I'd like to think so, but then I examine my relationship with my mother and realise I don't actually need her, I actually want her in my life.
I left home at 17, I've not been parented since, our lives are very different from each others. I now live abroad, but I've always had the need to spread my wings and as much as I think my mother would've liked me as a 'home bird' it was never going to happen. She also moved away from her family at a young age and has remained close with them if not geographically but through visits, letters and regular phone calls.
Around the time I left home, her mother went to live with her for a few years. it wasn't the most successful of stays, but it made her realise that when her time came for being looked after, it wasn't going to be done by her children.
But we're nearing that time, not in the next few years, but in the future for certain. It won't be me needing my mother, it will be her needing her us.
Over the last 2 years the roles have been changing slightly since my father died in 2017. I don't do my mother's finances, I just help and advice her with them. I have no access to her money and every telephone call I make on her behalf she has to verify she's happy for them to talk with me.
I now get to spend time with my mother doing nice things, lunch, coffee's, shopping, short breaks and her visiting us in Dubai. There's no definitive role. She no longer has a say or input in my life in regards to decisions I make, she is not the first person I consult, that is my husband, but she is informed of our decisions, our future moves, our choices and it's been like that for almost 20 years now.
My parents never consulted me after I reached adulthood about moving house or going on holiday, they just informed me. I do the same now. But I still inform her and the children of what is going on, travel plans, my health, friendships and what I bought when I went out shopping.
I'm hoping the same can be said by my children. So far so good. We've been involved in all the major decisions in their lives, they consult us about things, they tell us their travel plans, their plans for the future, if they've bought a new car, but they don't ask us to help them anymore. They'll run their ideas past us, but usually at that point they've made their decision. They'll ask for financial advice, but not for money, with planning their futures, renting a flat, buying a house, planning for their wedding.
They'll ask to stay in our flat and treat it with respect, it's always clean and tidy when I want to use it, we don't charge them rent for living there for periods of time in between jobs or travels. They respect us as adults as we do them.
They are all adults now, they are all financially responsible for themselves, they have other people to consult with before us as parents, which is how it should be.
We've done our job, raised them with minimum hassles, to be strong and independent individuals, with their own views and opinions, but do they still need their mum?
Who knows? We've really not been tested yet as parents to adult children, the 4 boys range in age from 19 - 29. They've all needed guidance at some point since leaving home, help sorting out finances, support making decisions to move abroad and change jobs. We live 3000 miles away from them, we're not there for the day to day stuff, although they do tell us about their normal lives.
We're not there to help with the driving lessons, or take them out for dinner to check in, we have to rely on them contacting us if they need support, we don't see the changes and aren't around to pick up on hints and clues, that they might need us. We rely on them to tell us.
They are all adults now with the youngest turning 20 next month.
Do they need their mum though? No I don't think they do anymore, I'm not and shouldn't be the first person they turn to for help, support and guidance, but they do keep me informed of their life decisions, they know I'm here if they need anything, they know they have a home to go to whether it's using our UK flat or coming to visit us in Dubai. They know they can ask for financial help, but they rarely do, if ever. They know they can tell me anything and I'll support them.
They choose to have a mum as adults, I'm not their friend. That's my husbands role........lol.