For mothers, separation from our children can be stressful. We want our children to be safe and to learn independence as well. These two circumstances are important and healthy, but sometimes they seem contradictory. The days are gone when a young child can simply make his own way to his friend’s house or she can play in the local playground on her own.
It’s sad to think children aren’t given the opportunities to stretch their independence as they used to, because it simply isn’t safe for them to be on their own. And yet, as they grow, our children need to learn how to be independent from parents.
And then they reach the pinnacle: leaving home! When the time comes for the first job or college or university some distance away, our young ladies and young men must strike out on their own.
How much can we expect them to keep in touch (or not)? And as mums, how much should we brave and bolster ourselves ahead of time, to prepare ourselves for the inevitable change we’re sure to meet the first time our offspring returns home after some weeks or months away?
This is where I’m at:
My son, as I’ve said in previous posts, is off to university in a couple this autumn.
I want the best — the very best for him. I’m bracing myself for little communication, less information, and possibly a huge personality alteration.
I guess it’s good I’m aware of these possible changes, so that I can prepare myself and give room to my son to explore and express himself.
But I feel shaky at how on earth I’m going to feel when I see him after he’s experienced freshers’ week, campus life, physical freedom from external boundaries. My son is going off. Who will come back home again?
These are huge questions
I have no answers but I know I will manage.
How shall I cope? I am making two specific choices:
- I choose to trust my son, with the decisions he will make and
- I choose to trust what we, his mum and dad, have sown well and wisely into him over his life, so that he has the wisdom to make good decisions
I will have no control over his choices and as he’s an adult, nor should I. But therefore, the best thing I can do, for my own sanity and out of respect for him, is to trust him.
Separation may not be easy but when the time comes, trust and respect are the keys to help us to cope.