Today it suddenly hit me how my parenting has evolved over the years, no, I’m not even sure it was such a slow process of evolution, more of a step, yes it was quite a steep step! My children are growing up they are beginning to make their own choices and decisions but mostly and more excitingly they are becoming themselves.
My parenting has always been central to my life, (through choice), I’ve rarely let my children out of my sight, not extreme attachment theory, but I just never felt the need to get a babysitter (or even grandparents) so I can go out or get my hair done, or have ‘me’ time etc.
‘Your children will never be this age again’-is definitely my parenting motto! Every weekend, every holiday we go on, it is always planned around my children’s interests, their needs and their thirst for learning, I’ve embraced it, ran with it and provided them with experiences and memories that will stay with them forever.
It’s like I’ve been driving their childhood on this journey, while they admire the views, safely at arms reach, strapped in the back, their straps loosening with each stage of development.
Today a realisation. The next parenting phase. The 3 W’s.
Waiting. Watching. Worrying.
Whilst the 10 year old is getting Scuba ready……..
the 6 year old is getting party ready….
She doesn’t want me to stay with her at the party and I can’t be scuba-ing with my son.
I go home.
Get a cuppa.
We’ve always been so busy, had a house full of friends and children, I don’t think I can recall both of my children being out of the house at the same time before without myself or my husband accompanying one or the other of them.
No other children to look after, just me, a cup of tea and an empty, quiet house.
Yes, of course, from the moment we hold our babies in our womb, we are always alert with worry, especially whenever our children are away from us, but this worry was different. Very different.
This worry, was one that had been planted because my children had made their own decisions, because they are becoming independent, because they are becoming their beautiful selves, because they are moving on to learner drivers, driving into the next phase of their lives, I now take a passenger seat while they make decisions about where to go at the next junction, occasionally taking hold of the steering wheel to guide them.
Relying on a combination of other adults to protect them and themselves taking responsibility to make their own decisions to keep themselves safe in the outside world.
The tables are turning rapidly and as much as I’m sitting here alone, drinking a cup of tea, in peace-every parents dream, I’m still waiting, clock watching and worrying; are they having a good time? Are they safe? Have I educated them enough to make safe decisions? And so on!
I’m more than proud of my children and I love every milestone not only that they achieve, but we as parents do too, and today was no different, just daunting! Every day is an opportunity to learn more about our children, support and guide them, as well as managing our own emotions about their next steps, their decisions and such.
Although, I do feel like I’m in training for the teenage years ahead as the cliches are rapidly becoming visible.
-The bank of mum and dad
-Mum and dad’s taxi
And so on!
Love everyday, your child is only this age once.