Recently I took my oldest 2 blessings to their annual Dr. appointments. I hoped to use it as a learning and growing experience for them. I did not realize it would be one for me as well.
When I left, "the nest", I was not prepared for the independent responsibilities I would face. Things I'd not thought of, such as scheduling my own appointments, filling out papers, etc. I.E. taking care of myself, like a grown up. One desire I have for my children is that they will be ready for that, because they will have had plenty of practice while I'm still such a big participant in their lives.
When we stop for gas, I make one of my girls get out and go through the process of filling the tank. When they go to the doctor, I have them fill out their health forms and let them ask me if they are unsure of something, letting them keep their papers private I try to remind them that they are always welcome to ask the receptionist, assistant, or doctor as well.
Yesterday, I took an even bigger step towards letting them be independent of me. This time, I let them have some one on one time with the doctor. They are old enough to do that now and I want them to learn to be comfortable with building their own healthcare relationships.
I know this was good for both of them. What I didn't expect was how it would actually hurt a little. A hard pill to swallow, but part of the process of allowing my daughters to grow apart from me. I'm used to knowing certain things, but learning to accept that I won't know everything about my children and even less, possibly, the older they get and that is OK. It is ok for them to be individual people separate from me, with their own opinions, thoughts, ideas, choices, etc... I've tried to hold onto that knowledge all along and try to let them know it is ok if we don't agree on things, we aren't always going to.
I didn't expect to be sad over them talking privately with the doctor, like what they were saying was none of my business. After all, I'm their mom, it is my business isn't it?
Yes and no.
Yes, I'm their mom and some things are my business. At the same time, no, what they need to discuss with the doctor isn't necessarily my business, even if I want it to be. They are growing up and though they are still children, they need to have safe people to talk to, other than me.
Letting go hurts and it isn't always easy. Especially, when it happens in an area we hadn't expected. Yet, with every area I'm willing to gracefully step down from leadership in and give my daughters the freedom to take over, I know they will benefit in the end. They will be ready for life outside of my wing. They will not just survive, but they will thrive, and it will be easier for them, because they are already preparing.