Do we ever stop being a parent?
I’ve often asked myself if we ever stop being a parent. I know that many people out there throw their arms up in the air and wonder if the parenting ever stops or if our children ever finally grow up and don’t need us any more. I am the father to a 22 ear old daughter and three step children in the same age range of 19-22. And the short answer is no.
No matter how old our children get, they will always need us in some way shape or form. It’s just the nature of what we do that changes. We turn from being the fixer of problems and healer of boo boo’s, to being an adviser on life’s challenges and issues. It is possible that one day they won’t rely on us as much, and that will come with mixed feelings. At least it did for me anyway. I set my daughter up with all the best knowledge I could offer and prepared her as best I could to face the world on her own. Now that I don’t have to be there as much, I enjoy the down time, but I also am somewhat wistful of the days when I wish I was more involved. Empty nest syndrome is what it’s called I believe. My partner and I enjoy our time together and like it when any of our kids come over to join us for meals etc. but we also like to see them go too lol.
It’s a sad thing when I hear anyone say that their job as a parent is over because their kids left the house and now they can do whatever they like. Did you not do any of those things while your kids were still at home? Did you not involve them in activities that you enjoy and show them how to have fun? Did you now teach them the pure pleasure of just having a day to chill and relax and be good to yourself? These are the important things we should be teaching our children as parents. Not just waiting for the day they move out so we can relax. I get calls at very unusual hours from time to time still. We work opposite shifts most of the time, but no matter what time it is, I’ll pick up that phone if it’s an emergency.
Just remember that we volunteered for this job, we weren’t voluntold to do it. Children don’t ask to be born, we make that happen. And it’s our responsibility to raise them and guide them as best we can until they are getting it on their own. And even then, we’ll always still be their parent. No matter how old we get to be.