I Thought I'd Be DONE by Now
Hope and Help for Mothers of Adult Children
Searching for Peace

About the Book

Audience for I Thought I’d Be Done by Now:

There are 85 million mothers and 38 million female Baby Boomers, the majority of whom are mothers, in the United States. This book was written primarily for these mid-life moms, who, at best, are confounded by the complicated issues associated with parenting adult children (older than eighteen). Many suffer from anxiety and guilt as they worry about one or more of their adult children, or about their relationships with them. Since society is only now beginning to acknowledge the concerns of parents of adult children, mothers often feel isolated and overwhelmed, especially since so many of their offspring either haven’t left home or have returned. The moms who read this book are relieved to find that they are not alone.

Fathers of adult children can also relate to most of the short essays in this book, and the adult children themselves have found it helpful to learn about their family dynamics and to better understand their mothers. Finally, mental health clinicians, social workers and clergy who work with parents find this book helpful in their professional work and recommend it to the mothers in their care.

How to Use This Book:

Each entry is distinguished by a title; a one-page narrative, which usually includes a story offering a practical application of the topic; and a one-sentence summarizing thought. The book’s format of 183 vignettes, each of which stands alone, makes it easy for busy, worried mothers to be enlightened and uplifted through a simple routine of reading one essay each day. They can also read the same entry for several days if they find the topic especially inspiring or difficult to grasp.

The index allows the reader to search for stories on particular topics such as addiction or financial issues, so that mothers needing guidance in areas of special concern can use the book more as a reference book than a daily resource.

Topics and themes covered in the book include:

  • Letting go: the essential task of parenting adult children.
  • Empowering, rather than enabling our children.
  • Detaching from the drama.
  • Allowing our dreams for our children to die.
  • Freeing ourselves from worry.
  • Learning to laugh at ourselves.
  • Discerning when to intervene: crisis versus life situation.
  • Deciding whether, when, and how to give advice.
  • Developing healthy boundaries and limits.
  • Facing financial issues – theirs and ours.
  • Releasing guilt and fear.
  • Learning to listen deeply.
  • Living our best lives, no matter how our children are doing.

  • Read Samples from the Book


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