Letting Go: A Mother’s Challenge

Letting Go

I’m fun (most of the time). I’m organized (sometimes to a fault). And I’m mellow (which sometimes leads to lazy mornings that never end).
But I am not good at change.

My babies have grown by leaps and bounds and I’ve made it my goal to enjoy every step of the way (even the sleepless nights and meltdowns galore). I’ve tried to stop time by way of photography. I’ve tried to slow time by way of under-scheduling.

And yet, they’ve grown.

Tears of sadness

My oldest is only in first grade, so perhaps I just haven’t been at it long enough, but I have yet to feel the desire to do a back-to-school dance. I see the videos that others find funny and my heart breaks just a little bit, because I miss mine.

I love when they learn and grow and make new friends. I love listening to their stories when they come home at the end of the school day. I love doing homework together and playing the afternoon away. I love every single second of it.

But I miss them when they’re gone.

I have my work. I have my goals. I have my me-time to rejuvenate. And still, I don’t feel very me without their little voices nearby.

Tears of joy

I must admit, I’m the one who cries during commercials for things like diapers or coffee (have you seen that one with the kid going off to college?). So it should comes as no surprise that I cry my way through most parenting milestones, big and small.

The joy I feel for my kids when they complete a difficult task or smile their way through their soccer games is immeasurable. The happiness that warms my heart each time they take on a new challenge with confidence knows no end.

I cry when preschool begins and when it comes to a close. I cry at Kindergarten holiday performances and successful Irish dance classes. I cry when they separate and I cry when they come back to my arms (ok, but maybe not in front of them).

I cry because happiness is all I ever wanted for them and, even on the hard days, they always manage to find it.

Tears of pride

I don’t know what the future holds for my two little loves. Only time will tell. To hear my daughter tell it, she has a bright future in fashion design. To hear my son, racecar driving is the only goal.

Dreams will change. Ideas will shift. Friends will come and go. But one thing will remain constant as I adjust to the constant transitions: Pride. I will always feel proud of these kind and thoughtful kids of mine.

No matter the trigger, no matter the transition at hand…some of those tears will always be simply tears of pride.

How do you cope with letting go?

Katie Hurley

Katie Hurley, LCSW, is a child and adolescent psychotherapist, parenting expert, and writer. She is founder of “Girls Can!” empowerment groups for girls between the ages of 5 and 11 and the author of The Happy Kid Handbook and No More Mean Girls.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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  1. Katie, You’ve got it so right. Most parents (I’m afraid that includes me) don’t (or in my case didn’t) appreciate every moment until the end was in sight. Of course I enjoyed my kids and their accomplishments from day one, but it wasn’t until middle school that it hit me — this is ending … soon.

    Just last month we took our baby to college. Now when I see moms walking their kids to 1st grade I want to stop them on the street and tell them how quickly it will be gone and how important every single math assignment really is. Not because they need to learn that math, but because it marks a moment that will never be again — the moment a little light bulb went off in their heads or a moment of frustration over an assignment that was just more busy work — it doesn’t matter. Both are what life is made of and life is speeding by.

    So enjoy today. Enjoy this moment. Meanwhile, my Google Hangout is open in case my baby has time to chat today …


    • Katie Hurley

      Oh my goodness, Cheryl – I can’t even imagine! Each age and stage has new joys and challenges…but they all just go too fast. Stop this train…

      • If only we had our hands on the breaks …



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