FaceTime – it’s my son’s ringtone.
Me: “Hey Bud!”
Son, in a low voice: “Hey Mom, I’ve got a presentation in 30 minutes. Can I practice with you?”
Me, throwing everything on the floor, grabbing a seat, and grinning from ear to ear: “Of course! Go!”
Later, in the family chat, he sent a photo of himself giving his presentation. I then sent a screen grab of our FaceTime session (yes, I’m a sap) and after some back and forth, my husband jokingly said “This proves that mom will be helping you throughout your career … not just in school.”
To which I replied, “It’s not a joke, I’m a Momsultant!”
It is a rare and special opportunity when my children ask for help. While we may talk and text all the time, the moments when they actually seek out my advice are becoming few and far between. My daughter, 23, is in her second year of law school, and my son, 20 is in his junior year of college. They are leading their own lives, away from home, and making decisions on a daily basis that don’t include me at all.
I know this is a good thing. I know this is the point of it all – to raise your children into independent adults. A friend once described this parenting stage in a great way, “When my kids call, I ask them, do you want my ear or my advice?” I implement that philosophy now whenever I hear something that makes my eyeballs pop, and instinctively want to leap in with my impassioned two cents.
That being said, it has been a big adjustment to acknowledge that my role as a parent has changed. But by happy accident, I now have a name for it – Momsultant. I’m not the day-to-day, all hands on deck, helicopter mom. I’m the advisor under contract, the pinch hitter, the 1-800 operator, and the help desk.
It’s an understood boundary – but one that I had to understand. One of the best quotes I have heard about parenting was from comedian Tig Notaro, “It’s not the child’s responsibility to teach the parent who they are, it’s the parent’s responsibility to learn who their child is.” I would take this a step further and add, “And then give them the space to go be that person, mistakes and all.”
Luckily, the term was a hit and is now in circulation. My son recently texted me, “Employing momsultant services in T-10 minutes. This is an unpaid position.”
No bud – it’s worth all the money in the world.