There’s one thing that every new mother dreads, and that’s a milestone. We all sit and clap for each smile, first word, crawling, rolling – you name it, we get excited and happy that our babies can do it. Until the bigger milestones happen. Walking: now they can run away from you. Talking: now they can tell you they don’t like you anymore because you asked them to eat their carrots. Anything that makes our children go from tiny babies that need us every moment of the day to independent little people who can do things for themselves, is scary.
Watching a child dress themselves for the first time and choose their outfit themselves with their own steadfast opinions feels like a miracle. You’ve put every day into teaching another human how to have their own mind, and when they do it’s completely bittersweet. As a parent, you want your baby to want you, while teaching them how not to need you: it’s a conundrum. You shed a tear or twelve for how grown up they have become and you mentally calculate how many Christmases or birthdays you have with them thinking that you are the centre of the world. One day, they’ll want their friends instead. One day, you won’t be the centre of the universe anymore, just part of it.
The day your little person that you made and raised to do so many new things goes off to kindergarten, is a day full of tears. Mixed emotions of sadness that they are grown up enough to be independently learning and therefore out of your arms, and happiness that they have got this far and are happy to learn is hard. If you’re reading this, you’re probably needing the lecture. The one that tells you that it’s time to take a deep, cleansing breath and let go. That baby you burped at 3am and fed until they were milk drunk and smiley, is no longer here. They’ve grown into a pre-schooler who has their own imagination and dreams and curiosity that needs to be and that’s all down to you!
You have to learn to let your child go. We give our babies wings so that when you kick them out of the home nest and into the four walls of a school, or grandma’s house, or with other friends and family – they can thrive. You want your child to think independently and do things for themselves. You want them to do the best they can and they can do that without you by their side every hour of the day. We know it’s hard to let go of their hand and let them run free for a while. Do you know what the best bit will be though? When they come running back into your arms for a huge cuddle because they missed you. When they bring you drawings and paintings and reading books and want to share their newfound knowledge. Because you are their mother, and you will always be the person they want to see.