Learning to let go. | Helpful Mum

Monday, 1 October 2012

Learning to let go.

Since the boy started pre-school, I have been learning to let go. It is tough. When he was with the childminder we would talk for 10-30 minutes at the end of the day just chatting about what he had been up to. She would also text me and let me know how he was doing if he'd had a teary goodbye. It was good. I had a full run-down of what he was up to and, whilst having to let go a little, I was still within arms reach. At pre-school, you are lucky to get a 1 minute handover. I don't know what he is doing, who his new friends are or who he eats his lunch with.


I was starting to get a bit sad about it, never knowing the whole story of his day. Then it struck me that perhaps this is one of the hardest lessons we learn as parents. We have to let them go. 

Indeed, this underpins our childrens' entire life. We have to let them go. To pre-school, to school, on school trips, to after school clubs, sleepovers with friends, away for a week with school, going to secondary school, going to university, leaving home, getting married. At every stage we let them go that little bit further away until they no longer need to check how to do things or ask for advice. 

From this tiny baby which you grew inside you, who was entirely dependent on you, to a grown-up, leaving home and surviving completely without you. Your little baby who was fed solely on your breast milk for six months, learning to cook for themselves. The baby whose nappies you changed, learning to clean themselves. At every stage, getting further away.

The one thing we really don't want to do. The one thing we absolutely have to do. One of the hardest lessons as parents. Learning to let go.

What do you think? Is parenting just one big lesson on how to let your children go?
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12 comments

  1. *nodding vigorously* My eldest is 16 and my youngest is now 6...my parenting has been full of little letting gos. My post today is similar to yours but a few years on!
    Yours is a beautifully written post, thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much! I was a little overcome when I realised that life in the future will be full of letting go!

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  2. You're bang on:) I find it a tiny bit easier to let go as the get older but only a tiny bit.

    http://oddparent.blogspot.dk/

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    1. Thank you. I can't imagine it getting any easier but I hope it does.

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  3. Ughhhh. Yeah. And it's hard - SO hard. I'm struggling at the moment with this very thing actually (my son started pre-school this September too). Maybe the first little bit of letting go is the hardest and it gets easier as they get older? I hope so! O wrote a post sort of on this subject recently: http://howtobeadomesticdisgrace.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/a-wee-by-any-other-name.html

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    1. LOL - apologies for my gazillion typos above!

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    2. I don't know. I can't see how it would get easier. I guess though that as they get older you obviously trust them more.

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  4. I know what you mean but it's also about redefining things, isn't it? I remember being really sad when I stopped breastfeeding my little boy and saying to a friend I was worried I'd lose that closeness with him. 'But he'll still want to cuddle you', she said. And she was right. I had to let go but our relationship was redefined and the closeness was still there - he's 7 now and we still have a good old cuddle!

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    1. That's true. I guess it is also about reassessing what our life will turn into.

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  5. Aww...I feel emotional just thinking about it.
    I was talking about tatoos and dating with my husband last night - my daughter is not even one yet! I guess I am prepared to the idea the it is going to fly by and we won't be able to see it all coming! Great post! New follower from Hellocotton.

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    1. Ha! Yes, we haven't even thought about tattoos but I am sure my daughter will have a dating ban! Thank you. Following you back on Hellocotton.

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  6. Letting go is the hardest thing for me!I 'have' to do it of course but I find it incredibly difficult and it's not something I would ever choose to do.On the other hand tho,I don't want to be that 'clingy' mum who holds her child back so I DO let go.Whoever said being a mum was easy!

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