Monday, 9 March 2015

Letting Go

A guest post by Lucy from The Parent Game Blog

I had an opportunity to write a guest post for my friend and she mentioned that I could write it about anything I wanted. Which got me thinking. There’s a subject that crops up in my head now and again, and I’ve often wondered if I’m alone in this one, or if other parents feel the same. So read on, and tell me, is this normal, or am I just a little bit loopy!

I’ve been a mum for nineteen years. I have, without exception, loved every single minute of it. I was very lucky, my first daughter, who I had at eighteen, was very, very easy going. Slept through the night from six weeks old, rarely had toddler tantrums, etc, etc. I didn’t realise that I was lucky, until I had my son, ten years later, who, especially at night, was a bit more of a challenge! However, I wouldn’t change a thing. My son, now nearly nine, has grown into a wonderfully intelligent, fun, thoughtful little man and I love him to bits. As all us mums will. That’s the point, isn’t it? We are all mums and they are all our babies, regardless of what they do or say. They will all go through phases at one time or another, and we will get angry, frustrated, whatever, but they will come out the other side and we will love them just the same. We will love them. It’s what we do. But, and here’s the rub, what happens when they are not little ones anymore?




I remember someone saying to me when my daughter was small, ‘It goes by so quickly, before you know it, she will be picking out college courses.’ Of course, I laughed. It sounded so ridiculous, as she grinned up at me, dribbling a little bit. I thought of that comment often, over the years, and others like it. ‘She won’t be a baby forever’, ‘enjoy it while it lasts’, but, it never felt that way to me. Each time she grew out of one developmental phase, she grew into another, even better one. Walking, talking, singing, telling jokes, she was such fun to be around, I never really felt I’d lost anything and it felt as if the whole world was ours to enjoy. I didn’t think I’d have any more children, so was extra-privileged to have another turn at being a mum. I think that may be why these thoughts crop up now, because, I know I won’t be having any more children, so every milestone feels a bit more final.

It hit me not long after my daughter turned eighteen. Like a steam train. This may sound crazy, and I am completely aware that it’s not the same thing, but I don’t know how else to describe it. I almost felt like I was grieving. For that little girl I used to know. Mad, right? I love my daughter with every breath in my body, she’s amazing and I’m so proud of how she’s turned out. She’s my best friend and I wouldn’t change a thing about her. But I miss that other life, the little girl with the crazy laugh and the little curls either side of her face. It all seems so far away, sometimes I feel like I want to go back and see her, just once. She seems like a completely separate entity to who my daughter is now. Is that crazy?

I wonder if, in a few years, I’ll feel the same about my son. Or, will I heed those warnings, make more of an effort to enjoy it all somehow? Would it really make a difference? I don’t think so. I suspect that, to some degree, most parents go through these feelings at one time or another and we just have to learn to cope with it. Be thankful for the great joy our children bring us, the wonderful people they have become, and hope to God we they give us plenty of grandchildren!

By Lucy Dorrington
The Parent Game 


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43 comments

  1. I can see what you mean, kids change so dramatically from one phase to another that they are like different children and it's easy to reminisce about lovely times gone by. My oldest is about to turn 7 and I'm a bit sad about him finally leaving that innocent phase where he believes in Father Christmas and thinks a Kinder Egg is the most exciting thing in the world to become a bit more 'grown up' and cynical.

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  2. I can so relate to this post Lucy. My eldest is almost 15 and I am feeling her slipping through my fingers, almost daily! Every moment is special, as you say. We need to treasure each one - even the teenage years!

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    1. My son is 18, he will be going (hopefully) to Uni soon. I can so relate to Lucy's post too Suzanne!

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  3. I can totally relate t this, I am almost scared to enjoy the last six months of my eldest's official childhood because I am so scared of losing this precious time with such a lovely young man.

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    1. But he will be a lovely older man too! Then you can congratulate yourself on a job well done! :-)

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  4. I can only imagine how quickly it must seem like a child grows up - one minute they are small - the next they are moving out. x

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    1. It's mad, because for ages you are thinking it feels like a lifetime away and all of a sudden... oh, here we are, lol!

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  5. I found Ev turning 13 this year a real smack in the face, as I won't be having any more children it has made me rather sad. He is not my little boy anymore and over the weekend just gone became taller than me! Where has the time gone? I always wanted more but due to my life choices it never happened so I am fostering instead - so I can help if I can any kiddies that need it! Great post Lucy xx

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    1. Exactly Lynn, Where has the time gone?

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    2. Fostering is a great idea! I would love to do that!

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  6. I feel the same over every milestone; chances of us having a second baby are pretty slim so I find myself thinking the days would slow down, just a little bit now and again! x

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    1. I found writing is helping with my youngest. I wrote a diary called 40 Days of Summer last year and I wrote a little every day about something fun we had done. It's lovely to look back on now!

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  7. I think that is you keep looking forward to the next stage it isn't too bad. But Maxi turn 10 next week and it has sprung up on me!

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    1. Double figures! Luke is ten next year, how did that happen?!

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  8. I can relate to this post, my daughter is nearly 15 and she is growing up before me . Scary how quick time goes

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    1. It totally is! It's nice to have someone to shop with though!

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  9. it really does fly upon us , they grow so quicky so fast and its hard to keep track of their next move x

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  10. Ahh my boy is three and a half and I really don't want him to grow up! xxx

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    1. Thank goodness for camera phones, it is so much easier to make memories these days, which is something at least! Not the same though, I know!

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  11. I don't know how they grow so fast - all of my boys walked at 8 months and it felt each time like my baby period was stolen from me.

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    1. I used to really envy mums who's babies had a period of sitting still and playing. It wasn't that mine walked especially early, but they were movers from a very early age, always wriggling off somewhere!

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  12. Though I can't relate as I don't have my own kids, the fact my eldest nephew is 10 this year is very very scary x

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    1. Where does the time go? And why haven't we worked out how to slow it down yet, lol?

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  13. I completely get you. Mine aren't even teenegers yet but I do look at them and miss their preschool selves. As much as I love the young women they're growing in to the fin carefree days of toddlerdom are sorely missed

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    1. I am so glad to find that I am not just a bit odd in feeling this way, although I feel your pain too!

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  14. Oh my eldest is 18 and I know just what you mean - she will be off to uni in September and her baby years feel like a very distant memory - came across a bunch of pics of her at 3 while sorting for the house move - how I would love to have just an hour with her at that small enough for your lap age again!!

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    1. And those unique conversations that you can only really have with toddlers! I really miss those, they have such a unique perspective on life!

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  15. When mine were little u was always desperate to push them to the next stage.
    Now I want time to stand still

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    1. That is so true. I think it was a kind of reassurance that they were developing ok, but now I want to rewind!

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  16. My eldest is 21 and it seems like yesterday that she was a toddler

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  17. My children are very young at the moment so there's still a long way to go until they're fully grown and flying the nest, but it does seem like time goes very fast. I can't believe my daughter is now 6, it seems like only yesterday she was a baby in my arms.

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  18. Mine are both still very small but I notice how quickly time passes already and can feel like Im missing out on so much by being at work. Its bittersweet watching them grow.

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    1. It is bittersweet. Kids are amazing though :)

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  19. Hayden will be 3 next month and that is weighing heavy on my heart ... Ahhh Why do they have to grow up? I want to keep my little man in a bubble like bubble boy lol
    Thanks for sharing hun
    Charlotte x

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    1. I wish time would stand still sometimes.

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  20. My youngers sisters are now all hitting double figures in age and I am feeling it!

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  21. I totally understand where you're coming from. They add new bits to themselves and lose other bits of themselves with each new stage and while I love seeing the new bits, I sometimes miss the old bits. I miss slobbery kisses when they were toddlers and having to explain to people outside of the family what they were saying because only the people who lived with them could understand them for a while!

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  22. I feel like this all the time, I love seeing him grow but I'm terrified of the time slipping away from me and him getting older! x

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  23. Letting go is such a difficult process, but it's also one that makes me incredibly proud of my little lady because it shows me how far she's come and what a clever little girl she is. I thought I'd struggle massively with her starting kindergarten, but I actually love that she enjoys it so much and she has all these fun experience to share with her little friends.

    Thanks for linking up with our Parenting Pin It Party x

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