Letting Go…a little!

kid on bikeI LOVE being a mom, not too many bad things about being a mom. For me, there’s really only one thing bad about being a mom, or a parent in general. Bad is maybe the wrong choice of word, so we’ll say the toughest. The toughest thing for me about being a mom is letting go. I always knew I would be a mom and a wife. I truly believe if we do all have a purpose in this world, that was mine.

When Bailey was a baby, I always thought about how I would handle certain situations. Everyday situations like, sending him to school one day, letting him go on a field trip without me, having sleep overs at friends house (still haven’t done that one yet!.) When Bailey went to preschool I was OK, it was mornings only 3 times a week and I spent that time with one of my really good friends. I love that and I loved the fact it was only 3 hours. Then Kindergarten came and he was gone every day, still half days but everyday. As much as children need that slow transition from being home to going to school everyday, I think us parents need that too. I did anyway! So 1st grade comes along and he’s gone all day everyday! WTH, how did that happen?? It’s inevitable, they will grow up, you cannot stop them!

So fast forward to the present day. We now live in small community where a lot of Bailey’s friends live. His father, myself and Bailey have talked about safety and rules. All the other kids ride their bikes around all day, I’m sure checking in, but still! I am having such a hard time with this. We said next year we will get walkie talkies so we always have communication with each other. Well today his best friend Bailey came over to play and after a while he asks me, in a very sweet way, “can I please go to Bailey’s and play at his house?” “just for a little bit, please mom?” UGH this is where the bad part of being a mom comes in!

I let him go on a few conditions. One, he go NO where else but Baileys. Two, obviously not talk to strangers, and be home by 2:30. That gave him just over an hour. I can’t even begin to tell you what I did not get accomplished in that hour. What did get accomplished is a whole lot of worrying though! A lot can happen in one hour, a lot can happen 5 minutes. He followed the rules and was home by 2:30. He did show me responsibility today and unless he proves otherwise he can continue going to Bailey’s house. He can only go around our one block on his bike by himself or with his friends. No further. It’s hard for me and his dad but it’s good for him. He’s proud of himself and he really is a responsible kid. We are pretty lucky, that doesn’t make it any easier though!

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13 Responses to Letting Go…a little!

  1. SKL says:

    Wow, I want to live in a world where it does get easier! Of course my kids are too young to go anywhere alone, but I have visions of them biking to school together and such. We live in a place where nothing is at a convenient distance, so maybe it’s just wishful thinking. Probably. But I remember the freedom I had as a kid and I think it was good for me. I think it would be good for my kids – but maybe my ideas will change as they get closer to “that age.” Then too, while the memories of my childhood suggest that freedom led to strength and independence, there are also some scary memories. Scarier now than they were then. So we’ll see.

    Maybe I should ask my parents how they were able to let us go like that. I know they hadn’t forgotten the stuff they got into as kids, so what was their thought process? Hmm.

    • Joy says:

      It feels to me like it was so different back then. I think there still were dangers but they weren’t as broadcasted as they are now so I think people just felt safer. When I was 10 I was riding my bike miles away from home and nobody worried like now. I’d like to know the thought process too.

      • SKL says:

        I remember when my sister was 4 and she would go visit her little friend (2 doors down the block). She’d ask permission, I’d tell her what time to be back and she was really good about that. (I know that’s probably unusual!) So my kids will be that age in 2 years, will I be ready to let them go visit the neighbors without stealthily following them? Honestly, I know that they already can go around the neighborhood “safely” (not including crossing streets). But that 0.01% chance that “something” will happen holds me back.

        I do think there’s something to having more than one. Even with two at the same age, there is a sense of “safety in numbers.” They may feed on each other’s weird ideas, but when push comes to shove, they will look after each other.

  2. As I’m not yet a parent, I cannot know what this feels like exactly, but I think I can imagine it to an extent. The good thing, I think, about what you’re doing is the progression. Your son proving to be responsible makes both you and him able to trust each other, and slowly, as he grows older, you’ll allow him to do more things on his own. I think, however, that that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll pull away – the opposite in fact.
    I mean, think back to your own high-school days… Weren’t the wild kids the ones with the really strict parents often? The parents who didn’t let them do anything, and so the kids were forever running away from their responsibilities and breaking curfews? I know that for me, personally, I never tried to “rebel” against my parents in that way because they simply weren’t strict in an unreasonable sense and so my home life was comfy. I felt no need to get away because I didn’t feel restrained.

    • nikki says:

      Yes I do believe if you are too strict or “shelter” them they will rebel and that just can’t happen!!! His dad and I are both protective, we both have a very watchful eye but we do allow him his freedom. You have to or you’re setting yourself up for really hard times in the future!

  3. DM says:

    being a parent has been the hardest (and the most rewarding ) thing I’ve ever experienced…and you’ve touched on one of the reasons why. ours are now 20, 23,27 and 29….3 girls and a boy

    I could rattle off several of the thought processes that have gone through my mind..but it would require a lot of room. The first child is the hardest, felt like I was feeling my way in the dark, all the way through till they’re married 😉 by number 4 it did get a little easier.

    There is so much conflicting information floating around that doesnt’ help either…thing we did that helped the most was talk to older parents who seemed to have normal kids… have fun… I hear you!

  4. pammy wammy says:

    The first child was hard to send off to school.The 2nd and 3rd got easier.But as a mom,each phase pulls at your heart strings.Thats normal,thats being a mom.I like how you handled his little adventure to his fiends.And he listened to you,by returning as you asked.BRAVO!!You take one day at a time.Try not to think too much of the future.From reading your note,I think Bailey is lucky to have you as a mom.Kids are our rewards in this life.I now have grandkids.As a nana,my protective mode is once again up.Life is so amazing and awesome,yet we have to be aware of our surroundings.You are an awesome mom 🙂

  5. Joy says:

    We all know how hard it was for me to let go but we really need to in order to make our kids well rounded. We need to teach them how the world works so they can handle it when they go out in it but it’s SO hard. I do think the baby steps help. Doing things slowly. Bailey has smarts and I think you did this right. I can’t even imagine only having the one. Every time Jason met a milestone, I thanked God I had Toby. I always thought that until the day Toby wanted to fly the coop. Then I pretty much fell apart for a while.

    It’s got to be done and look, he was fine and was probably really proud of himself.

    • nikki says:

      He was very proud of himself. And we do feel safer where we live now. Our town is pretty safe anyways but we seem more secluded back here. Next summer we will do the walkie talkie deal but he knows to NEVER leave the association, EVER!

  6. Just a Mom says:

    My youngest daughter has been going to the pool by herself this year. The first few times I popped in at the pool “to go swimming myself” but now I just let her go. I think each kid is different as well. My oldest daughter has a habit of taking a little bit of freedom and hanging herself with it. My youngest daughter sees the trouble her older sister gets in with me and she takes total responsiblity for her freedom. Either that or she is really good at hiding her screwups from me!

  7. Morocco says:

    Girl I am the same way with my son! He will be 11 in a month and he is still not allowed to ride his bike around the neighborhood! I can get so paranoid sometimes. It is tough to let our kids grow up…

  8. JavaQueen says:

    Letting go is so hard. It makes it easier if your son/daughter comes back on time and obeys the rules. Best thing to start out with some good solid rules and see how it goes. “You can always loosen the reigns later, but you can never tighten them”

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