After six years of elementary school, Isaiah has been promoted to middle school (Jr. High). In the Fall he’ll be in the 6th grade at a new school with some of his old classmates and lots of new ones. All this change is in preparation for high school, which is preparation for college, which is preparation for life in the real world. He is on his way growing, learning, changing and maturing…just as he should be.
I, on the other hand, haven’t really grown or changed much over the past six years. I’ve stayed the same, stagnant. I’m still the same hovering, helicopter mom I was six years ago.
Whenever I start to wash his face, or put toothpaste on his toothbrush, or button his shirt, he sternly says, “let me”. In my defense, I do most of these things because it’s quicker for me to just do it. Unfortunately, this keeps him from mastering the task. Sadly, he feels I don’t “trust him” to do a good job at anything. He’s partially correct in his assessment, I don’t trust him to do it as quickly and efficiently as I would. And, I’m embarrassed to admit that just last week I couldn’t resist cutting and stirring his pasta (after he asked) in a restaurant. Also, I still cut his pizza into bite-sized pieces, because he likes it when I do that…I know, I got it bad and I’ve got to stop.
I think I need a support group, others to hold me accountable to the change I say I want to make, the change I need to make. Is there a group for recovering, hovering moms? I can’t stop, I don’t know how to stop. I want to stop, but I keep repeating this bad behavior that I don’t want to do.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15 (NIV)
I frustrate myself! I wonder how many times he’s going to forgive me for doing the same thing over and over again. I wonder how long it will take me to do what I need to accomplish before I’m promoted from an elementary mom to a mom who can perform at the next level? A mom who can be patient long enough to see the fruit of her labor. I want to give him space to spread his wings and show himself he can fly like an eagle, to show himself he can soar with the best of them.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Over the past few weeks I’ve experimented with various strategies that could help me. I think I have a win/win solution. It’s simple, I need to be away from him more often. That’s why I hover because I’m always there, in his space. This summer I’ve been scheduling more time away, out with friends, at the gym, foot spa, etc.). I have also been letting him do more things himself, with no help or input from me. Last Sunday I let him choose a shirt to wear to church. When he came downstairs he was wearing the t-shirt he wore the day before and had slept in. Guess what I said? “Honey, you wore that shirt yesterday and last night and do you know you’re wearing it backwards? But, if you’re comfortable with it like that, let’s go” and off we went to church. I also told him how nice it matched the outer shirt he was wearing.
For some this may not seem like much, but for me it’s a big step…in the right direction. I’d love to hear how other mom’s don’t hover and give their child space to grow, learn and soar.
Maybe by the time he starts middle school in the Fall, I’ll be performing at the next level and I will have earned my much deserved promotion too.
Lord, please bless me with the fruit of the spirit of patience. Help me give Isaiah space to grow, to spread his wings and see all the things he can accomplish without me hovering. I thank you in advance for increasing my confidence in the abilities you have blessed my fabulous son with!