You often hear the saying, “Parenting isn’t for cowards.” Oh, how true that statement is. Even if your kids aren’t running off the rails, there are challenges and fears and missteps all along the way.
As kids approach adulthood and get ready to leave our little nests, the anxiety can ramp up even more. Did we teach them all they need to know to survive? What if they never want to come visit? How will I know that they are still making good decisions?
The truth is, we can’t know all the answers to those kinds of questions, but we can trust that God has our kids in the palm of His hand, no matter what direction they may presently be going.
After reading Brenda Yoder’s Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind, I am reminded that all along this journey of parenthood, I am not alone.
Writing mostly to women, Yoder, who is a licensed mental health counselor, addresses the big issues we face as we prepare our kids for independent life: Mom grief (which is most definitely a real thing), building family ties, setting boundaries, self-care, marriage during the fledging years, among many others. I found myself with a crick in my neck from all the nodding I was doing in response to what I read.
One such nod-inducer was this statement: “Being a mom is something you do; it’s not who you are. When you accept this, you’ll be more peaceful, confident, and free as each child walks out the door.”
So many of us moms have centered our lives around our children, that we have no idea who we are apart from them. But the natural order of things is for our kids to move out and move on. And when we are so wrapped up in trying to make sure our kids turn out just the way we want them to, their mistakes can shake us to our core.
Yoder says, “Your children’s struggles can paralyze you if you let them define your faith, your family, or your parenting. It’s not accurate to define yourself by the choices your kids make.”
How freeing is that? Our job is to follow hard after Jesus. What our kids decide about their own faith is theirs alone. We influence, we guide, we counsel, but someone once said that parents take too much credit when their kids succeed, and have too much guilt when they fail. Yoder says, “Contrary to popular belief, it’s not your responsibility to raise godly kids. It’s your responsibility to be a godly parent.”
In many ways, our clinging to our kids can be a detriment to them. Yoder says, “Our children need permission to say no to our expectations so they can say yes to God’s gifts and callings.”
Filled with much more godly wisdom and counsel, Fledge is an excellent book for anyone facing or in the midst of the empty-nest years. There is such joy we can find in these years if we lean into the Lord and trust Him with our kids.
You can preorder Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind” on Amazon before the March 16th release date by clicking here.
Consider joining the Fledge Parent Forum on Facebook as well by clicking here. A community of people in the same season is a great encouragement!
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Leave a comment about why you need this book for a chance to win a free copy of Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind. One winner will be chosen on March 15.
*disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.