For Mothers

For Mothers: Being Stretched

Mothers Being Stretched

I’m being stretched. It has nothing in particular to do with parenthood but the message to me is clear and it can be very useful to we Mums:

The Message

Sometimes we are tested beyond what is comfortable but we need to persevere -> to go through the s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g -> to grow as people and in our relationships with other people.

There is no situation more important to letting go control than in parenting. The timing is gradual and dependant upon the age and maturity of the child. But let go we must! That process is a significant part of our being stretched as mothers.

Letting Go Control

I wrote last time a bit about control. Personally, I think control is over-rated and over-used, as a concept for parenting. Rather than look upon us as controlling our children, I think we need to shift our attitude and instead, steer and guide them. As children grow, their needs for independence can be encouraged — not by relinquishing our responsibility as parents, but by encouraging the children to make decisions and to learn how to follow-through on them. 

Yes, we need to instil self-discipline in our children and this will sometimes call for us to put up boundaries and ensure the youngsters stay within them. That is not so much about controlling them but is rather more about teaching them self control, self discipline and healthy independence.

At the same time, let’s release our children by letting them make age-relevant decisions and learn the consequences of those decisions. Can we support them rather than rescue them? And in the process, the more self aware we are of our own worries and anxieties, the better we can overcome our fears, enabling our children to thrive as they become more independent, socially responsible and mature.

Mothers Stretching

Eventually, our children will lead their own lives. As mothers, innately, we want them to live enriched, happy lives. Part of this will come as they learn healthy independence from us: not having to fight their way to freedom but having joy in our release of them into their own lives.

Sometimes we might find it hard to let go, to allow our children to explore their independence. What if they make a wrong decision? What if they choose the wrong friendship group? What if they take a risk and get hurt physically or emotionally or academically?

That’s part of the stretching: for them and consequently, for us.

When we allow our children to make age appropriate decisions, they will learn, and grow more as a result.

Who hasn’t learned most through mistakes? Who hasn’t learned most through pain?

So, mothers: being stretched is a sign that we are growing. And when we grow, others around us grow, and than includes our children.