Letting your children go


I’ll be honest; I’m a needy, anxious, worrier of a mum who is utterly infatuated with my children. That, coupled with the fact that I’m a stay at home mum means that I’ve only had 3 days away from my children in the past 6 ½ years (and most of that I spent in hospital), so it was with some trepidation that I looked forward to my first and only girls weekend away, without kids or husband.

I obsessively prepared for my 3 day hiatus. Lengthy lists were written, meals were pre-prepared, and bags were packed for each and every school day with accompanying notes.   Despite the fact that my very competent husband and housekeeper were here and the kids would be at school most of the day, I wondered how would they all cope without me. And I felt so guilty, it was with a heavy heart that I jetted off for the airplane feeling as though I were abandoning my family… Dramatic? Me?

I spent most of the next 3 days sleeping. I’m a person that CANNOT sleep in the day, but 12 hours without my children and I developed narcolepsy, barely able to read a page in a book without falling asleep. It was wonderful and I expect sorely needed.   On the second day I decided to call home, anticipating tears and to have to deal with small children begging me to come back… but none of the kids wanted to talk to me. ‘Odd’, I thought. The next day I called and the boys deigned to talk to me for a minute or two. Finally day 3 arrived and I flew home. As I drove to the school my heart was in my mouth, I was giddy with anticipation … I rushed to the classrooms to meet my beautiful children who then gleefully rushed into my arms as though I’d been gone for years casually strolled out and gave me a cursory hug as though I’d never left. And it hit me; they didn’t need me that much any more! Of course, I know that they want me to be near and love me with all of their sticky little hearts, but I hadn’t realised that my possibly over possessive, doting way of being with them was a situation all of my own creation and that my little dudes are actually fine without me. They don’t need me and their world no longer ends if I’m away for a bit.

This was quite the revelation. As a stay at home mum my entire world has been built around these children, at one point I had 3 children under 16 months and the all consuming nature of caring for 3 babies has been the night and day of my life. Of course, we raise our children to become independent, to be able to walk alone, to be little humans who can care for themselves, that’s the very purpose of motherhood and I’m so happy that we are getting there. But in all my time worrying and watching my children I forgot about myself. So this moment is bittersweet; my little babies have become wonderful individuals and I’m a great mum because I did this, I made these awesome little people… but then you think, ‘what about me?…. I still need you!’

So what about me… well, I’m more rested than I’ve ever been, I’m in a good place emotionally, socially and physically, so it seems like it’s a good time to take a step back, let go of the reigns a little, stop helicopter parenting and do some stuff for myself. Lets see what the future brings.

Onwards and Upwards.

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