Linda Carlblom

Author & Speaker

Walking the Tightrope of Parenting Adult Children

buy Pregabalin usa tightrope-barefootI know. I can already hear some of you (probably my adult children) saying, “What’s the big deal? If your kids are adults, you don’t really need to parent them anymore.” I get that. Really, I do. But you see, there’s this pesky problem of the name I’ve had for the past thirty-three years.

blog link Mom.

None of my children live at home anymore. Two of them are married. One of them has blessed me with eight grandchildren. The single one lives out of state The other two live within a half hour of me. They all call me Mom. It’s a name I love more than my given name. It’s a name that makes my head swivel when I’m shopping alone and I hear an anguished child call it out.

Once a mom, always a mom, they say. And they’re absolutely right. Which brings me to the tightrope act I do, usually in my mind.

You see, I want my kids to know I love them every bit as much as when they were small enough to be carried in my arms,  but I don’t want to overstep my bounds as a mom into their adult lives. How often can I call without becoming a nuisance? When do I simply text? At what point do I drive them crazy? What’s okay to ask them and what isn’t any of my business anymore? When do I make them feel like I don’t trust their judgment or value their independence? You see what I mean?


Now, I happen to be blessed with children who seem to really love me, almost as much as I love them. We enjoy each other’s company. We laugh and have great relationships. But I want it to stay that way for eternity. Which steps me right back on that tightrope. They always tell me to call whenever I want to. Go ahead and ask what I want and they’ll tell me if I’m out of bounds. They’re the best kids in the world, really. But I want to be the best mom in the world and not do it wrong, even if they’re all grown up.

When I was young I loved the circus.  No, I mean I really loved it. Like I went every year with my best circus-loving friend, Myra. I knew the performers by first name, had the posters up in my room, and planned my schedule around when it would be coming to town. But as often as I saw them perform, the tightrope walkers always made me nervous. Maybe that’s why I fear the parenting tightrope to this day. Yet, those circus performers always had a net beneath them, just in case. But as a parent, I don’t feel the security of that net beneath me.

But after much reflection, I know that the security net is there under my parenting tightrope. It’s called love. It catches me when I blunder, and my kids extend me grace. It smooths over thoughtless words that escape my mouth before i have a thought to rein them in. It caresses my heart when I feel it starting to crack over missing my children.

So I’m becoming more sure-footed on this thin parenting cable. I’m finding it isn’t as weak or skinny or wobbly as I thought. It’s stretched tight, firm and strong above a net of love.

Now please excuse me as I don my sparkly circus costume.

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  1. Your words echo my heart! Now that I will be taking on the “Grammy role, the tight rope is even higher, but I will be wanting to take the risk of teetering more often! “Remember, when the circus came to town…”

    • lmcarlblom

      November 28, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      Yes! You navigate it all so well, Myra, and I’m sure the Grammy role will be no different. I remember when the circus came to town…and you were frightened by the clowns…Great memories!

  2. You really are the best mom in the whole world – I’m so glad you’re mine!

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