‘They don’t need us to wipe their butts or make their meals. Hello, new world of awesomeness! And then it happens. They fight for their independence from us.’: Mom says ‘all we can do is love them for who they choose to be’

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“To the mama having a hard time letting go, I understand.

When the day arrives, we go to the hospital and give birth to our child. All the memories of pregnancy discomfort magically disappear because all we can focus on is that sweet baby in our arms.

That little baby needs you for everything! We get in our minds who and what they will become.

We wonder what kind of personality they will have. ‘Will they be more like their dad or me?’ We develop hopes and dreams for them.

We want them to grow up to be strong and independent. Someone who has a mind of their own. Who isn’t afraid to speak up.

We think we know best the kind of life they need to live in order to be happy.

As they start to grow up a bit, they need and want us less, and for the most part, we are okay with it because let’s be real, it’s nice to finally have children who are a bit more independent, right?

Children who don’t need us to wipe their butts, give them baths, or make their meals. They can stay home alone and even babysit their younger siblings. Hello, new world of awesomeness!

Yeah, life’s pretty dang good at this point!

And then it happens. They grow up even more! Except things are much different now. They are fighting for their independence from us. Insert crying emoji here.

And we’re just not ready to let go. We’re just not ready to let them make that transition to adulthood. Because it’s hard! I mean, at one point, their very own survival depended all on us.

We wonder if they will make good decisions. Will they be capable of handling ‘real-life’?

But what I’m learning is – it really is their life. All we can do, as parents, is love them for who they choose to be and trust what we have taught them is enough.

Who cares if they don’t become the person we had envisioned in that hospital bed? It’s not up to us to say who and what they should become. It’s up to them to decide! Their life is not ours to control.

And just because they don’t live the life we do or make the same choices we do doesn’t mean they’ve somehow screwed up. It doesn’t mean they are lost. It doesn’t mean they have ruined their lives.

It means they are their own person. It’s okay for them to choose what kind of life they want to live, even if it doesn’t look the same as ours. We realize it’s time to let go — to let go of what we want for them and let them be the person they want to be because it was never our decision, to begin with.

Sometimes holding on too tight just makes things worse, let go. Trust them. Let them feel comfortable being who they want without making them feel like something is wrong with who they want to be. They will figure it out, and the fact that you are this concerned only says you are doing a good job at raising them.

-Sincerely, a mama who is figuring it out as she goes.”

Courtesy Tracey Ferrin

‘Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls.’

-Kahlil Gibran

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tracey Ferrin, 36, of Houston, Texas. Tracey’s new book “Up Struggle” is available now here. Follow her journey on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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