Parenting

Learning to let go.

When our babies are born we’re with them every second of the day, they become our whole world.

And although there are many times we’re certain that the midwife must have forgotten to cut the umbilical cord, we’re still so grateful that we can hold our babies close, keep them safe and know exactly where they are.

And for many years after that they will always be by your side, even when you need the toilet and would really love some privacy.

The first day of school for me was the first time my kids had been away from me for so long, other than the times they went to their grannies house, and I was so anxious and scared about them being away from me without me knowing what was going on with them. I had no way of knowing if they were happy or sad, if they were missing me, if they were lonely, if they had eaten their lunch or made any friends, the list just goes on.

Not being able to have that control made me so anxious, but it was something that I had to learn to deal with because although I love them dearly there was absolutely no way I was going to home school them.

Sending Little Bear to school was harder compared to Little Miss Chatterbox. The fact that he had to travel for the first time alone to another town to get to school just broke my heart. Having to watch my baby boy so small getting on a school bus without me and still keeping a smile on my face to keep him calm and reassure him was very hard.

So many thoughts would cross my mind and I would let my anxiety get the best of me and give me a good kicking.

I would imagine him being so scared and alone because he was going to a new place and as his mummy I should have been there with him, but he had to get used to getting on the bus without me.

I would feel so guilty and worry something would happen to the bus and I would never see my baby again.

The time between him leaving for school and coming home was a complete torture for me and I would find myself counting down the minutes until he was back home, even though I really craved that time to myself.

Him not being able to speak made it even harder as he wasn’t able to tell me whether or not he was enjoying himself at school and if he had a good day.

But the fact that every morning he would get on the bus without making a fuss reassured me that he was enjoying himself and was happy to go.

When it came to the other children I felt a bit more at ease and was able to relax a little, mainly because they were closer to home and able to vocalize how they felt about going to school or playgoup. And believe me if Little Rascal has an off day and doesn’t want to go you will certainly know about it, in fact I think even the neighbours would know about it.

As my kids get older they’re becoming more independent and going more places without me, specially Little Miss Chatterbox.

She has a few after school clubs that she attends and will often go on playdates with her friends or go to birthday parties. And although I know she loves going and that she’s as safe as she can be it still doesn’t stop me from worrying about her being away from us.

Today I found myself looking at Little Miss Chatterbox when I went to pick her up from her after school club and as she was standing waiting on me with her wee friends and chatting away, for a moment she looked so grown up.

I’m not going to lie it really hit me hard that one day my little girl won’t be so little anymore and will leave us to go and make a life of her own.

Oh how much that scares me! The thought of her being away from us and me not knowing where she is at all times and if she’s safe and happy is a very hard one to digest.

But when do we loosen the reigns and let go a little? Are we to hold on to them forever in fear that something could happen to them and be the parents who check up on them constantly? Or do we step back and let them steps on their own?

I know for a fact that I will probably be the type of mum who is always texting her kids checking where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing, and will end up with kids who are too embarrassed to be seen with their mum in public because she’s still calling them her little babies and using the cute names she used when they were babies.

Watching your child grow up is definitely an amazing privilege that I often take for granted and instead wish they would move on to the next stage and be able to do things on their own. But I have to remind myself how lucky I am to have these three amazing kids and how privileged I am to be their mum.

Watching your kids grow up is one of those bittersweet moments in life, and as much as we want them to grow up and have a life of their own we wish they would stop growing so quick.

If only we could press pause on the sweet moments where you watch them play together, the times they laugh hysterically at your bad jokes, when we tickle them and they turn to jelly.  And oh those wonderful noises they make when they laugh, nothing more heartwarming than the sweet laughter of a child.

All we can do is enjoy all the good moments that they bring us and make as many memories as we can.

Take that photo no matter how silly they look, in fact the sillier the better as it will make you laugh when you look back at them.

Capture every moment you can. Take that sleeping photo, take the bath photo, the photo of the huge gap left behind after their front teeth have fallen out, even the photo of them caught red-handed scribbling on the wall you just painted the day before.

Make beautiful memories that last a lifetime, that will carry you through the years when they’re ready to fly the nest (just imagine how spotless your house will be then) and until then give them that extra hug and kiss at night, those are the moments we truly live for.

Elisabeth x

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