Why is it so hard for me to share my children? This is the question that has been floating around in my head the past few days. The obvious answer is because I love them so much - yes, that is true, and I can't imagine loving or appreciating them more. In reality, though, this is a much bigger issue than you might first think. Because I really, really, REALLY don't like sharing my little B's.
I think it is a good thing that I enjoy my kiddos as much as I do, but I also recognize it isn't always healthy. The next obvious answer to this concept is my need for control, which does hold a grain of truth, as well, but even that isn't the core of the issue.
Three things happened over our Christmas Break that made me realize I have to let go, at least a little. Well, four things, actually, now that I think about it. The first one happened before Christmas - it was a book I read about a "Helicopter Mom." I recognized myself in the mother of that book, and I realized it was a dangerous concept. Basically, the idea of the book was that it is good to keep your children safe and sound, but you have to know when to bend, too, or the consequences may be more than a mother like me could handle. So that thought has been in the back of my mind for a couple of months...
Which brings us to the three things that made me realize I have to let go (just a little). They might sound silly to you. For me, they made my heart hurt and I felt a wave of sadness come over me.
Thing Number 1.
My mother-in-law invited Brailey to come down and stay with her BY HERSELF sometime, like during the summer. My initial reaction was, "NO WAY!" I mean, how could I ever allow Brailey to go somewhere BY HERSELF? Even with her own grandmother...
Thing Number 2.
I mentioned to Brady that his mom wanted Brailey to come down by herself, just to gauge his reaction, and shared with him that I didn't know if I could let her do that. And Brady very gently said to me that he understood how I felt, but at some point, we needed to "separate" our little B's and have them do things on their own. WHAT?! My stomach lurched at this thought.
Thing Number 3.
Brailey was invited to her best friend's house over Christmas Break. I didn't want to let her go. But I did! I also scheduled a play date for Britt. And I realized I need to allow them to do more of this, because it affects them socially when I don't. As much as I love having them all to myself, they start feeling left out when they see their friends having play dates without them.
The truth is, I don't feel complete without my 3 B's with me. So yes, it is all about ME and MY insecurities. As far as children go, they are so much fun to be around! The two of them are best friends, and I'm so thankful for that. Of course, this is another one of my issues, as I didn't have a close relationship with my own brother growing up, and I want them to have that blessing of sibling love and companionship more than anything. Yet I know it isn't healthy to be so selfish with them.
There are a couple of other things that make it hard for me to share them, like the fact that we live 20 minutes out of town, which takes time, and the fact that time is a precious commodity in our household. And then there is that ever-present fear that something will happen to them when they aren't with me. Those are just excuses, though. I know it.
So I'm going to try harder to let them have more time with their friends. And maybe I will consider letting them be with certain family members on their own. It's a new year, after all, and I am always striving to improve myself. The good thing is that all my reasons are rooted in love, but it is like that sand analogy - the harder you hold onto it, the faster it slips through your fingers. So maybe, just maybe, if I learn to let go just a little, I can hold on to their childhoods a little better. I hope!
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