Most of my blog posts are about maintaining your spiritual and emotional health as a mother. I give out tips and tricks about certain aspects about mothering that will make the journey smoother. I love doing lists (10 tips, 7 tricks etc) and I am sure the regular readers have noticed that.
One of my readers actually wrote to me asking how many kids I have coz it looks like I have done it all!!! Hahaha….sweet!
I am glad the picture I am giving out is that I have everything in control. However, the picture closer to the truth is that I am happy even if I don’t have everything in control. Probably that’s why I give out the vibes of being all calm and above it all…the vibe of a Nirvanama.
This post is in contrast to my confidence spruced earlier posts…in fact you can call it a “shout out.” A shout out to all the moms who think about what I am thinking. A shout out to moms who have more experience and hence much more to share.
During a talk with another mom a few days back I realized what a tight rope we all walk on each day as mothers. No wonder its confusing, stressful and heart-breaking sometimes.
I ask you all directly “When and how do you prepare your little one to leave the nest?”
In India we are not as clear on this as probably the West is. We cling on to our babies way longer than it is healthy. Our teenagers don’t work to earn pocket money. Our adults don’t usually live away from parents. Joint family concept is slowly but surely coming back in its full glory. Which makes it even more difficult- to be emotionally removed from your kids even when you physically see them everyday. It seems impossible at this moment as a mother of a toddler, but I am sure its something that all healthy mothers should do. To acknowledge that your baby is an adult now and let your baby go……
We hear and read numerous posts on our FB mom groups (irrespective of which one you have joined) about daughter in laws feeling that their mother in laws cling too much to the son even after he is married and its suffocating due to a lack of space given to the couple. I am not making any social remark on whether its correct or true or right or wrong.
But since generations we have this glorious mom in law-daughter in law rift arising from a game of rope pulling from each side (rope here being the son/husband). What is interesting that this game is being played since generations. Which means that two generations back, when mother in laws were daughter in laws, they would complain about their mother in laws. And then they went on to become clingy mothers whose daughter in laws are now complaining. And there is a very fair chance of these very daughter in laws refusing to let go of their sons in the future!
Does that mean we are not learning a lesson? If we felt suffocated as daughter in laws, then why did we go on to become clingy moms and repeat the story for another poor girl?
The fault is not in our stars (no matter how much I love the movie!). It’s an issue of motherhood that no generation can solve. The problem of
“When to let go of your baby”
I fear it too…will I also be a clingy mom? Will I suffocate my daughter to seek emancipation?
All these questions arise in every moms head and do give us sleepless nights…esp when the toddler grows exponentially and starts needing you less.
My 3 year old the other day expressed her wish to go to school alone and said, “I don’t need you Ma.” That was enough to tip the tears off my eyes. I pasted a happy smile and waved my baby goodbye. And came back to my room and sobbed!!! I was sad,surprised, happy, confused- all the same time. Happy that my baby was growing up and becoming independent (pat on back for that). Unhappy that I had to let her go. Surprised that there was a corner of me not celebrating the fact that my baby was independent. Confused because I thought I was waiting for this very day….the day my duties would be over and I would rejoice and relax!
Of course my 3 year old will still need me for many a things and the day of complete independence is still a few years away. But when that day does arise, how do you know? What do you do?
Animals in the wild do it and we should too. I have an earlier post “Honey I got rid of the kids” listing out certain ways of making your kids independent. However, the emotional battle that a mother goes through when their kids fly the nest is just torturous I am sure.
We prepare our kids for independence, but how do we prepare the mothers to deal with the “services-not-required” termination notice??
The other question is “when do you let go?” some kids mature early and at 16 might not need your constant attention. Some kids take time and even at 22 might need you to look over their shoulders sometimes. Of course only you can decipher this age mystery. You know your kid. You have nurtured him to the best of your capability and know exactly how much he needs you. So just keep your eyes and ears and mind and heart open for signals where your child might still need your TLC.
The other more stressful question- How did you deal with your kids flying the nest?
No matter when you let your kid go or how you do it- the most important point is you must. I know its hard, but that’s a package deal of motherhood- to do the tough things. Train him, prepare him, pamper him and then let him spread his wings and fly off.
It’s a fine line. A balancing act. To love someone with all your heart and also to wave that very same person goodbye (emotionally or physically or both!)
So while you prepare him to be independent, prepare yourself to have the courage and wisdom to deal with separation. That’s what a wise mature mother would do.
You have to find the perfect balance where he is “flying the nest” while you are NOT “flying over a cuckoo’s nest!!!”
(For moms who would like to share their experiences about dealing with separation from kids when they grow up, please leave your experiences in the comments box below. We would love to hear from you!)