This thought ran through my mind as I listened to a friend unload her frustrations over living in a marriage where all the household chores were her responsibility.

She explained how her very capable and successful husband was raised by a mama who loved him dearly. So much, actually, he never had to learn to wash his own laundry.

Or fold his own clothes.

Or unload the dishes from the dishwasher.

Because his sweet mama did all of it.

And of course, they’ve discussed sharing these duties, but arguments always ensue. 

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And as I heard her story, I knew right then I care too much about my future daughters-in-love to raise my sons unable to iron their own button-down shirts.

Because even though they’ll always be my babies, I can’t treat them that way.

This isn’t the first friend who’s complained about a marriage that’s felt overwhelming and extra hard because her husband wasn’t raised to be more independent.

As a mom, I know we have a meaningful part to play in these relationships as we prepare our kids to become a little less dependent on us each day.

Part of the strategy is teaching them life skills as they mature in their capabilities. 

And the other part is encouraging their reliance on God’s provision and protection instead of mama’s. 

Because in reality, these babies were never ours to begin with.

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Instead, God chose us to raise them up in His goodness and prepare them to lead the next generation home.

And that home is not necessarily to our front doorstep.

Instead, we are preparing our children to follow God’s calling on their lives to grow His Kingdom on Earth as we look forward to our glorious reunion at home in Heaven. 

Still, we can’t help but feel such pride and emotion when we watch our children grow.

And it’s good that we hold onto the lessons we’ve learned and blessings we’ve shared over the years.

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But we have to be careful not to baby them so much that neither of us is equipped to handle the changes the next season will bring.

Yes, son.

Yes, daughter.

You’ll always be my baby.

But I care too much about you (and about me) to keep treating you like one.

Jaclyn Warren

Stay-at-home mommy of four on mission to encourage parents to savor the meaningful in the midst of the messy. Take your 15 minutes; it’s your turn for timeout. You can find her at www.mommys15minutes.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Mommys15Minutes-543229312706302/.