By Melissa Ford
Me: I'm just really worried about my kid.
My Coach: What are you worried about?
Me: Well, making the right decisions for starters. I just get concerned; my child doesn't seem happy. (At the time of this conversation, my children were 22 and 21 years old. By the way, I've held these exact concerns for both of them for as long as I can remember).
My Coach: Melissa, do you know what your problem is?
Me: (answering with some hesitation) No . . .
My Coach: You want things to be different than what they are.
Me: (laughter) Of course, I know. Doesn't everyone? Are you saying I shouldn't want things to be different?
My Coach: Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying. I don't care whether your child is 2 or 20. When you need things to be different you hold your happiness hostage. It's your job to love and guide your children but let go of the need to control.
Me: How do I do that?
My Coach: Keep your nose in your own business.
Me: (incredulous gasp) What?
My Coach: Yeah, you heard me. Your kids are of the age and maturity where they're quite capable of figuring out their lives, making decisions, experiencing challenges and growing. Step aside. It's not yours to do. Let them be in charge. They'll be grateful.
Me: Ok. I know it's true and I know they would benefit, but what about me?
My Coach: Ah, you benefit the most! By keeping your nose in your own business, you'll ensure that there is always someone home for you. You'll be right in the middle of your life where you belong: caring for you, enjoying your life, having wonderful relationships with your husband, your friends, your family.
Immediately, I got into action, practicing Nose-In-My-Business and discovered that I had more mental space, more ease and focus, and more interest in my life. While parenting requires involvement in our children's lives, we need to look at the degree to which we are involved, balanced against our child's age, maturity and needs.
I am not advocating sticking your head in the sand or standing by as your child makes harmful choices, but I certainly wish I had spent less mental and emotional time in my kids' lives and more in my own.
Begin. Grow your glorious life. You need YOU.