When mothers find themselves estranged from adult children, a common reaction is to feel they are not needed by their children. Even though you may FEEL this way, it is not true – you are still needed. Although you may have a complete “cut-off” in your relationship and not have any communication with your child, you are still needed.
There are numerous books written by children who seemingly cut their parents out of their lives. Although they write that they have no contact with the parent(s), they inevitably make observations of the parent(s) and consider her/him from afar. Many children write about their thoughts of reconciliation up until a parent’s death. They consider what the parent said or did to the very end.
Although you may feel you have no influence, you have tremendous impact. Your children watch or hear about how you behave and what you say. We all draw on experience and you are your child’s experience. You are the ultimate role model.
Now, this may lead a few moms to say “Great, I messed up and that’s all my child is going to draw on.” Wrong. Give yourself a break. You did not mess up all the time. You did the best you could under the circumstances. You did the best you knew how to do at the time. Forgive yourself. Forgive your child for his/her stubbornness, short-sightedness, ability to hold a grudge, and all the rest. There is still time to be the example that you want to be for your kids because: Today is the first day of the rest of your life and your kids ARE watching and listening.
So when you feel the hurt, anger, resentment, and all the other feelings that estrangement brings out, don’t forget that you are providing a “roadmap” for your kids – they will reflect on how you handled life’s matters.