My husband keeps saying things like “Give them a longer leash” and “Stop hovering” – and it’s finally starting to sink in. My boys aren’t babies any more, they need a little more independence and opportunity to spread their wings.
But I *can’t* let them. Because I’m ‘that’ mom.
I have spent 8 years behaving like there’s a pedophile hiding behind every tree just waiting for me to take my eyes off of one of my boys for 3 consecutive seconds. I’m so sure I’ve got the cutest boys in the world that there are people waiting to snatch one should I drop my guard for literally seconds. I’ve been neurotically hovering and monitoring and keeping tabs for 8 years now, and I’m finding it a bit hard to break the habit.
You’re either thinking:
A) Of course you can’t take your eyes off of your kids, what is your husband thinking?
B) Are you insane? Let them be kids.
For 8 years I’ve said to my husband “I just can’t take chances if I can’t handle the consequences.” I don’t recognize myself when I say bizarre ‘grown-up’ phrases like that because I was the cool one, the care-free one, the one that flew by the seat of my pants, hitch-hiked across Europe, went traveling solo – independent as the day is long from a very early age, and I turned out just fine.
But I’m not that person any more. When it comes to my children, I become utterly and freakishly helicopter-ish.
At 6 and 8, both of them are physically a few years bigger than most of their friends. We grow them big. ’99th percentile’ big. They’re loud. Very, very loud. Nobody in their right mind would be silly enough to grab big, loud boys and think they could make a stealthy get-away – but still I can’t calm down.
I don’t want to be this crazy, but I am. Parenthood has done this to me.
I swear, I don’t know if I’ll ever be normal again.
But I’m trying. This summer I let them play in the park, more than 10 feet away from me. I let them go swimming without going into the pool myself. I trusted the lifeguards, I trusted my ability to watch and react, instead of bracing for the imminent worst case scenario.
(Did I mention my husband refers to me as Worst Case Scenario Girl? Yes, my super-power is hysterical and excessive worrying about things least likely to come to pass.)
He fought me on the leash – dare I say “put his foot down” about it. The little one has always been a runner, a wanderer, a hard one to keep by my side. When I can’t see him I will often joke that he’s probably already gotten into his Über, and is half way across town. (But in my head it’s not a joke). I wanted to put a leash on him to save my own sanity, but my husband was having NONE of it.
I have made it this far! Anyone else having trouble giving up the hovering?