No, I'm Not Always Going To Be There For You....
I just realized this morning that I've pretty much been teaching my daughter that mommy is ever-present and is never going to be out of sight. I didn't see just how much this was effecting her, and not in a good way...
I had kind of told myself very early on that I was going to be that mom that was there no matter what. I'm going to be the one she can count on and she'll never have to doubt me because when she looks back, she'll see me in all her memories, standing right there beside her, never leaving her side. What I hadn't taken into consideration is that my daughter is not the center of my life. I had to find that out the hard way. While Clara is a very large part of my life, she's not the focal point of it. I had stretched myself so thin trying to make sure I was the first person there all day, every day.
But now, I can't even go down the driveway and check the mail without her screaming for me. That's when it hit me. Seeing her there, at the other end of the driveway, feeling sad and lost. I realized then that all I've done is instill in her that if mommy is not right beside her, she's supposed to be scared.
But she doesn't have to be. She won't go to bed at night unless I'm going to bed too. Because she's scared of not being in the same room with me. I'm happy that she knows she can trust me, but I'm sad that she doesn't feel like she can trust anyone else. Granted, she loves gramma and grampa and daddy. But she won't even be left alone with them if it means I'm not there.
So now I've grown and realized that I have to teach my daughter that as much as I'd love to be there every second of every day, I can't. And I can't continue to let myself feel guilty about that. There are going to be plenty of times in her life where I'm just not going to be around. When she's school age and starts making friends, she's going to go to their houses and it's just going to be them, and their parents. But not me. I'm not going to be there when she goes on her first date, or goes to college. Those are the times when she's going to have to make choices for herself and be confident in herself to do things on her own. And her getting that confidence starts now, with me.
We're all humans and it's good to reach out to others when we feel we need help. But we've all been there: reaching out and it seems nobody wants to help out. It's those times, when we're completely alone, that we find our real strength. I never knew how strong I was until I helped myself (with God's assistance of course) out of certain situations and stopped relying on everyone else to give me answers to my problems.
I love my daughter with every fiber of my being, but it's my job to ease her into the world, one day at a time. And I wouldn't have her going out there being fearful. Which means she'll need to learn that mommy isn't always going to be there, and that's okay.
My mom, I'm sure, still thinks I should be near every single minute)). And I wish I can, but... having my own life takes time)).
I love your thoughts - you are really loving mom. I'm sure you can explain to your daughter that you will be there as soon as she'll need you, she have nothing to worry about.