Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Learning How to Be The Mother of an Adult

My eldest son has turned 18. In one fell swoop, on the one day, he was suddenly legally able to drink, drive and vote! BAM! On the other hand he is still at high-school doing his final year (Year 12). Interesting times for all of us!

I have always firmly believed we have our children on loan for a short time and during these 18 years  it has been my job to raise a physically , emotionally and financially independent adult who leaves home 😉   Of course that doesn’t all happen at 18 and there will be a few more years to achieve the financially independent stuff but the other stuff we’ve hopefully set the ground work for.

Right now he is applying for university places and residential colleges and I’ve left the applications up to him…although I do proof-read them!

Legally at 18 here in Australia, you’re an adult but I see this 18-21 as a ‘Youth’ period; a training ground for serious adulthood. I guess that is why 21 was the age you got ‘the key’ in days gone by.

I remember 18-21. I was a student nurse living away from home,  dealing with death and trauma, juggling study and work, learning you really need to sleep rather than coming off duty, going to a party all night and then going straight back to work at 7am. (OK I only did it once cos it was New Year’s Eve but you get the idea.)  I made some big mistakes but fortunately none of them were fatal for me or for the patients. I learned. I changed.

My son will make mistakes….I am waiting for the, ‘Mum, I dented the car’ call. I have to let him make the mistakes. I have to sit back and be available if he wants advice and I have to tread the road of giving the advice sometimes even if he thinks he doesn’t need it (!)

Tricky, right? Next year he will be living away from home and this is a good thing cos as parents I really don’t think we need to see the ‘little’ mistakes. I had that luxury as a student nurse and he needs that too. Chances to spread his wings.

As I said in my speech to him on his birthday, “Vote wisely, drink moderately and drive safely.”

What other advice should I be giving him?

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27 thoughts on “Learning How to Be The Mother of an Adult”

  1. Your son’s been given wise advice, Fiona. I love the beautiful saying: Give them roots, then give them wings. Sounds like he’s about to fly. 🙂

  2. Oooh, I like that too Malvina!!! And if you dont mind I’m going to steal your wise words for when my son turns 18 next year!
    You are so right – I think kids these days that live at home way into their 20’s miss out on some really good/big grounding life lessons.
    And btw – you need to update your bio! 🙂

      1. LOL, feel free to use them, Amy! Yes, have changed Bio. Had done it before but WordPress was hiccoughing. Fixed now! Think I have changed all bios…amazon, blogs, website, good reads…they are everywhere!

  3. Lovely post Fiona. I have two doing the HSC this year (although they don’t turn 18 until early next year) and one is, like your son, considering going to uni in another city. I’ll miss him terribly but figure his father and I must have done an OK job after all if he is confident and excited about spreading his wings.

  4. Confident and excited about spreading his wings is SO wonderful, Felicity! And healthy! Seriously, it’s what we need them to want to do and be doing. Hugs on twins. At least I have another kid still at home.

  5. Lovely picture of your son and liking your updated bio! My eldest is about to turn 12 and has just started the “big” school. Scary times. I may have to borrow your speech too!

    1. Thanks, Scarlett. I got The Lad’s permission to use the photo…have only ever put up the back of my kids, never the fronts! I remember when both boys headed off to ‘Big School’. Exciting and daunting all at the same time. There isn’t much difference between Teenagers and Toddlers…one is a big T and one a little t but both are ego centric and take up a lot of parental time and they need you…just in different ways 🙂

  6. Hi Fiona,
    I am totally on board with your style of parenting. Raise them up to be independent and send them out! 🙂 Many young folks are too happy at home (their parents’ homes) and like being adult kids these days so they stick around. Many parents are happy with it, too. I’m not of that school of thinking. As tough as it was to endure my empty nest, I feel I’ve raised two independent adults (now 26 and 28) I’m sure I wouldn’t have wanted to know 90% of those “learning experiences” they had reaching their true adulthood. LOL. (Remembering most of mine – I break out in a sweat. Eesh, it’s a wonder I’m still here.)

    To your three excellent points of advice – I would add – be a good citizen of whatever country you live in. Be a producer not a taker whenever possible. Be charitable in all aspects of life. Oh, and one more – no flipping the bird when driving – that never turns out well. LOL

    1. Lynne, these are awesome bits of advice, thank you ! I am so with you on not wanting to know the mistakes….Actually, I’ve confessed to a few. The Lad read the blog seeing it was about him 😉

  7. Fiona, I agree wholeheartedly with your advice to your son. The only thing I would add is to tell him to enjoy this period in his life. All too soon he will end up with responsibilities so this is the time to do all the fun things and see something of the world.
    Here’s wishing him a wonderful eighteenth birthday,
    Jennifer

  8. Since I’ve had my three chickies flee the nest, (after a great deal of shoving!) I’m an expert advice-giver – Not! 🙂 But basically, I think if you’ve laid down the foundations as they were growing up, then you can be confident they’ll make good choices.

  9. I just sent one off to college a couple of weeks ago, Fiona (my second…the first has been gone for several years). It doesn’t get easier, but hearing her excited voice over the phone as she relays various activities makes it all worthwhile. She’s happy, so I’m happy. What more could a mother ask?

    1. So glad she’s excited, Tina. Harder for you…geographical distance will be greater than mine. He is at least staying in the same country although he’d love to study overseas but lacks the funds!

  10. Fiona,
    What a handsome young man. Your advice I’ll be sharing with some young people I know. I think it is good no matter how old you are.

  11. I love your words of wisdom to The Lad, Fiona! And that saying Malvina’s quoted, too!
    I know your boy will be a success whatever he decides to do!
    hugs
    Sharon
    PS ooo, that updated bio does look wonderful!

  12. Hi Fiona!
    I’m right there with you. My son turned 18 in February and is leaving for college in a few short days. He’s my middle but my only son. And there is a special bond between a mother and son. Luckily, the drinking age in the U.S. is 21….not that an 18-year-old can’t find alcohol if he’s intent on finding it. Luckily my son is a sports nut and not a partier. (I hope things don’t change in college.) I guess my best advice to my son is…. I’ll always be here for you. (Of course I went on to add that I’ve already raised 3 children and have no intention of raising my grandchildren so he’d better practice safe sex. And I don’t care if his partner says she’s on the pill, the patch, or an IUD, NEVER trust birth control to someone else.)

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