. It’s really just not what you’re wanting. You’ll keep proving your thoughts true when you think these thoughts over and over. And you won’t have a good relationship with them if that’s what you’re thinking.
You might have a friend who talks to her kids every day for example. And you wish you talked to your kids every day. You might make that mean that you don’t have a close relationship with your kids. If only you talked to them every day then you would have a good relationship with them but that’s not true at all. So, for me, I talk to my daughter, Clancy almost every day. And I talk to my son, Riley, a couple of times a month. And I feel equally super close to both of them because of the way I choose to think.
I love knowing that whatever we’re doing and however often we see each other or talk to each other is exactly perfect. I don’t make it mean we’re not close. I don’t wish things were different. I don’t need them to be doing anything more or anything less than what they’re doing. I feel close to my kids, and I don’t compare my relationship with them to each other or to anyone else’s. I trust myself as their mom, I trust myself as their friend and I trust them as human beings. There’s never any pressure. There is no expectation. There is zero obligation.
And there is no drama when I think about them or when I’m with them, honestly. If they want to be together I’m always in, of course. And if they are busy with their lives, that’s perfect too. It’s a really fun way to be, you guys. I love who I’m being now as a mom of adult kids. I’m so very thankful for this work that I’ve done the last 10 years to set them free and set myself free. They are literally here in my life for me to love, to support and to thoroughly enjoy and I do. That is their only job as my adult children, and I think that’s a pretty easy job.
So, to recap, my three useful ideas to cultivate a happy relationship with your adult kids and it’s definitely not limited to these, but this is what I came up with today to share with you.
Number one, love them exactly the way they are and love yourself the way you are, and love your past the way it was.
Number two, stay out of their business completely. You don’t know what’s best for them. Trust them and trust their journey.
Number three, you create your relationship with them by the thoughts that you think, so think more useful thoughts.
And last but not least a word about being a mother-in-law and a pippy. But first let me tell you about being a mother-in-law. I have had the best easiest job being a mother-in-law. My daughter married the kindest, most loving and fun, talented, hardest working guy. And let me tell you, I’m so glad she picked him, and I didn’t because there was a time when I thought she should marry someone from our church. That was the number one big thing when we were raising kids. That’s what our church taught.
That’s what the school that they went to, we sent them to a private Christian school, marry someone who believes the same things about God that we all do. But holy cow, was I wrong and was everyone else wrong. I’m ever grateful that I woke up and had changed my mind when Kyran Million came along. He’s so much better than anyone I had in mind or anyone I could have chosen for her. I love him like my own, he brings out the best in all of us.
Clancy was the only one who knew what was best for her. And I am so glad she had the confidence and the independence to make her choice. I love being a mother-in-law and I love the kind of mother-in-law I am. I’m so very proud of my kids and think for sure that I hit the jackpot. I’m the luckiest mom, the luckiest mother-in-law. And then when you think it can’t get any better, your daughter has babies and your grandbabies come along. And oh, my goodness, I know you know what I’m talking about.
If you’re a grandma or a pippy, or Gigi, or Lolli, or whatever your grandbabies call you, you know that it is just pure delight, and pure joy, and pure gold to have these grandbabies, it’s a love like you don’t really know until you have them. All the years of hard work being a mom pays off in the most amazing ways but none better than those grandbabies. And I know you know that. When we’re with them we just call it Goldie land and Dolly land when they’re over here. And we’re just happy to be included.
And really one of my favorite parts is watching my daughter, I’m going to get choked up, mother her girls. It’s beyond magical for me. She is definitely my new favorite mama, she’s amazing. So, I don’t want you to live vicariously through your kids ever again. I want you to have your own fun, vibrant, growing life, doing all the things you’ve always wanted to do. You can have the best relationship with each one of your adult kids if you want to, and coaching will help you so much.
Tiny shifts in your thinking make a huge impact in your relationships, especially the ones with your kids, the most important ones. It’s never too late to start and now is the perfect time always. Now is always the time to start. So happy Mother’s Day my friends, celebrate yourself in a big way, you definitely deserve it. And I love you so much for listening, and sharing this podcast with your friends. Have a super productive and rest filled week and I’ll see you next Thursday.
Thanks for listening to Reinvented After 40. If you want more information or resources from the podcast, please visit KymShowersLifeCoach.com.
I’m 62 years old and I’ve created a life for myself that blows my mind every single day. I’ve learned how to build a wildly successful business and create a beautiful, strong, healthy body and grow happy, easy relationships with the people I love the most. I’ve become my own inspiration. The 2nd half of life is by far the most exciting & powerful of all. You can have it too.