I love this post. Please read it. I share her sentiments.
On Zoe’s first day of school, she bravely, with only one glance back at me, walked through the school doors and into her life as a student. No crying, no gnashing of teeth, no clinging to me. That was 13 years ago. She has loved almost every day of her school life. Why? Well, there are several reasons.
- School is for her. And because school is for her, she took ownership of it and of her experience while she was there.
- I didn’t interfere with her experience that first day.
Next to me, on Zoe’s first day of school was another mother with her daughter who was clearly distraught. The 5 year old was crying and then screaming, and then pouting. She climbed up on her mother leg and up into her arms until her mother was holding her, almost like an infant. The 5 year old began to talk baby talk and the mother cooed to her using the voice we reserved for our newborns. When it was time for the child to walk into school, she couldn’t do it. In fact, it took near 15 minutes for this child to make it through the doors (parents were not allowed in on the first day – smart thinking on someone’s part).
Later, as we gathered for our instructions on how to be good PTO mothers and Room Mothers, the woman turned to me and said, “I noticed how easily your daughter went into school.”
I nodded and smiled.
“The thing is, my daughter and I have, how do I say this, a very deep and special bond and she NEVER wants to be away from me. Our love for each other is deep. Really deep.”
I froze. Back then, I had even less tact than I have now. I turned and looked at her and said, “You have got to be kidding me? You think that drama was a testament to the love you have for each other. Ha. You might want to talk to a few folks and get a reality check.”
I stood up and walked out.
She never spoke to me again, but that’s okay. I was pissed. I got over being angry and even tried to make eye contact with her, but to no avail.
5 years later, I happen to see this woman and her child on another “first” (dance class this time) and to my astonishment, the daughter pulled the exact same stunt, only this time, mom looked embarrassed.
I felt for her. I felt for them both.
No mother, intentionally ties themselves to their kids in unhealthy ways, but it happens. So, as the article above by Leslie Irish Evans suggests, take a step back, question your motives, decide if what you are doing is more for you than the child and then take a page out of our kid’s life and “get a life.” You will be happy you did and so will your kids.
As the author suggests, replace the statement “My children are my whole life,” with “My life is deeply enriched by my children.” Feel the difference?
If you need help making this transition and noticing character traits and qualities about your children that enrich your life and you appreciate, the Marble Jar app is just the tool to help you shift your perspective and increase your awareness!