I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Life Coach, Jamee Tenzer yesterday. While my focus as an Academic Life Coach is on teenagers, Jamee focuses on busy, working moms. While our clients may differ in ages, life experiences, and stages in their lives, it was made clear during our conversation that finding balance and defining what really matters most in one’s life is essential no matter how old you are! As I work with teenagers themselves as they prepare to “launch” off to college, here is a wonderful article written by Jamee from a mother’s point of view regarding that “launch.”
Ready, Set, Launch!
I have a child who is going off to college next year. The first of my three to reach this point in life. I am mindful of my role as a support system during this time, but also that I have a responsibility to be doling out opportunities for her to self manage and possibly make a few mistakes. It seems that I am a jumble of emotions. I am thrilled and excited for her as she embarks on a new chapter in life and I know that she is ready to take on the world. In fact, I look forward to having a front row seat at the unveiling of her new adventure.
On the other hand, I will miss her terribly. I love having her in the house, being able to give her a hug as she leaves in the morning, talking to her in the car as I drive her from activity to activity and laughing at her silly faces and intelligent humor. “Go back to your crib!” I want to exclaim as I look at her towering over me and wearing my shoes.
Wasn’t it just last week that she learned that it wasn’t appropriate to clobber the girl sitting next to her EVEN if she took her toy? Wasn’t it just a couple of days ago that we made her responsible for doing her own laundry? Now she is confidently advocating for herself with distracted and overwhelmed teachers at school and making sure she gets to bed on time so she is not too tired in the morning?
I want to ask her; “Who are you and what have you done with my baby?” But instead I marvel at her talents and gifts and know that somehow she has the tools that she will need to create a great life for herself.
So together, we prepare the “launch” into college. I am not naïve enough to assume that from this point on, she will be on her own. I have many friends who are still actively “launching” their college graduate. However, this is a demarcation in our relationship. We are in the no man’s land where our rights as parents and her rights as an adult begin to blur. She still needs and wants us to be a part of important issues in her life, but if she has a soda for breakfast, I’m probably not going to say anything.
Plus, there is a part of me that feels like this is my last chance to jam some final pearls of wisdom into her head. I feel like the door is closing and I hope we have given her enough. And at the same time, I know that at age 49, I still call my parents for their pearls of wisdom and I’m not stopping any time soon.
So here it is, and I realize that what we are sharing is a process of moving into a new kind of relationship and the best way to move forward is to see it as the achievement it is and celebrate. Yes, it is sad to let go of the old, but if we do, we have a wonderful opportunity to gain something new. So I am doing my part and trying not to tear up when she mentions her college application process. She is doing her part and taking ownership of the next step in her life. Together we are focusing on the future and looking forward in to the unknown with great hope and confidence that there is something wonderful out there.
Coach Me Quick Tips to Ready, Set, Launch:
- Allow yourself to feel sad at times. Underneath that sadness you may find happiness and excitement for your soon-to-launch baby.
- Remember, that things don’t really change overnight. It is a process. You both will have the opportunity to transition to more independence.
- Acknowledge that you have helped her reach this point in life and congratulate yourself for a job well done.
By Jamee Tenzer, PCC
Jamee Tenzer, CMQ Coaching, is an Executive and Life coach, specializing in helping working women optimize their lives at work, home and play.
Her writing has been published in magazines; she is a contributor to numerous websites including No Makeup Required, writes a bi-monthly newsletter Coach Me Quick! and manages “Executive Moms,” a 1500 member group on Linked In. In 2006, she co-authored101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, and in May of 2012 she published her first Coach Me Quick! Guide; Balance Work and Family with Less Stress and More Fun!
Helping working moms optimize life at work, home and play