Earlier in the evening we had one of those awful parenting moments. I heard a strange cry from my baby’s room and went in to discover he had pulled his blankets over his head, vomited, and got them stuck to his face. He was pale and limp and had obviously been smothered by his blanket.
Over the next few minutes he got his colour back and eventually came back to normal. We ended up taking him to A&E to get checked out and thankfully found out he was totally fine.
But I wasn’t.
I was wide awake and fearful to go to sleep in case anything would happen to my baby. This little human was everything to me and the possibility anything bad might happen was terrifying. “What if the doctors missed something?” “What if it happens again?” Thoughts like these we’re running through my mind.
Then I had this thought – I need to let go.
I needed to let go of the fear; let go of my fierce motherly desire to protect and to just trust. Trust that he would be fine.
And guess what? He was.
Later something dawned on me. My whole journey of motherhood was going to be one giant process of letting go of my kids. I thought about finishing breastfeeding, leaving him with babysitters, starting school, even leaving home.
And in that moment I decided that I was going to learn how to be good at letting go. My wonderful husband still needs to help me at times (I’m sure men are naturally better at this!) but I have learned that my role as a mother is not to hold tight to my kids for as long as I can; but instead to prepare them for the next stage and to release them into what they need to do.
I’m writing this sitting in Sydney at a Christian leadership conference (having somewhat struggled to let go and leave my kids in New Zealand with their grandparents for 6 days!). I had already started writing this post but found myself sitting in a session about how to parent through different seasons of life and the speaker said this about our kids:
“If you learn how to let go well; you’ll never lose them”.
And there it was.