I am a true Mumma Bear. I am protective, present and I am embarrassingly proud of everything my kids do. So when I tell people that I want my kids out of the house upon completion of Year 12 AND I don’t want them to go to university locally, actually not even in Australia, I get a very weird reaction from people.
I suppose it just doesn’t make sense. I am so involved now, why wouldn’t I want to be once they are 18? Well I’m not saying I want them out of the house, living in a foreign country and not see them or speak to them!
What I hope for my kids is for them to travel the world, I want them to experience life living in another country. Not forever. But a few years away from everything they know, forcing them to adapt, learn, accept and appreciate what else is out there.
Ideally, I think they can do this by doing some or all of their further education in another country.
I never thought I would get the reaction from other parents that I have. The reaction has been complete disbelief, dismissal and even “how could you?” It’s caught me off guard!
What’s wrong with encouraging our kids to move out of the home? Do we have to wait for them to come to us in their 30’s and tell us they are going??
My kids are still little and I am about 10 years off this actually happening. But I find myself telling them frequently, that school doesn’t end when you finish Year 12. You will be going to university and when you go to university you can go anywhere in the world, New York, London and Mum and Dad will come and visit. I want them to know and understand that as young adults I expect them to continue their education and the whole world is out there for them to experience.
Don’t get me wrong, the idea is terrifying and I’m sure I will be devastated when they do move out.
Writing this post got me searching through numerous websites, some helpful and some disturbing. One site had a whole section on dealing with the embarrassment when your child leaves home “too soon” i.e. 18. It goes on to explain that you can fret, feel ashamed and concerned that others will view you as a bad parent! Insert my shock and horror here! Being a parent of kids at any age is challenging. At some point we have all felt judged about our parenting style, I know I have. If we are still going to be worried about what other people think when our kids are 18, I give up.
One thing I am conscious of with the growth of my children is the change and development of our relationships. I know the relationships we have now will change, we will all have to continue working on new ways to communicate and work as a family, as we all get older. My aim will be to have a strong relationship with my young adult children that isn’t co-dependent. I want and need my kids to be independent, self-sufficient and to have a healthy adult relationship with them. I know this will take a lot of work and perhaps a little luck!
My husband and I had our kids in our mid 20’s. I think part of my motivation stems from wanting to move onto the next chapter of our adult lives. We will both be in our mid 40’s when our kids are off to university. Our age means we will have a large portion of our adult life without kids at home.
I want my kids to create their own adventures and hopefully we will be doing the same. I want to travel, eat-out, socialise, study, you name it, I want to do it. I want my kids to see my husband and our living our life to the fullest. If we are still parenting our kids who are living at home as adults in their 20’s, I know I will more than likely still be that Mumma Bear that I am today. Doing everything for them, being over protective and not living my adult life. So I suppose my motives are a little self-indulgent.
I know writing this whilst my kids are still young is a little pie in the sky wishful thinking. But it can be something to work towards. I will make the time to teach them about life, paying bills, budgeting, cooking healthy clean food, taking care of themselves, as much as I can while they are young. Preparing for the day they finish school and get ready to go to university. Hopefully they are ready, hopefully my husband and I are ready and we can let the next chapter of our adult lives begin!