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The Balance Between Loving and Letting Go

Date: May 28, 2015 Author: Angela Nettuno Categories: Parenting, Reflection 0

Hello again, writing this as a follow up to the post At the End of the Day, What Do we Really Want Our Kids to Remember?  written shortly after my oldest left for college…

Here is an excerpt from the former post…

Several things lately have made me think, reflect…  Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s that my oldest is starting college, or maybe it’s just God’s way of making me slow down and “smell the roses,” so to speak.

My daughter, now 19, has struggled with some pretty serious learning disabilities in her life.  I have yet to tell our story (book in the works) but after a very long journey she is doing better than I ever imagined possible.

I remember the hurt over the years of feeling like people were judging her or our parenting.  They just didn’t understand.  But how could I blame them, I often didn’t understand myself?   I have learned so much on this amazing journey with my daughter, primarily that you never know what someone’s journey is or has been, so try not to judge…

For the full post click here

 

When she left, I remember the feelings of…

We did it!  We got her there!  We got her through high school and into college, but at the same time realizing it’s far from over.  Even though I was optimistic, I was scared of what the future held.  Will she adjust?  Will she be happy?  Will she be overwhelmed?  Will she be able to handle the workload?  Will she be homesick?  Will I freak out?????

I will be honest, and all my Facebook friends can attest, I thought I would totally melt down when she left.  I had friends messaging me in the weeks following her move, checking on me-and her- but mostly on me!   But to my surprise my husband and I were fine; no meltdowns,  no ½ empty nest roller coaster of emotions.  Instead we were overwhelmed with feelings of relief and happiness every time we spoke to her.  She was happy, in her element, fostering her talents, thriving…

It didn’t happen overnight, but every time we saw her or spoke to her we saw more and more progress, more and more independence, more and more maturity, and more and more happiness…  And as the saying goes, when the kids are happy, mommy is happy….   It’s sooo true!  And when mommy is happy, hubby is happy…  So true as well…

After we got her settled in her dorm, I totally thought I would sit down and finally write my book about our journey, but I was too busy enjoying her successes.  I just couldn’t bring myself to relive the rocky road that brought us here.  She was thriving and I was going to relish in it!

I must say, overall, it was a great year; but there were a few challenges…

Like every college student she had to learn how to balance studying, socializing and sleep…  Eating was nice too when that fit into her schedule…  Not exactly the order I would prefer, but she had to figure it out for herself, right?

And with a roommate who was the true definition of nocturnal, things were challenging at times…

…But for the most part she worked it out and I am very proud of her!

Sometimes I felt it was as much a learning experience for me as it was for her…

You see, like any mom, I had to learn to love and let go.  As moms we think we’re doing that all along, but when they leave for college, that’s the true test!

I remember at orientation, as they were explaining the conduct and absence policies there was an overwhelming feeling of stress among many of the parents!

All we could think was…

This is it, the true test of our parenting…  The values we’ve instilled in our child up until now are what she’s taking with her.  Was it enough?

I’m not going to lie, it was really scary…

Did we do a good enough job?  Will she make good decisions?  Will she be responsible?  Will she make friends?  Will she be happy?

Also, as all moms know, as kids our grow we spend 18 years gently guiding them while trying to slowly wean them off because after they’re 18  we have NO CONTROL, and it’s really scary!  I often had to hold back from reminding her of things like e-mailing her professors, declaring her major, etc.  Sometimes it was soooo hard!  And sometimes, I broke the rules and reminded her anyway, but I slowly “weaned away” as I realized that it was not all in my control anymore!  It was very tricky finding that balance because sometimes it’s best to let them fail and learn from their mistakes, right?  Yes, of course it is, but it is so much easier said than done!!! 

Well, fast forward 8 months and here we are moving her out of her dorm on Fri after a very successful freshman year…  And we are so proud and also so excited to have her back for the summer!

So… my message to the moms of new graduates…  It’ll be ok.  They will do great and you will too.  Just find what works for you and your family and that balance will happen.  And if there are other children in the home, the 1/2 empty nest has it’s own adventures.  The new dynamics of your home will be wonderful in it’s own way.  We truly enjoyed our time with our son this year.  Time to focus on him, get him ready for the real world, get to know his friends better, and take trips just the three of us!

I truly wish you and your family peace as you enter this next chapter.

… that you can enjoy the moments, celebrate a job well done, and trust that it will all be ok!  🙂

Happy parenting…  Enjoy the journey…

Angela

 

 

 

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angie

Meet Angela-our founder, former teacher, wife, mom, consultant.

Welcome!  My wish for you …  for your parenting journey to be filled with joy, inspiration, laughter and captivating moments…

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