Do We Really Need to Let Go of Our Children?

I’ve been reading a lot of parenting articles lately and I’m finding something they all have in common. After you read about the joys and challenges of parenting, there’s always a paragraph that sums up how, as mothers, we all need to let go eventually and we’re reminded that our time as a ‘mom’ is short lived. Before we know it our home will be empty and we’re “all alone”, letting go.

Summing up my job as a mom like this not only depresses me and freaks me out but it also makes me angry. Who says I need to let go? Who says I need to move on and start a new season in my life? I’m well aware that as my child grows up he will become more independent and won’t need things from me that he once did. Is this really so bad? I personally don’t miss nighttime feedings every two hours or having to keep my son propped up for thirty minutes after each feeding because of his terrible reflux. I also don’t miss the sleep issues, the terrible-two tantrums or spending forty-five minutes trying to get a picky baby to eat a tiny jar of baby food. For me, I’m more in love with the conversations I can have now with my son, the outings we can go on without having to change a diaper or plan ahead for a feeding. I love my son’s personality and everything he has become. I think it’s silly to say someday I will need to let go of my son and let him go off on his own. A lot of these mom bloggers fail to realize that by the time our children are all moving out we’re going to be in our 50’s and for some of us, our 60’s. The energy we once had when we were young moms is going to be gone and we’re going to need that break more than ever. All the interests we put on the back burner, the lunch dates with our friends and the date nights with our husbands might finally be able to pick up again after we have a good cry over the fact that our child has moved out. We’ll enjoy grandchildren and the fact that we get to go home in the evening and sleep in our own beds all the way through without having to get up for a crying baby. While our house might not be cluttered with toys, books and games anymore, our homes will now be filled with grown children that make us feel like we did a job well done. The toys and clutter will turn into overwhelming amounts of love and pride.

For me, when my son was born I knew instantly that I loved him more than anything in the world and that I always would. My son will always know that and even if he thinks mom is uncool and wants to hang out with his friends I will communicate with him and let him know how much I love him. I don’t want him to cling to me forever. I like seeing him enjoy other people and his friends. As long as he knows Mom cares and he loves me back even just a little, all will be well. When my little boy becomes a man I will again let him know how much he means to me and I will communicate to him the kind of relationship I would like to see our mother / son relationship progress into. I want to hear what he wants and I want to make sure we can both be happy. I didn’t have a child so I could be a mother for 20 years or so and then quit that job to start something else. I look forward to a close relationship with my child (God willing) and I look forward to developing a relationship with my son’s wife, her family and I look forward to grandbabies! I look forward to our family growing for many years into the future whether it be from new life or new people.

When I made the choice to become a mom I intended it to be a lifelong journey and job. I love what I do. Whether I will have more children or not I do not know. I hope to one day but right now I feel no rush and I am enjoying my relationship with my first born. I do know that my wish for all of my children would be the same. Their mother will always love them, support them and will always be there for them. I always want to know what they are doing with their lives, what they are interested in, how they are doing, how they are feeling and if there is anything I can do for them. I don’t intend to suffocate my child and push him away. By no means do I intend to control his life, tell him what to do or call him hourly to check in. There will be times when my son has other priorities but I truly believe that if we love him enough while he’s growing up, we’ll be able to maintain a wonderful connection with eachother. A relationship between a mother and her child is a lifelong commitment and nobody will be able to take that place. Other people will come along and that’s ok too. My child can never be loved too much even when he’s older. Things will change and evolve just as they have so far but I don’t plan on focusing on the depressing fact that I’m getting older and so is my family. One thing is for sure though. I don’t plan on ‘letting go’.

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