When the Kids Leave, Who Are We?


I will be in a car heading to a college where I will leave my only daughter to start her adult life without me. I am equal parts miserable and giddy with excitement.


As you read this, I will be in a car heading to a college in the middle of Pennsylvania where I will leave my only daughter to start her adult life without me. I am equal parts miserable and giddy with excitement. The misery is about me and the sadness I will feel when my high energy, joyful daughter leaves our home. The excitement is all about the fabulous journey she is about to take. Ultimately, I vow to be more joyful than miserable, especially in her presence.

Yet this is also a time for me to reevaluate myself, who I am, and who I want to be for the rest of my life. Motherhood defined me more than anything else I’ve ever done in my life. If asked to choose whether I was a woman, a psychologist, a wife, or a mother first, I would have said mother. I try not to judge that, but there are days that I worry about putting most of my eggs in my kid’s baskets.

What happens when one isn’t needed to mother anymore?

A few years ago when my oldest child went to college, I felt lost and without a dream for my future. I’d spent so much time thinking about the future of my three kids that I left myself out of the dream. I saw myself as a mother, but what happens when one isn’t needed to mother anymore? It was a harsh wake up call, yet one that I really needed. It was time to figure out who I was as an individual, not just as the mother of my children or the wife of my husband.

It turns out that I am a woman who loves to work, to help others, to read, hike, spend time with friends and family and to challenge myself to do more in and with my life. I encourage other women to do the same. Who are you as your mothering duties start to lessen? What drives you? How do you want to contribute to the world? What legacy do you want to leave besides the one of raising wonderful children?

Show your children how to live a full life by finding out who you are after they become adults. Click To Tweet

There is no right or wrong answer, but asking the question will be the best way for you to let your children fly off into beautiful adult lives of their own. Finding ourselves at any stage of life is a joyful adventure and one that each of us deserves. Show your children how to live a full and complete life by finding out who you are after they become adults. You will be modeling one of the most important lessons in life. Let me know how you do.

Love,

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
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About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

headshot of Lisa KaplinCertified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.

I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.

 

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Feel More Confident as a Parent

Let’s face it, parenting can be really hard. Sometimes we aren’t sure how to handle really tough situations or really tough kids. Lisa has worked with parents since she started her training as a psychologist and has helped so many of them learn the best tools to relate better to their children, handle difficult decisions, and how to assess whether their child needs more help than just parenting.

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Comments to “When the Kids Leave, Who Are We?”


  1. Lisa,
    I’m right there with ya sista ❤️. I dropped off Andrew last week; I’m down to one! Which on a positive note is wonderful for me and Scott! I can now focus on just him for once. A well deserved attention! I get to appreciate just how funny and smart he is; and to improve on areas of parenting I feel I didn’t do as well as I would have liked.
    “Who I am” was forced upon me in 2008 and I’ve struggled with it since then. I finally realized I am a single mom who frequently dreams of a career – who tried to do both and realized for me, it was impossible to do both as well as I prefer. I decided to enjoy my time as mom for now, and plan accordingly for my future career.
    Day by day, enjoy it all. Miss you Lisa.🌺

    Reply

    • It sounds like a great plan to me!

      Reply

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