The hardest parental milestone… letting go of your children.

Writing a blog I would never have envisaged to be this time consuming, this has taken off in more ways than I imagined. Receiving emails from fellow parents and authors around the world has been amazing but in fact, it has taking me away from family life… hence, I took a break but here I am again.

Parenthood is an emotional rollercoaster; draining, exhausting, endearing and wonderful… sometimes all at once. The first few years are physically challenging but then the mental trials surface. The parental concern of growing teenagers emerging as young adults is unlike those early days. Now we have to worry about whether they are good citizens, staying away from vices, listening to appropriate music, watching suitable programs and hoping they focus on academia all without falling into the wrong crowd.

They no longer need us the same way they did as children. While you can finally have some alone time, you can finally have that cup of tea, thoughts of the children never really leave your side, you are never truly free.

No matter how much of a positive person you are, you will worry. You try not to and if we really put it in perspective, most of what we worry about is unlikely to happen. It’s the worst-case scenario. How many children really get abducted?

The problem with us worriers is that anything outside our control adds to our anxieties. Once they enter the next phase of schooling there is so much out of our control. Letting go of our children is the next parental milestone. I no longer know the exact names of my childrens’ friends, their exact location or who they are with. There is no longer a daily occurrence of chatting with fellow mums at the gate, knowing all the events and gossip within the school classroom.

If we analyse these fears and worries, it really is because it means a loss of control. While the children were young we controlled everything; their playdates, their food intake, their nap times, the books they read and now there is no control and often little knowledge. Adjusting to this new balance will take some time, like parenthood itself nothing can prepare you and suddenly wham! When did this stage of life happen?

The easiest way to delay with this transition? Acknowledge our fears and let them dissipate with a good old cup of freshly-brewed English tea. Except this time we can finish the cup.