The other night, I woke up to my 3 year old crawling over me saying, “Mommy, I had a bad dream.” Thinking nothing of it (as this has happened before) I assured him that he was safe and to go to sleep.
That next morning, he mentioned his bad dream again. Normally, Eydan doesn’t really remember his dreams.
“I fell in the water!”
I could hear the panic in his sweet little voice.
“You were there…you should have grabbed me Mommy.”
Those words stuck like peanut butter on the roof of my mouth. He fell in the water and I didn’t rescue him? He then proceded to tell me that there was a bat (the kid is obsessed with Batman, so of course there is a bat). After he fell, he flew into the sky and was rescued. So, not sure what part of this dream was actually what he remembered and what part he was just coming up with.
Nonetheless, I felt awful…real Caiti wouldn’t do this, but Eydan’s dream Mommy did. Was I supposed to grab him, or did I not because I knew the bat was going to? Geez.
As a mom, I fall short…a lot. I make mistakes. I forget things.
But, I have found that I need to give myself a break. I have come to the realization that it’s not always me falling short. Sometimes, it’s me “not rescuing” my kids so that they can grow into responsible little people.
Little people who know they can always depend on me, but aren’t dependent on me.
Does that make sense?
Emaleigh broke her arm about a month and a half ago. Long story short, because of where the break was, she has been in physical therapy for about four weeks.
Well, Emaleigh is my strong willed child. Very. Strong. Willed.
This journey of physical therapy has been not only stressful for her, but for the entire family…my finger is pointing mainly to me.
I have felt like such a nag. “Em have you done your exercises?” “Don’t run, you might trip!” “Please do your exercises.” “You aren’t doing them right!” “Please don’t jump.” “Don’t pick anything up with hour left arm!” “PLEASE DO YOUR EXERCISES!” You get my point. I have been helicopter Mom.
I have recently found the root of my stress with this situation: I can’t rescue her. It is not my arm that is broken, so I can’t force her to do the exercises the way I would do them. This is something she has to do, and all the while, she is learning her strengths and her weaknesses. She is learning what motivates her and what doesn’t. (Me nagging does not)
I can sit with her, help her through them…guide her and encourage her.
The rest is up to her.
As a parent, it’s not my job to constantly rescue my kids from situations. How will they ever learn to be confident in their skin if I’m always hovering?
Trust me, there have been times where Mama Bear wants to come loose, but I turn around and see my kids handling situations (probably better than I would have) all on their own!!
Please understand that if one of my kids fell in the water, I would jump in and rescue. But, when it comes to “loosening my cord” a little and standing back and watching them grow…there is a sense of satisfaction knowing that, although it’s hard not to always rescue them, my kids are going to be ok…
And it’s a little rewarding knowing that I had a little bit to do with that.