Now your kids are young adults...they are out of the house. Are you still a working mom? Absolutely! You will still be needed but in a different way. I now have two adult daughters and have become an "empty nester" as of a few days ago. It is definitely a time of mixed emotions. There is a sense of sadness and the house feels different and empty, yet I am also so excited for them as they move on in the world as independent young women. I certainly wish the world was a better place right now, but I know they have the skills to navigate this journey even in our current situation.
When your kids are gone, there is worry and concern on a daily basis. You want to know they are safe, but you don't want to nag them. The first step for me when my older daughter went to college (she is a junior now) was to give her a special sound on my phone for her texts. I keep my phone on silent all the time, but I gave her a sound that would bypass this, so I would know it was her texting me. If I am in surgery, I will hear it and it lets me know she's okay or if I hear it multiple times or at an unusual time of day, I know she needs me for something. I have a different sound for my younger daughter who is now a freshman in college. They both attend college in big cities that are hours away from home, so I always want to know they are okay.
Those texts alert me to all kinds of things, and I still make sure I am available whenever they need me. Whether it's answering a question about an apartment issue for my older one, scheduling an appointment for either one when they are home on break, or a request for a package with something they need or want, I am always so happy to get these texts. Phone calls and FaceTime are fabulous, but I have learned to be perfectly content with a text exchange as well.
As a working mom of young adults, there is definitely less struggle on a day to day basis regarding schedules and wondering how you will be in two places at once. There is no longer concern about juggling after work and after school activities such as sports practices, school events or simply dinner. It now becomes coordinating schedules for moves in and out of apartments or college dorms, weekend visits and hopefully family vacations. The lack of concern about daily time management is replaced by the daily concerns about their well being. I connect with my kids at least once a day, and that works for us. No matter how old they are, you are always their mom and will always be needed in some way. You will still need to find a balance. You may find that you can now be more devoted to work, but that in no way means you are less devoted to your kids. You will now see the outcome of those 18 years which were not always easy but so rewarding. The greatest reward will be watching them spread their wings and fly. You are a big part of why they are able to do so. Well done mom!