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I think we spend the least amount of time thinking about this stage of parenting before it comes. It kind of sneaks up on us. And it’s often the most painful season of motherhood. In this episode, I talk about how you can think about this stage and really enjoy yourself through it.
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Today, we’re talking about life with young adults. So this is the third episode in a three-part series. We did one with littles, one with teens and one. And then this one about young adults. What do you have kids in any of those stages? I highly recommend listening to them because you either have kids in those stages, you will have kids in those stages or, you know, people who have kids in those stages and you can give them some of the advice that I share in each episode. So young adults. I love young adults. I love sitting around and talking to them. I love hearing about their dreams. I love teaching them about life coaching and feeling their feelings and just helping them see things from a different perspective.
Not that I’m trying to change their mind. I just love asking them questions that maybe they haven’t asked themselves to get their kind of wheels turning and thinking about what they want to do or what they’re doing in a different way. But along with having young adults, there is a shift in your role as a parent. So you go from having, you know, God given authority over your children when they live in your house. And then when they become adults, we don’t have that anymore. So I think the first thing that’s really important. About becoming a parent of a young adult is to allow yourself to grieve. When we close the chapter of our life. Our body wants to grieve. Right. Something has died. It’s like a little death.
This chapter is closed. Okay. And too often, we just kind of blow past that, particularly if you have. Younger children are still at home. You may not have slowed down enough to grieve that this kiddo has left and is in a different phase of their life. And that you are no longer the authority over them. And it’s just really appropriate to give yourself space to do that. However long it takes. When we don’t do that, when those feelings get trapped in our body. And we’re just not processing grief or sadness. Then weird things happen. And we end up like over shopping or overeating or getting clingy with one of the other kids or, you know, it’s just, our body does weird things when we don’t let it process its feelings. And go for a walk, get a journal. Ugly cry somewhere, go to adoration, but just give yourself some time. To really formalize this process of oh, I am no longer. In charge of that kiddo, that kiddo has kind of flown the nest. And it can be a beautiful thing. All right, but we want to acknowledge that it has happened.
Hey. So the most difficult part about having young adult children is that we can’t tell them what to do. We just have to watch them make decisions. And their prefrontal cortex is not fully formed until 23 to 25. So they usually are not making great decisions. Right. They’re spending money that they maybe shouldn’t be spending, they’re taking trips that maybe they shouldn’t be taking. Maybe they have some not ideal friendships or relationships. And watching them make. Decisions. Can be very difficult. But I want you. If this is the case for you. To separate out. What are facts? And what is a made up story about the future? K fact, my young daughter is living with her boyfriend right now. Nobody likes that we don’t like that. They shouldn’t be doing that. Okay. But we kind of make that mean she’ll never be Catholic.
Maybe she’ll never get married. Maybe she’ll never have kids. Maybe she’ll have kids outside of marriage. Like we start spinning all these tales about what this kid is going to do. I, a hundred percent, lived with my boyfriend. And I’m doing just fine. I am super Catholic. All the things. Right. If. I think if you were my mom, you would be really proud of me. And so this slice in time that you’re watching. Does not dictate. The whole rest of their life. Okay. And so really tell yourself the fact kiddo is living with her boyfriend right now. Hey, well, what can we do about it? Nothing really. We just love them through it. I mean, you can verbally tell them that you don’t like that. They already know you don’t really need to sell them. And how do you want to have a relationship with them? Most of us desire connection. But if you are upset and you were making this mean something really terrible about this kid’s future, it’s likely that you will show up in a way that creates disconnection. Okay. Maybe judging, maybe lecturing. Or just being weird. We show up more weird sometimes. And the kid can tell that we’re weird. We’re trying not to say. Stop living there by.
And it’s between us, this weirdness. And so just decide like, is there anything to do about it here and what does this kiddo really need? Probably this kid just needs love and support. And this kid needs you to model how great. Life with Christ is. Show your kid. That you have peace, that you have joy. And when they ask. How did you do it, mom? How are you handling so many things? Just go, you know what? I walk really closely with the Lord. I talked to him. He helps me. I participate in the sacraments. Right. But if you’re showing up with judgy energy and anxious energy, they’re going to be like, oh my mom, she’s such a drag. Definitely don’t want to be Catholic. And the way you’re showing up weird around them is because you think. Whatever’s happening right now is going to predict the future. But I will tell you that the opposite is true. Like if you can just show up calm and with love. People are so attracted to holiness. Be that kid in a safe space where they know they can always come to you and tell you everything.
And then it’s much more likely that they will end up. Choosing Catholicism, choosing Christianity, choosing to live a virtuous life. No, we don’t know that I coach women whose kids are, you know, in their forties, married, not going to mass. And so you might say, well, isn’t it delusional to think. That they’re going to suddenly have a conversion experience. And I would just ask isn’t it delusional to think that they’re not. Like. You’re just making up a future and you’re making up a future. That’s causing you pain right now. Why wouldn’t you choose to make up a future that makes you feel better. I just a hundred percent believe that all of my children will choose Jesus before they die. There is no upside to thinking anything else and yes, it is very difficult to watch our children make decisions that we think that they should not be making. But you don’t know what they should be doing. You do not know what journey. God needs them to walk. Like you, could’ve gone back to me and my life and said, Hey Sterling, you should not be living with your boyfriend.
And while I would agree with you, From a virtue standpoint and a set of rules. And I love that we have a set of rules as Catholics to point to. What you can’t say. Is that, that wasn’t that time of my life. Not believing in God, living with my boyfriend. Did not prepare me for being. The level of evangelists that I am today. And so we don’t know the whole story. We don’t get to see the context. We don’t know why. In their hero’s journey. This is happening right now. But we can believe in the goodness of God and we give them hope. That he’s using this phase of their life for something good.
And then also you just may be wrong and I’ll just pick. Like a more neutral example, like maybe they bought a house that you think that they shouldn’t have bought. And it’s not the style you think is not close enough to the parish or schools or job. Like you just have thoughts about it. And just maybe that’s wrong for them. And so really just look at the facts of what’s going on. Can you do anything about it? Can you love them through it? And we are not the Lord. We don’t know what these kids need. We don’t know how he’s trying to shape them. Now a different situation that is painful is when your kids have kids and don’t baptize them. But I want you to give that to the Lord. Two, one, you can’t do anything else. You just can’t and you should pray for those babies. And you believe, I just believe that Mary is with all of my family.
Because, you know, the majority of my family is not religious and I’m like Mary’s with them. She’s guiding them. She’s covering them. They don’t even know it, but she is. And that brings me peace to think about. And then I show up in a more loving way when I interact with them. And so even for something. That feels like an injustice. It feels like an injustice that a sweet, innocent baby wouldn’t get baptized. But. As someone who was not raised religious, I totally understand why people don’t do that. It’s just not important to them. And so it feels hugely important to us, but of course it doesn’t feel important to them. I’m sure there are rituals in Buddhism that are really important to them. And I’m like, no, I don’t really think that’s important.
And so you don’t have to like it, but don’t let it steal your peace. By searching for and maintaining peace by father Felipe. If you are losing your peace over your adult children. Okay. Now sometimes. It is really painful as a parent to watch them go through something. Where they’re not making immoral choices, but they’re just going through a really hard season. Maybe they’re struggling financially. Or I saw that it was really difficult for my mom to watch me go through three bed rest pregnancies. And she couldn’t take that pain away from me and she couldn’t really help me. She could visit me. And she could call me and say, I love you. But you couldn’t take that pain away from me. But that’s where I want you to come back to the idea that sainthood is a race. It is an obstacle course. It is supposed to have obstacles. It is supposed to involve adversity. No one. Is making it through this life without running. The obstacle course of sainthood and each of us have a very unique one.
But prepare your heart. Your children will struggle. They will experience adversity. God is refining them into heavenly soldiers. And they’ve got to go through this training. And so something I like to ask myself, Is like, okay, well, what cross do I think they should have had instead? If I’m so sure, my baby girls shouldn’t have had bed rest pregnancy. What cross do I think they should have instead? Because I have hyper fertility, I suspect that I don’t know, at least one of my girls will probably have hyper fertility and a small part of me worries that one of them will have infertility. And that would be just really hard to watch as a mom. I can’t help her with that so we can talk about it. Functional medicine and all sorts of things, but I can’t take that cross away from her if that’s what God intends for her. And he picks our crosses very specifically and with love.
And so when you’re watching your adult children, Just no. But they are going to go through hard things. Your job is to pray for them. Prayers are so powerful. We don’t even know how powerful they are. I am so excited. To get to heaven and see. The currency of prayer and how all the people we pray for. Like we get to see it. We can feel it. It’s real. Never stop praying for your kids. And that will give you something to do because when your brain perceives danger, Either Ono, they shouldn’t be making these decisions or, oh, this is so painful. They shouldn’t have to go through that. Then it’s going to want to do something. And so one we’re like, Hey brain. This is burnt toast. The house is not on fire. Okay. Let’s not. Over-dramatize what’s happening right now. And we can pray. And you can ask yourself, what does this kid need right now? Sometimes, you know, because it’s so painful for us, we just kind of shut down. Instead of being like, Hey, do you want me to deliver some food to you? Do you want me to babysit?
Do you want me to come? Teach you how to clean your kitchen sink or something. I know you love these kids. And it is so hard to watch them live their own life and make their own choices. But do not let it seal your peace. God does not want that. And then I hope you get to enjoy them. I hope you get to enjoy it. Your young adult children, your old adult children. Just enjoy that you did and create these kids. And they’re not perfect. And they’re going to have some complexes. Everybody makes it out of childhood with something to talk about with a therapist. But she did a good job and you loved them. And you don’t have to stop loving them. You can love them deeper, harder. And you can pray for them. And you can have a relationship with them, even if they’re busy and they don’t call you, you have a relationship with them in your mind. And maybe write them letters, maybe write them emails and you’re going to send it to them later. Right. Young adults are very self-centered and self-involved.
Again, biologically until about 25. And then they’re like, oh, I guess my mom did know some things. I guess she did some things. Well, I do want to spend time with her. And just be gentle with yourself. I think this is perhaps the stage of parenting that we are the least prepared for. It is just a crazy tornado of soccer practice and dances and school and getting kids to jobs and buying them. Shoes and like just this whirlwind of activity. And then. All of a sudden it’s gone. And intellectually we know it’s coming, but I think it really just slams into us. And then we’re like, who am I without these kids? Should I be overly involved? Should I not be involved? Like, it’s just a completely new phase of life to navigate. And there are so many big feelings that come with it. Just allow yourself to feel the feelings. All right. My friends. I love you. Thank you so much for listening. And have a blessed day.