Ok, I have a confession to make. Today I cried over a silly YouTube video. It was one of those moments where you sit down to watch things just to laugh and the reality of it hits you. I will share the video with you below but I feel like I should defend my tears before you see it. The video is called I can do it by myself. As I sat there watching this video I realized that I am past that phase. I no longer have a small child that needs me for everything. Many things they can do themselves. This may sound like a beautiful thing and most days it is but today I just missed the little things.
I Can Do It By Myself
I am going to share the video with you. After you finish laughing at me for my tears, I want you read on to find out why it made me cry and what I hope to do about it.
I am in the no more babies club. You know the one. It’s that club where you realize that as much as you loved the baby phase you are done with it. We decided after C was born that we were done having more babies. (Thank you Jesus! My body hates being pregnant!) While this was an easy choice for me, I didn’t realize some of what I was saying bye to.
I didn’t realize that though I would have no more diapers, no more night feeding, no more colic; I would also have no more mommy I need your help. Everyone constantly warns you to treasure it. I did. I made a point of treasuring the moments and making the memories. I just didn’t realize the value in the annoyances. There were countless moments where I was busy and I was asked to help. I stood on the side of the stove and cooked with my girl as she helped me bake. I repeated the words sound it out on a constant loop. I didn’t even see it happen. They grew up quickly before my eyes.
Yesterday the reality hit me hard. My son sat reading his own chapter book. My daughter asked me to bake with her and I was the one standing back while the bulk of the cooking was done. I added small bits of help occasionally but she was able to do it without me. It was in that moment I realized that she chose to spend time with me but she did not need me. My son asked me to read with him but it wasn’t needed. It was because he wanted my time.
I didn’t see it coming but we have reached the point in parenting where I am here to offer wisdom but I am not needed as much as I once was. Don’t get me wrong. I know there are areas where they will still need me to teach them. However, I realized that now the relationship is no longer a needs based system but a choice. My kids don’t need me to do it so if they choose me it’s because they want me there. This is both beautiful and terrifying. It’s beautiful because I am watching them become independent and I know that the day will come when they are successful adults.
It is terrifying because if they have the ability to choose me, they also have the ability to reject me. This was overwhelming when it hit me. I found myself second guessing every moment as a mom. Did I invest the things into them that would make them want to choose me? Did I do it right? Will they grow up and never come back? Then I stopped. I took a second to catch my breath and I remembered that these are still my babies. They are still the same sweet amazing people they have always been. There will be times when they don’t choose me but there will also be beautiful moments when they ask me to come sit with them or do something where I am not needed but wanted.
I can only love them the best way I know how. The rest will fall on their shoulders. As long as my identity isn’t in my children I will survive either one. I don’t have to be enough. I simply have to love them the best way I know how and let the rest fall where it will. I know that sounds so simple but it has been so freeing to know that at the end of the day, I can only do my best.