The art of adjustment

As a mother you start with a little baby who is totally dependent on you – in every aspect of life. You feed and clean the little person, you talk to your daughter or son, you teach them all they need to know by example and encouragement: eating, crawling, sitting up, walking and later talking, riding a bike, how to be polite and grateful, how to speak up for oneself, and when and how to obey.

Gradually the kids grow older and gain more independence from you: the first steps without a stabilizing hand, finding their way alone for the first time, decisions without motherly advice.

There will be a day when the son or daughter will not be dependent on you anymore – financially or otherwise. The emotional bond might be the strongest that there is, and the most lasting, but there are no guarantees that it will endure either.

The mother`s responsibility shifts from 100 per cent to next to nothing – all within an extremely short period of perhaps 20 to 25 years. In western Europe. In other parts of the world it takes only 15 years to ‘get rid of’ the children completely.

For a healthy and averagely able child it may be a learning process, and one with lots of excitement and some anxiety, insecurities, and the courage to fail. For mothers, it’s the art of adjustment in a learning-by-doing-process.