Do you remember when you were younger thinking about growing up, getting married to your prince charming, buying your own house, having little mini people running around that are just like you or your partner or even a mix of you both – the ultimate fairy tale?
Then as you get older you may have your prince charming after kissing a few frogs of course and get those beautiful children that you’ve always wanted, and then parenthood hits you. The feeling of unimaginable love that can’t be explained to the shattering stress and worry that follows as you watch them grow knowing that the years are short and they rely on you less and less. There’s nothing you can do to change it. I think that’s the hardest part of being a parent – having to let go bit-by-bit to let them blossom into their own person.
Even though they will always need us, it’ll be in a different way from when they were younger and it’s a hard thought to get your head around, having to let a piece of your heart go and live their own lives – it’s a pretty daunting feeling.
I haven’t experienced this just yet but I do feel it. I look at Faith and think wow, just wow. She’s not so little anymore and I think you tend to forget. You forget while dealing with other dramas in life. Raising your children, within a blink of an eye they are not babies anymore. They are slowly becoming adults and day-by-day the cuddles decrease and their attitude develops. They want to hang around with their friends more and stay out, and as a parent we have to let them flourish, but it’s extremely hard to just watch them go.
My children are still young but I must admit despite being proud to watch them grow into who they are supposed to be, the thought of them flying the nest scares the crap out of me! Being a Mum is all i’ve known since I was 18 years old and even though that role as a Mother doesn’t disappear, the change is considerably big. I guess it’s the fear of the unknown – what do you do with yourself when your children are all grown up.
I guess you feel some sort of loss in a way, the loss of the younger years that seem to have flown by.
As a parent you want to hold on tight to your children and not let go but there comes a time, no matter how hard it is to take a step back and let them learn the way of the world, let them make mistakes, fall in love and even go through heartbreaks themselves. As much as we would love to protect our children even when they are grown, we can’t. All we can do is be there to pick up the pieces afterwards.
I think as a parent taking that step back lets your children gain their independence and confidence. Lets them learn that they have to work hard for what they want in life. Holding on too tight can make the child become dependent, even as an adult and lack confidence, even though it may feel good for the parent to still have that bond and the mothering roll to play.
In my opinion it’s a selfish thing to do and can cause a lot of upset and animosity between the Son/ Daughter and the parent. If the Son/ Daughter wants to hang out with their friends more or decides to move away, the parent could feel pushed out and lonely.
I never thought when I first had a child I would need to think about all of this and how much worry I would feel watching them grow. It’s not just teaching right from wrongs, the tantrums, the proud moments – it’s the constant mixed emotions you feel overrun by the type that leaves a lump in your throat.
Being a parent is the hardest but most rewarding job in the world and even though the kids have driven me to having a glass of wine mid-afternoon today, I love them unconditionally and I’m proud to be their mummy!
They have helped me become the person I am today and without them I’d be lost. When it comes to a time that I have to let them go, it will probably tear me apart. I just have to believe in them to find their own way in life and be there whenever they need me.
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