Thursday, January 27, 2011


I think I've finally figured out the trick to slowly letting your kids 

Tuesday was the first day back at school after the ever-so-quick summer holidays.  No. 1 Son started year 7, and TD's No. 1 & 2 started years 12 and 11 respectively. Last year, when No. 1 Son started year six, I did the usual trek up to the school with him; helping him carry his overloaded bag, extra books, lunch box and water bottle - only to get all the way up there and be the only Mum there from his grade.  Needless to say, he was a little embarrassed (and I was extremely teary to think that my baby didn't really need me after all).

So this year, I was determined to just drop them all off in the two minute zone.  Yes, he had a bag AND a box of books and yes, the closer I got to the school, the more I kept questioning myself - Will he be okay with that big box?  Will he be able to find the classroom?  Will he unpack everything without dropping it all and losing something?  As he got out of the car, put his bag on his back, struggeld with the box, yes, I did want to get out and help him - especially when I pulled out and he turned to me and mouthed, 'I love you'!!

But then it dawned on me...I trusted that he knew what he was doing and that he'd be okay and I felt this weight lift!  It was quite amazing.  I started looking at everything differently.  What have I been instilling in my children all these years?  That I don't trust them to do things for themselves, so I have to do it for them?  Yes, that IS the message I must have been sending.

Suddenly I realise I've been bogging not only them down with my insecurities but I've been bogging myself down as well!  Yes, I trust that TD's No 1 & 2 are competent enough to find their own way to work after school, via the bus that leaves right outside the school! Yes, I trust that my son is capabable enough to make his own lunch in the mornings AND find his way to his new classroom AND unpack his new books and stationery.  And he did. 

Maybe this is the oldest motherhood trick in the book and I'm a bit behind the eightball but this new way of thinking is extremely freeing!! 


  1. This is so true!! I had the 'light bulb' moment not long ago.You suddenly realise that all these years you have been preparing them to face the world and you just have to trust them and trust that you have done a good job.As you say, when you realise that it is a very liberating feeling.

  2. A thoughtful post! I'll share a quote I came across 9 years ago, by photographer Jane Fulton Alt: "I think life is a string of connections and separations; and is ultimately about letting go - a process that begins with the cutting of the umbilical cord. We're always letting go - of the day, of the seasons, of our children. I'm just trying to get better at it."

    My kids are is their 20s, and I still have to read and absorb the wisdom of that quote, again and again and again and...

  3. Sarah - It's a pity we're not all presented with a 'how to' manual when they're born instead of waiting for that 'light bulb moment'!

    Threecredits - That is a poignant saying. Thank you!

  4. Loved this post and I only have early primary schoolers. But lots of discussion about this very topic with other mums at coffee this morning. When to let them walk up to class by themselves? Does the teacher want us hanging around or out of there? When I asked my daughter the other day, as we walked through the front gates of school "Do you want to come to the office with me and G (her little brother) or do you want to go ahead to the classroom & wait with your friends?" which was met by the prompt reply "I'll go to the classroom & meet my friends. Byee"....Nevertheless, little bro and I still had to walk past her classroom to check that she made it okay on our way down to prep lol (she didn't see us) :)


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