When Your Child Teaches You Independence.
Earlier this year I decided to let my daughter go to Columbus Ohio for 6 weeks to spend the summer with her Abuela. I flew with her to Ohio and stayed two weeks so that we were only apart for 1 month. I went back and forth with this plan because I've spent pretty much every day with my daughter the past 7 years. I wasn't sure about my decision but my daughter seemed extremely excited and I don't like to push my fears on her. So whenever I am unsure but she seems extremely prepared, I just go with her feelings so she remains the brave little girl she is.
My baby girl will be home tomorrow and I can say that this was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Being a stay at home mom is extremely hard, especially when you are homeschooling your child. We spend every single day together as well as our nights. I rarely if at all get a break for myself, and I for sure never have a substitute to tag me out on my sick days. This past year has been hard on us both because I'm pregnant and dealing with all of those emotions on top of taking care of my seven year olds education and well being.
This time apart from one another has been great for us, I was able to rest and take care of myself, and she was able to miss her momma a little bit. While in Ohio Amirah ( my daughter) got to spend time with her best friend almost every day. She got to see her aunts and go to birthday parties and family functions with cousins. Our life in Ohio is much different because all of our family is there. When we lived there we were always doing something with family and friends, or they were just over our house hanging out. Amirah really enjoys those interactions and having this time to reconnect has been really good for her emotionally.
What I learned most about this time apart is how brave and independent my child is. It makes me feel really good to know that my daughter is able to be away from me and still be self sufficient and respect her household rules. She has shown such maturity in her time away that it has made me realize she surely is growing up. Although she is only 7 years old, she often has the soul of someone who was on this earth before. I'm so happy that I was able to allow myself the space to just focus on my own needs and allow my daughter the chance to exercise some independence.
Amirah spent the last 7 years of her life being an only child and having everything and everyone all to herself. This next few weeks will be our last moments of her being my only little girl. I know she will be an amazing older sister and truly be helpful in this transition to a family of four. I would be lying if I didn't say I was a little sad on top of my excitement. Knowing you have a new baby is just a reminder that the first baby is growing up. I can only find pride and joy in knowing that all of my hard work is paying off as a mother when I watch my child grow.
As parents we have to be very careful that we don't place our fears on our children. Our limitations are not their own. Just because we fear change and growth doesn't mean our children will. We have to encourage them to take chances and to be brave, cringe on the inside but speak and show support outwardly. As much as we want to hold their hands forever, the best thing we can ever do is teach them to lead themselves. Hopefully my experience with spending time apart from my daughter will encourage other parents to allow their children to experience life more. Of course it always needs to be in a safe and controlled environment, I left my daughter with my mother not strangers. The point is just letting them discover life a little more on their own, and less dictating how they should.
The most important thing I realized is how blessed I am that I have a mother who will take care of my child the way I would for 6 weeks. She has blessed my daughter with the most love any child could get from a grandparent. My friends who took Amirah to birthday parties and to cookouts and swimming; my entire village of people who helped make her summer amazing. Those are things you can never take for granted, people who love your child and care about their well being.