Currently our youngest son is graduating from college (May 4th!!!!) and he is looking to be a “real” adult, which means interviewing for jobs, possibly looking at apartments in a big city and making some truly awesomely exciting changes!
As I sat for HOURS on the computer the other day helping him prepare for a phone interview that was less than 24 hours away, I couldn’t help but become frustrated. He was unprepared and I couldn’t understand how he could let this go until the last minute. He is at the same time, one of the most amazing and yet irritating people I know. Not much phases him (which is probably a blessing). And procrastination is that child’s middle name (no comment friends who know me!). But right now, I want him to be laser focused with a PLAN! And it seems a plan is the last thing he has……
I mentioned this to a friend who said simply, “he has a lot on his plate, give him some space and lay off a little. Guidance not drill sergeant”. At first, I was irritated because that answer was not what I was looking for. Is she my friend or my son’s friend? I wanted someone to agree with me, commiserate with me, etc. I was looking to complain and have someone simply nod along.
I wasn’t looking for good advice.
So, I sat back and started to think about where this young man is at in his life:
FINALS and end of the year PAPERS that probably seem unending right now. Graduating college (exciting but scary) and (really) leaving home (gulp) and ALL of the stresses that go along with ALL of that. A girlfriend that would love for him to move to California where she lives (she has a great job there and can’t relocate) but yet, he feels compelled to stay close to home because his dad has cancer. Wow, that’s a lot to take in.
He probably just wants to run away from adult life (already).
As I thought about it, I realized that he is working through some pretty big life experiences. The top 5 stressors in life are defined as:
- Death of a loved one.
- Major illness or injury.
- Job loss/new job
He is working through 3 of these. 1) He just took a leave from a job that he has been at for several years (while he worked though college) because they are eliminating the position entirely. So he is without a job (thank goodness he has parents!) and he is currently looking for a job with his new degree (we are hoping he will get one soon!). 2) He will (most likely) be moving to larger city. 3) His father has cancer that was in remission but has recently relapsed (multiple myeloma, we are hoping and praying for more success (and serious time) with chemo!).
I get it.
Lay off mom.
A gentle nudge, some guidance, some encouragement and a little direction are what he needs right now. Not a crazy mother with her own ideas and her own goals in mind for her son.
He has his whole life to be laser focused with adult responsibilities that will never stop once they start.
Afford him this time to grow into this new period of his life (with maybe a gentle nudge or two).