This is just a short post, but one that I felt I had to get off my chest. Mama Guilt has been weighing heavily and making it hard to breathe.
That moment when you realise that your baby is no longer a baby, but a semi-independent human being, is probably one of the most emotionally conflicted moments in the life of a parent. On the one hand, you are proud to see them grow and mature, but on the other hand you are sad that there is one more thing that they no longer need you for. It’s another step closer to you becoming redundant, obsolete, phased out…maybe a bit of an overreaction, but that’s how it feels at the time…at least for me it was.
So, every night, kid 1+1 asks me to tuck her in. Every night, I roll my eyes and say, “come on! you can do it! you’re a big girl now”, and every night, I end up tucking her into bed…until one night last week. Out of the blue, she suddenly protested when I automatically went to pull the covers over her, and said (wait for it), “no mummy, let me try to do it myself”. And she did it. And she was so proud of herself. And so was I, after I had swallowed the lump in my throat and the shock of realising that my 5 year old baby didn’t need me to tuck her in anymore had subsided. So, I smiled my biggest smile and said, “oh, well done!”, as I turned away to wipe the tear that was forming away from the corner of my eye.
Now this is just a small example of kid 1+1 asserting her independence. I mean, she still needs me to buy her food and clothes and house her and take her to school and wherever else she wants to go. So, she still basically relies on me for her existence, and we have a long way to go before she’s moving out, but, nevertheless, she is no longer the wholly dependent little girl I used to know.
It’s funny, I thought that I would be glad to gradually get a bit of a break from being a modern day lady-in-waiting to my lastborn, but I’m not. Strangely, as much as i protest and bang on about being more than a mummy, I actually do enjoy being a mummy to my girls. Is it wrong that I need to be needed? Is it just me being a selfish biyatch? How have you coped with feeling phased out?
Or is this just the excuse I need to try for kid 1+1+1? Hmm…