Will You Still Need Us?

You’re growing up so quickly.

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We’ve tried to deny it. We’ve tried to ignore it. We’ve tried to insist that you’ll be our baby girl forever.

Sitting in the park, watching you scale the steps and whoosh down the slide all by yourself, and suddenly it’s very hard to deny that you’re growing up.

“How old is she?”, people ask us. When I reply “two and a bit”, my voice catches in my chest. Sometimes I feel a little tearful.

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Watching you grow up is an absolute privilege, but it’s also so painful. Every day, you do something to remind us that you’re gaining independence. Taking on the slide. Putting your shoes on. Not asking daddy for help to get your t-shirt on this morning. More and more, you’re showing us that you’re not a baby anymore.

There are two gifts we should give our children. One is roots, and the other is wings. 

I didn’t realise that while we were so busy trying to give you the roots, you were already trying to spread your wings.

Even as I’m writing this, I know it sounds like I’m upset. It’s as though I resent you growing up – I’m grieving, in a way.

I’m not. There’s no grief or sadness, and certainly no resentment. I couldn’t be prouder of your independence. You have a thirst for adventure and a fearless heart; those qualities will see you go so very far in your life.

I just worry; will you still need us?

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Watching you scale those steps like they’re nothing.

“Do you want me to help, baby?”.

“No, mommy. I do it”.

You’re supposed to need our help climbing steps, and getting down the slide safely, and putting your clothes on in the morning.

Aren’t you?

Our job as parents is to help you learn to do those things. The fact that you’re doing them already means it’s mission accomplished, I guess. And there are so many more things we still need to teach you. So many things you can’t do yet, that you still need us for.

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You still need us to brush and braid your hair. You need us to choose your clothes in the mornings; to help you brush your teeth; to read you stories and teach you how to count. You need us to sing the Goodnight Song to you, and tuck you in, and kiss you goodnight.

One day, you won’t need us to do those things either, and that will be okay. We will have done our job as parents; to teach you all of these things while filling your life with love and security. It reminds me of another phrase about childhood.

It is not what you do for your children, but what you teach them to do for themselves, that will make them successful adults.

Every now and then, I still need my mum. I need her hugs, her jokes, her reassurance that everything will be okay. I hope that one day, we have the same relationship that I have with my own mum.

For now, I’ll celebrate your achievements – every ladder you climb, every slide you zoom down, every time you get your shoes on the right feet – and I’ll cherish the moments you need my help. I’ll make the most of braiding your hair and brushing your teeth and tucking you in at night.

The moment when you realise your child can do things without your help is a moment no parenting manual can prepare you for. The sadness of seeing how quickly time passes and feeling slightly more obsolete in your child’s life is hugely outweighed by the pride of seeing them achieve, and knowing that you have done right as a parent.

In giving them the comfort and security of roots, not only do we give them wings, but we give them the courage to take flight.

Tammymum
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12 thoughts on “Will You Still Need Us?

  1. ljdove23 says:

    I completely relate to this with my youngest now being two and a bit. Knowing he is our last makes me even more emotional as I know that once he grows, that’s it. No more babies!! It’s lovely seeing them grow in confidence and independence but it IS like a form of grief letting them go, I struggle with it every single day! #KCACOLS

    Like

  2. Emma says:

    def have to make the most of all those moments yes. I think the same and my son is 3 now. already he tells me he doesn’t want a kiss goodnight 😦 he will need me though, just in other ways 🙂 #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Upside Mum says:

    They really do grow so fast. My youngest is now 11 months and no longer a baby really. She’s doing so much by herself which I love to see but it also brings a tear to my eye knowing she’s my last too and I wanted her to stay a baby just that little bit longer! #kcacols

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  4. Sarah - Arthurwears (@arthurwears) says:

    It’s so bitter sweet isn’t it? – I have always encouraged Arthur to be independent, as I know just how important it is, but now at 19 months he is well and truly in the ‘me do it’ phase. sometimes I just want to help more than he needs me to and it can be a really strange emotion realising they aren’t a baby anymore…Joyful in a sense that you are bringing them up well, painful as you know time is going fast and every step feels like one step further away. I just hope that I give him enough room and distance to grow so that he comes back to me out of choice when he is old enough to decide for himself! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Over Heaven's Hill says:

    Oh yes I wrote a post similar to this last week. My heart breaks when I see how much older my almost three year old is getting. It’s amazing but terribly sad at the same time. Beautiful written post and pics #KCACOLS

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  6. madelinelittlejohns says:

    Oh it’s so bittersweet isn’t it, watching them grow up and gain independence. My 2 year old will be starting nursery in September, only 2 mornings a week but it marks the end of another era for us and I’m really mixed in my emotions about it! x #KCACOLS

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  7. Tracey says:

    Beautiful words Maddy. Olivia is so independent now at 10 I definitely feel redundant at times. Unless it’s payday of course and first thing in the morning when she needs mummy hugs (don’t tell her I told you that!)

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