Every Mama does it. Lots of Dadas do it too I’m sure but there’s something in us Mamas (the infamous “maternal instinct” I guess) that simply won’t let us let go of our babies. It lasts well into your child’s adulthood and is a phenomenon that happens to otherwise sane women: Empty Nest Syndrome. I know because when I met The Hubs, he was a supreme Mommy’s Boy despite being a fully grown adult. I, on the other hand, had cut the loosely tied apron strings from my own Mama years earlier. The Hubs was not only tied up in the apron strings of the MIL; he was well and truly super-glued!
At the time, I found it annoying and off-putting. Who wants to date a Mama’s Boy? But since becoming a Mama myself, I have discovered a new level of understanding for the MIL and an absolute feeling of dread about the thought of my girls growing up. They’re not even 2 years old and yet I regularly find myself weeping over the photos and videos I took of them when they were fresh out of my uterus, still looking more foetal than squishy baby.
And yet I KNOW that I’m being stupid. I know, on a logical level, that I will love my girls at every age. I know that each age will bring different challenges and different amazing memories. I also know that I love them to the moon and back right now. I felt like that yesterday, and I’ll feel like that tomorrow. I’ve even googled the problem and found an inspirational (and upsetting) quote that said, “We hate it when they grow up, but we’d hate it even more if they didn’t.” It’s enough to set my over-thinking brain off on a really depressing adventure.
So why, when I know all this, do I still feel so sentimental when I’m reminded of how much they’ve changed? Why does it touch a nerve when someone stops me in the street and says, “Enjoy them while they’re young! They grow so fast!” [for the hundredth time] Why do I feel upset when fellow Mamas share horror stories of their nightmare teenagers and how I’ve got all this coming “TIMES TWO!”?? Barely 2 years old and I’m already looking ahead and dreading the day they move out.
“Baby, baby, it’s a wild world… I’ll always remember you like child…”
It’s like I want to stop time and just stay in this moment. I have a terrible memory; what if I can’t remember this moment? Or this one? Or that one? What if they grow up to hate me? What if something terrible happens to one of them? Or BOTH of them?
There’s that over-thinker again.
What I do know is that I do love watching them grow and develop. Every milestone is exciting and despite the subconscious dread of loss, I do also look forward to all the amazing things we’ll do together as they grow up. I imagine theme parks, holidays, shopping trips, spa days, weddings, BABIES(!) …
Is that the answer then? Positive mental attitude? Do you know… I really think it is. I started this blog feeling a bit depressed and have come to the end of it realising that the problem isn’t that they’ll grow up; the problem is with ME. The problem is my brain seeing the glass half empty instead of half full! It’s time I gave my brain a quick slap; I have so much to be grateful for, including two amazing girls who are indeed going to grow up, but who will always be my babies.