Saturday, October 20, 2012

5 things i've learned since becoming a mom: let go

part two in a five part series of things i've learned since becoming a mom 5 years ago.
you can read part one here.

parenting is a funny thing. often it's a balancing act between two things that seem to be at odds with one another.
hold on.

let go.

the boys select rocks to throw into the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain

we were sitting in the bus that was taking us back to our hotel in jinja after spending 2 hours cruising the nile. i watched noah as he sat across from me in his own seat. bumping and jostling about with no seat belt down the red dirt roads here in uganda. i never knew what it was to really worry until i had kids. in my head i pictured so many different scenarios in which he could get hurt. i had to bite my tongue so i wouldn't be a broken record,

hold on, buddy. 
please make sure you're being careful. 
sit properly in your seat so you don't get hurt, noah.

i didn't tell him to hold on. or be careful. i just watched him as he looked out the window and pointed out all the things he was seeing. i watched him as he eventually turned around in his seat and his head started to droop. i watched him as he fell asleep about 5 minutes from our hotel. so big. yet so little.

jude wanders off by himself on safari - classic jude

i'm learning to let go. i'm learning not to hold onto my children in fear, but to let go of them and help them develop at every stage they hit. to help them become independent young men who will one day make their own way in the world. i'm learning to teach as i live and let go of the need for perfection in day-to-day activities. to explain to noah what i'm doing as i mix the pancake batter. to let him dump in just a bit too much flour and struggle to stir the thick cookie dough together.

letting go of any hope of a well-cleaned car...

when we decided to come to uganda i had to let go of fears i didn't know i had. i had to let go of fears i was well aware that i had. i can't hold onto my children forever for fear that they will get hurt or experience pain or disappointment. it is in those trials that they develop strong character and become people who will go on to do great things. we are all shaped through pain and trials. if we try to protect our children from all pain and adversity we will end up shriveled and anxious from worry and our children will be coddled and unable to function in the world without us. and having {grown} children who are dependent of us is not the end goal of parenting.

so i let go and in turn help my children to work it out by themselves. not always jumping in to take over. not always nagging and reminding them to "be safe", "be careful", or "watch out". i help my boys to one day become men. i hold onto them, but not in fear. i let go of them in confidence and with encouragement that they can do it and if they fail, that's okay too. because you don't go far in life if you only stick to "safe".
it's not always easy for me to bite my tongue {and often times i don't} and i sometimes get caught up in my "worst case scenarios" in my head, but once again i am given this opportunity to trust God to help me to let go and trust Him with my littles, just as He has entrusted them to me.


  1. Wow, one of the best posts I've read in awhile. Brilliant, thank you!


  2. very wise words!! thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us - bleesings to you as you continue to serve!


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