I’ll be the first to admit this- I am a pushover when it comes to my kids. I don’t ever want to spoil them and yet I find it so hard to keep myself from giving them everything and anything. I want them to be strong and self sufficient and yet I can usually be found hovering over them if it is at all humanely possible to do so. I am full of contradictions and yet I know I need to present a united front to them when it comes to their father and me being on the same page in our efforts to parent them. Still ask me if there is anything I wouldn’t do for them- to keep those smiles pasted permanently on their mugs and to have them wrap their arms around me and profess their undying devotion (which NEVER gets old) and I’ll tell you (and anyone else for that matter) that I am determined to provide my kids with anything in the realm of my power.
Perhaps at 27 when I was pregnant with my first child I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of just how parenting my kids would inform every decision for the rest of my life, but in hindsight clearly it has. Twelve years ago I had no idea the lengths I was capable of going to, to protect my kids both spiritually and of course physically. I don’t think I fully understood how inextricably linked my sense of peace and contentment would be with theirs and that my once singular existence, wherein my only concerns were my well-being and needs, would ultimately take a major backseat to my children’s welfare. Case in point, this past weekend it was all kids all the time, sleepovers, piano, basketball lessons, play dates and twelve years later I *hardly* miss going out to dinner, drinking as much wine as I can get down my gullet and the next morning frittering the day away with scones, coffee and my laptop in bed (as opposed to making breakfast and hauling kids all over the place).
But the older they get the more I see how important it is that I let go. That I stop trying to micromanage their lives. That I give them space- that I not try and solve every friend du jour crisis or English homework problem. That I tell them to take care of it- that I give them their privacy, despite DYING to know every last intimate detail. That I wait for them to come to me. And yet while I know they need their breathing room, they need to figure things out on their own lest they grow up into twenty-somethings who need to first check in with their mom to help them with that all important what flavor pancake should I order while at breakfast with my friends in a Sunday morning . That I no try to fill every minute of downtime with a pre-planned activity and that I just let them be.
So my question is- how do you let go?