When the Big Moments in Parenting Come Without Warning

The big moments in parenting will surprise you. I’ve been a mom for nearly 16 years and they still surprise me. 

One night you might be laying in bed, starting to doze off while watching TV and someone will wander in and say, “Hey Mom, can I talk to you for a minute?” You’ll absentmindedly say “Sure.”, thinking that she needs a permission slip signed and instead it will be something enormous and all of a sudden, your adrenaline will be off the charts while you fight to keep your expression neutral and reassuring as you internally grope for solid ground. 

You might walk in from a date and find out one of your kids has been feeling suicidal.

You might be driving down the highway, jamming to your favorite song, when your kid decides to come out to you.

You might be out at a dinner with your girlfriends when you get a text from your kid asking how you know when you’re in love. 

You might be binge-watching something on Netflix when you get a tearful phone call from your kid who isn’t actually where he said he would be and now desperately needs your help.

And on and on it goes. Specifics will vary, but the surprise of it will be the same.

Everything in your life will be normal and then, in an instant, you’ll suddenly feel like gravity has been turned off without warning. It isn’t that the moment is necessarily a negative one, it just didn’t announce its arrival in the way you would have expected. There was no poignant sitcom music to lead you into it. You were not given a chance to suit up for the moment. You had no time to prepare a speech. There was no warning, but here it is anyway. And there is your child, looking at you expectantly or staring at the floor with a heart full of dread or blinking away their tears breathlessly. You can’t feel your own legs under you but you know you have to find a way to stand for them.

This is the moment that matters most, the one where they find out if the things you’ve told them their whole lives are true.

“You can talk to me about anything.” 

“I will love you forever, no matter what.”

“I am here for you always.”

These are the questions that run through these moments like electricity, and these are the questions you do have the answers for. So when the big moments come for you {and I promise, they will} and you float up into space, remind yourself of those answers that you know all the way down to your bones, take a deep breath, and begin. 

You’ve got this, Mama. Gravity has nothing on the pull of a mother’s love. 

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One Response to When the Big Moments in Parenting Come Without Warning

  1. Kathleen April 10, 2018 at 6:20 am #

    So true! Stomach dropping g-force collides with teenage fear…I am equipped!

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