I know that I’m not getting the balance right because there are times when I’m holding on so tight that my children feel like a life line.
How do I even begin to let go?
I’m holding on to the threads that I wove during my years as a Mummy. The long cuddles, the kissed fingers, the laughter and tears that have created a blanket of mothering spun from threads unique to me and my children.
As they enter the teenage years that fabric is worn thin; it’s been wrapped around their shoulders as they tossed and turned with fever, it’s cushioned them from hurtful words in the school yard and comforted them in the dark of a sleepless night.
These last few months have found me patching and repairing it, but the blanket is unravelling. I’m desperately trying to hold it together, while my children are throwing it off, emerging from my maternal cloak of protection. Independent. Separate. Grown.
And in the silence that surrounds me, a question forms.
When did mothering become smothering?
My approach to mothering is fulfilling my need to nurture, hold and protect, but is it still serving the needs of my children?
My boys are becoming young men and their needs are changing.
This change was the prompt that began my blogging journey 12 months ago.
A year on and this journey has led to a defining moment.
The moment when my narrative of motherhood had to change, adapt and grow.
I need to write a new story.
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.
Viktor E. Frankl
Time is relentless, and the boys are growing up. I cannot change this.
What I can change is my myself.
The ultimate culmination of growing up is the move from dependence to independence; the transition from relying on others to relying on yourself.
As a Mother I also need to make that transition.
I can’t continue to create a sense of self based on my children.
I want to grow with my children, in love, connection and independence. This means discovering and re-forging my own identity outside of Mum, in much the same way that they need to find their identity outside of being my child.
I need to become independent of my children.
Who am I when I’m not Mum?
I’m really not sure yet, but I know I want to find out.
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