In the years between the momentous day a tiny, helpless infant enters your world and the emotional day when your child — now a young man or young woman — strikes off on their own, it’s not only the child who will grow and transform, but the mother too. Some stages of parenthood are more physical, like the sleep-deprivation of new motherhood or chasing toddlers, and some are more emotional, like dealing with hormonal teenagers or high school graduations.

Five of our eight children have grown up and moved out, and I can tell you, it doesn’t get any easier. I dread graduation years; everything within me pushes back against the thought of them. We’re in year two of a six-year period when our four youngest children will all graduate, and although this is an off year, I’m already bracing myself for spring of 2020.

Seeing other parents embrace their children’s graduations — even get excited about them — tells me my reaction isn’t necessarily the norm. Why do I feel this way? Part of it is an end-of-an-era feeling: when you’ve mothered a child so long, it’s hard to step back and accept they don’t need you in the same ways they did before. But really I think it’s more than that.

It’s a fear I didn’t prepare my child to capably handle life on their own, to continue their education or get the job they want, and to firmly stand for what’s right no matter (or in spite of) what the world says.

Please join me today at (in)courage for the rest of the post. This one is for you, moms!

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