Can't hold them back anymore...
In the words of a Frozen song, albeit tweaked a bit (!), this is the one thing that I find the most difficult during parenting. I am more proud than words can ever say of the amazing people my children are growing into, but at every stage, I mourn for what has been left behind - all those little milestones that we embraced with such excitement and are now just an amazing memory.
Just tonight, we went for a family meal and I commented to my husband at how it blows my mind that, firstly, we are clever enough to create 2 children, but that they can sit at a table, completely independently, eat their dinner and engage in funny conversations! Now, I know they're 7 & 5 so this shouldn't be a great surprise, but to me, they are still my little babies sitting in their highchairs!
Don't get me wrong - the absence of the mahoosive changing bag and the fact that I now get to eat a hot dinner are definite advantages. I love right now and I wouldn't have it any other way, but where did those years go?
Parenting is a massive rollercoaster. You do not get a handbook when you start, but you try your best and learn through your mistakes. I am so thankful that my husband pushed me to set up my website for parents (www.panda-education.co.uk) because I have learnt so much through reading some amazing articles. They have made me reflect upon my roles both as a teacher and as a parent.
I have studied and practised early childhood development since I was 15, but once they hit the teenage years, I have no clue!! I am scared for the future. Will my children want to talk to me and cuddle me as they continue to grow? I cannot bear the thought of those fateful words - "I hate you!" that will be followed by a slamming door when their body experiences hormones!
I know that I have to let them grow, I have to let them spread their wings and I hate it!! I know how damaging it will be for them if I don't expose them to risk, to gain independence and face situations without me there to hold their hand. The latest 'hot' topic is the damaging effect of helicopter parenting upon children because they are then less capable of facing the big wide world, so I am holding on to those snuggles and embracing every second of their journey - tantrums and all(!) - and trying my best to let them experience the world without my mummy lenses changing it for them!!