Motherhood is often challenging. For me, some of the hardest challenges involve some sort of letting go of my children when they are ready for new challenges before I am.
Every day I practice to let go and help my children take more responsibility adjusted to the age they have.
It is not always easy, and I sometimes struggle not to roll out the red carpet and quickly solve a problem for them. It’s a fine balancing act that often challenges me.
When I stand on the thin line, I have many choices. I can pull us both back ashore and sit and wait, wait, wait. But I’m just not a “waiting type”.
I can focus so much on the risks that I end up tipping over into fear. But I do not like to tip over and parenting our of fear rarely brings out the best mum in me…
I can also choose to breathe, relax, and then help my child to step out on the line. I look her in her eyes and say, “I believe in you, honey. You can do it”.
And then the art of motherhood is to keep that focus until she has come ashore on the other side, and a text message is ticking in with “I made it. I did it, mum <3 <3 <3 “. Which always triggers a small relieved breath and fills my eyes with proud tears of joy. Both on behalf of my daughter’s success and because I managed to let go.
Each time yet another challenge is mastered, she gets more roots in her own life. Roots to stand on, next time she faces a challenge. Roots that will support her and make it easier for her to keep her balance in life. To me, that is SO beautiful!
Mindfulness training helps me to understand and notice what I’m focused on. For instance, am I parenting to help my child or out of fear? And if I don’t like my focus, I can change it. I do it through breathing, reflecting, believing, and helping.
So next time you find yourself holding your child back from new challenges, just breathe and reflect on whether you are transmitting your fears onto your child or you are actually helping your child face the challenges of life.
It could be from shifting your focus from “the fear of what might happen” to a focus on “the joy when your child succeeds”.
I practice … and I breathe… and I practice… and I breathe…