Before you have a baby, there are endless things to read and learn about. For your entire pregnancy, your mind is filled with all the things you need to buy and do before the birth. Some of us dive into the nesting phase earlier than necessary and become obsessed with getting the house ready for a new little person. Cleaning, organizing, painting, purchasing, folding, stressing…yada, yada, yada. If you are reading this, you have probably been there. Wanting to create the perfect space for your new addition is so very important for many moms.
The ironic part of this is that the baby part of parenthood can sometimes seem long, but it goes by in a flash. Before you know it, the little “baby” is walking and talking and telling you what to do. You no longer need a swing or swaddle blankets or baby food. Onesies are a thing of the past and diapers are on their way out. All of the effort you spent researching infant seats, strollers, and cribs, while useful, is no longer relevant.
Your little “babies” are branching out, which means you really don’t have a choice but to do it, too.
Being a stay-at-home mama, my little boy’s first real venture away from me was preschool. Last year he went a few times a week for a few hours and suddenly I had a whole lot less control over his environment. I knew that I liked his teacher and that the school was safe, but I didn’t know the kids he would be with, what he would be doing at all times, and what his interactions were like with everyone. I must admit it drove me a little crazy.
Fast forward to this year, where he has just started Pre-Kindergarten, which is a little longer of a day. You’d think that Mama would be just fine since I’ve been down this road before, but surprisingly, I’m struggling a little more this time. I’m not sure if it is because I see him getting older and growing more and more independent. Or maybe it is that his routine is different and I’m not familiar with it yet. The kicker for me is that his time there overlaps with lunch and I pack him one each day that he is there. Why is this so hard for me? I miss him at lunch.
I find it ironic that all the things I did to prepare for having a child revolved around mothering him, yet I was not at all prepared to let go of him. It is a constant struggle that I fight to make peace with. Knowing that the world won’t end if I’m not with him and understanding that as he gets older I cannot (and probably should not) be with him all of the time. For his own sanity, he undoubtedly needs time away from me. Poor kid.
I guess I just wasn’t prepared to love my little ones this much. I didn’t know that I would be so tied to them. I can’t be the only one, right?
How do you let go? What do you tell yourself when you feel like you want to hang on?