Watching your kids grow up is a funny old thing. I flit between loving it and feeling scared by it. It doesn’t seem so long ago that they were all tiny and so completely reliant on me. The busyness of having them all small was chaotic, and I loved it. Now though they’re all quite independent, including the small one. In May Stanley was 3, in July, Barn 15 and last month Katie and Joe were 17 and 19. I remember being their ages. The fact that they are all taller than me (except Stanley), is scary.
It’s lovely watching them grow, explore and find their way. It’s nice to see them developing into their own people with their own likes and dislikes and while it worries me that they won’t need me, I’m sure they know I’m always here. Realistically I know I should be happy to know that they are creating their own lives and I am, it’s only what I did. It’s normal. It’s just scary to watch from the sidelines. I have to let them make mistakes. It’s how we all learn, isn’t it? Just sometimes, I wish they would learn from my mistakes instead!
Funnily enough, it wasn’t until recently that that I heard the term ‘lawn mower parent’. The idea did amuse me! I assume we’ve all heard the term ‘helicopter parent’ where we flit around checking our children are okay? Well, lawn mower parents are one step further on, literally smoothing the way for our children to have a bump free ride. It’s only when I read things like that, that I realise how my behaviour might be similar. I mean, I let them take risks and do things, but if someone or something threatens them I become a bit protective. (The word ‘bit’ might be a small understatement!) It doesn’t matter if it’s only an injustice that has been misinterpreted, I like to know things are fair so I wade in to defend them. I’ve always told them I won’t interfere if they don’t want me to but I am pretty persuasive. I preempt things that could go wrong, and organise them all, but that doesn’t really help them in the long run, as I won’t always be there to hold their hands, and it would be a bit odd if they wanted me to be!
I’m realising that I need to let them fight their own battles to an extent. To allow them to grow without me overshadowing them. For all that I care, I don’t want to smother them. But, at least I’m aware of my tendencies. I know that a lot of parents aren’t, so I hope it helps.
Take care of yourselves and thanks as always for reading.