Letting Go While Holding On

One of the biggest changes that can happen to a person in life is motherhood. You don’t just gain a pregnancy, stretchmarks and a baby at the end. You gain a little piece of immortality, shaped and ready for you to teach and raise. You gain a personality that will form based on how you raise them, how you walk them through the laughter and tears of life, and you get to watch that personality shine.

Being a Mom is so much more than just loving a child. You are responsible for the way this tiny creature that you created develops, so you have to take that responsibility with both hands and make it count. The thing is, motherhood speeds by so quickly! One moment, you’re holding onto a tiny newborn baby, still curled up as if inside the womb. The next? Well, the next you’re sending your application into Abacus Schools for kindergarten. There’s one common theme here among all Mom’s: you won’t be ready. The nights that you spent pacing the floor, begging your baby to sleep because it’s 3am and you haven’t slept for almost two days have long past you. At the time, they seemed to stretch for an eternity, but right now you’re looking at your soon to be five-year-old and wondering how this gangly, intelligent and funny little creature came to be.

Baby Holding Finger - They grow up too fast!

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Letting go of your baby and sending them to kindergarten and beyond is no easy thing to do. You’ve had a sidekick, a shadow at your hip for years, and now they are heading off to school to meet new people, make friends and learn new things that you won’t have taught them. The letting go aspect can feel like a knife in the heart. This person who once depended on you for comfort is now old enough to ride the school bus, eat their lunch by themselves and take part in confidence-building activities and sports. You’re a mother, so don’t expect miracles on that first day of school. Expect to feel overwhelmed, anxious, sad and exhilarated all at once. You’ll be sad that they will skip off without you and be just fine, but you’ll also feel pride and happiness for the same reason.

Holding onto your child can still be done; it’s just more a hand on the shoulder than a tight bear hug. It feels absurd sometimes, that we have to raise our children as closely as possible: breastfeeding, bedsharing and baby-wearing to keep them close, only to have to teach them to walk away from us as independent beings. Birds throw the babies from the nest to teach them how to fly, and now it’s your turn. It’s important for you to know that it’s okay to feel however letting go makes you feel. But don’t you mistake it; at the end of the day your beautiful little creature is going to come running back into your arms to tell them all about the adventures that they had. That right there, is a reminder that you’re still holding on, even after you let go.

 

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