That first look means everything to a mother.
The fact that they are healthy means even more! I still remember holding each of my babies for the first time. A bond so strong that it brought on a new definition to the term ‘LOVE’. Knowing all this, one can easily see why letting go of our children would be a difficult concept to comprehend for mothers.
As a mother of three, I’ve had my fair share of anxiety at the idea of letting go. Like most moms, I’ve struggled with the idea since the day my children learned how to walk. I still remember the fear and pride I had watching them take their first steps. I wanted to cushion the entire house, to keep them safe. Then there was the dreadful first day of pre-school, where I cried like a baby hugging Isabella and Lorenzo good-bye. You would think it would get more comfortable with time, that as parents we would learn how to cope with letting go of our children but we are far from it. Instead, each stage of their lives has brought a different level of concern for Bini and me.
Now it’s time for Novena (my third and last baby) to go off to pre-school, and as the days’ approach, I keep finding excuses to leave her home. As ridiculous as it may sound, I dread the idea of dropping her off and seeing her enter a whole new world, one without me present.
I remember the first day Lorenzo walked into his school; he held on so tight to me that I was almost ready to step right back out with him in my arms. We both cried saying good-bye to each other, and the hours before pick up couldn’t go by any slower. Fast forward to the first day ofKindergarten and the same kid, did not want me walking him into his classroom, let alone give him a hug and kiss goodbye. I think that’s what I fear most with Novena. Knowing that she will grow up just a little faster when she goes to school and terrified of the day she won’t want a hug and kiss from Mom.
Whoever said parenting gets easier as kids get older must not have older kids, because the older mine get, the more worried I become. Maybe, it’s because I am not mentally or physically ready to let them go. Perhaps, it’s because I know that when they finally do leave, they won’t be coming back and or maybe it’s because I need them more than they need me. Whatever the case may be, as their mother, learning to let go of my kids and be okay with the idea of them growing up has proven over and over again to be one of the hardest tasks.
So how do we as mothers, learn to let go and let our children grow? A question that hits home every time it’s asked! To get the best answer, I went to the one person I know that does motherhood best… my Mother. She dedicated her life to raising my sister and me as a single mother and experienced her fair share of heartache with letting us go.
Her advice to all parents: “Always remember that you were chosen to be their parents by God. The children do not belong to you; you were blessed with a special gift to mold and raise them. To give them love and teach them right from wrong. At some point, you have to face the inevitable and let your children go into the real world. They need to be able to use everything you taught them to fend for themselves out there. So all the lessons you are installing in them today, all the love and tender care you give them will help them tomorrow. You are a part of a bigger plan!”
She went on to say “The anxiety you feel today, watching them go to school or learn something new, is nothing compared to having them leave your house and go off to college or get married and have kids of their own. They will ALWAYS be your babies, regardless of how old they are or where they are in the world. If you worry about everything, you will live a life full of stress and gray hair. Remember, you can only worry about things you have control over, and your children growing up isn’t one of them… let them go!”
Hearing her say these things brought some ease to my heart. Will it help me let Bella, Lorenzo, and Novena go, well only time can tell. For now, though, I’ll take the first step and finally send Novena to pre-school.
I hope this blog helps you or someone you know. As always, I’d love to hear from you; how do you cope with letting go of your children? Feel free to leave your comments below.