My mom used to say “I trust you. It is the other crazy people out there I don’t trust.” In my teen years this was often met with an eye roll and me thinking “year right. That is a cop out so you don’t have to admit you don’t want to do fun things” I didn’t say it. Well, maybe I did but my brain is blocking that out to maintain my mythical ideas that I was a perfect teenager! HA! I think she has said this to me my entire life. I remember it clearly. I remember hearing it a lot, at least a lot in the brain of a child/adolescent. Things always seem bigger when you are younger, like your elementary school hallways.

Here I am 27 and a momma to my own son. He is heading to two years old very quickly. Ok, I think time moves faster when you are an adult, similar to things seeming giant when you are little. Once you are old, or a real responsible adult, time moves faster to you, even though it is moving at the same pace it always was. I have been giving thought to those words of my mom’s a lot lately. I get it now. I understand what prompted her to feel that way and vocalize it to us. It is true.

I have been struggling with finding a sitter for Jack. We have a lot of loving family members but their schedules were not meeting the needs of my sitting times. Mostly day time. People have work, school, or both! I briefly searched a babysitting website. Got a few replies, only replied to one of those, and interviewed her. When it came time to call her references I couldn’t do it. This was a month ago, probably longer. I just let it linger and fall away. Never got back to her either. It made me sick, the thought of leaving him with someone that isn’t family. Or at least someone I don’t know through someone else. Why? A million thoughts run through my head, the biggest being what if he is snatched up? I know the people we are related to who have watched him would never steal him or abuse him in any manner. I just cannot feel confident about that with people I don’t know. I didn’t even like leaving him in the church nursery when we used to go to church. I would usually check on him at least once. It was an hour long service and we were literally on the other side of the wall.

I am attached to that boy. I wouldn’t let him sleep in the hospital nursery even though I didn’t get a wink of sleep for several days after all was said and done. Labor, delivery, hospital stay. No sleep. I was exhausted. We have been practically inseparable since the moment I conceived him.He comes first in my world. I do take care of myself, home, him, spend time with my hubby, but if Jack needs something he tends to come first. I tend to bring him most places with me. I enjoy taking him shopping with me. If I go alone I often think “I wish Jack were here. This would be way more fun” Even though sometimes he has tantrums. I still just love being with him. I miss him in the mornings, he sleeps late. I am always excited to enter his room in the morning and greet him very cheerfully. I love kissing and hugging him. I truly enjoy being a momma and especially his momma. I miss him when I go to my Pilates classes. It kills me to be away from him all day on Saturdays. So there, I am attached to that little boy. I admit it.

I often wonder how my mom let me ever do anything? How did she do it without completely going mad? How did she let me have sleepovers? Go on trips? How am I going to do that? How will I survive? Jack has never slept over at someone’s home if I wasn’t there. If we have had to have an overnight sitter it has been my mom and it has been at our home. Only my mom! I just cannot let him go when it comes to those things. We have gone out, sure. We went out to dinner and a casino last Saturday. My brother babysat. They always have a blast together. Jack loves Matt to pieces. But if I am going to have piece of mind, it has to be someone I know.

Recently we joined My Gym. This is more teacher hands on that Gymboree was. I am a very hands on mom. I am always touching, carrying, kissing, tickling, playing with, and snuggling Jack. It has been interesting for me to step back a little tiny bit and let other people teach Jack. Sometimes I have a hard time. I just want to do it myself. I get to participate a lot, don’t get me wrong. But it is a gymnastics class, so he does try out new equipment and does try tumbling. They spot him properly. I may be heading towards being a Pilates expert, but I won’t say I am a tumbling one!  So I step back and let them help my son try these new things safely. At first I wanted to shout, “let me do it!” I refrained.

I do not really chat with the other moms much. I tend to be very into what Jack is doing. Maybe this is to my detriment. Maybe I should make more mommy friends. Truth be told, I have never had a slew of female friends. I have always been the girl that has a couple very close girlfriends, but not 20 of them. I am comfortable with that. I don’t need to be miss popular to feel secure in myself. I am secure with the fact that I am a hands on parent. If only I could tell high school me that there is nothing wrong with this! We live and learn. The most I have chatted with other moms is during independent play time. The kids all go in the middle and the teachers interact with all of them. They play together. We sit on a counter in the front. The last two classes Jack has brought gifts over to me. A bunch of toys to show me. He doesn’t do so well staying away from me either. At least the feeling is mutual. Yesterday he brought all the stuffed animals to me, naming them all. It was hard for me to stay on the counter talking to him. I was dying to hop off and squat down and discuss all of the animals with him. DYING to do this. But when I have been sitting on this wall I have briefly talked to two different moms. One last week and one this week. That is it. I just get so involved with  Jack and cheering him on I lose sight of talking to other people.

So again, how did my mom do it? How can I step back more and more? Truth be told, I don’t want to. If I can manage our life that I am always involved with him I would love that. I am not saying he has to living in my basement when he is 40, please let’s not have that happen. But I would always like him to feel close to me, that he can talk to me, come to me for support or comfort. I want that door to always be open. I call my mom a lot. We talk a lot. She has left work to come be with me on particularly bad days with Jack. Moms never have to stop being moms. I don’t plan on doing that.

I will have to let him sleep under someone’s roof when I am not there, but I will cross that bridge when it happens. When he first asks me. I probably won’t do it unless I have to! He is young still, so there is no rush for his total independence. But that age is starting to sneak up where I will have to let go a little bit more every year. Preschool will start eventually. I can’t sit in the room all day observing. I don’t even want to think about that. I think that is a main reason why I started Pilates training. So I will have something to keep my mind busy when he does head to school.

So it does come down to what my mom always said. I trust him. I will trust him. I know that I am giving him good guidance. I just don’t trust other people. Adults or kids. Kids can be nasty. I see it already. My son is never the bully. I am not saying this out of blindness. I work very hard to teach him to share, say please and thank you (he already says please), to be gentle, etc. He gets things snatched from him way more often than he takes things. I know he will have moments of not being so nice, I will deal with them when they happen. But overall he is a good kid. Well mannered, sweet, loving, kind. I receive a ton of compliments on how well behaved he is, from my Pilates instructor to strangers who see us in the stores. It is going to break my heart the first time he gets bullied or something unjust happens to him and I am not there to step in and guide him to something else. Or to stand up for him like I have. I have to find that balance somewhere. To trust in my parenting, that he will have a strong voice to stand up for himself. That he will feel comfortable coming to me and telling me about his day, good and bad! How do moms do it? HOW!??!?! Maybe these babysteps are a good thing. Going to school, so spending time away a little bit. Taking him to these gymnastic classes that encourage him to trust other people a little bit, etc.

My babysitter problem has been solved though, as long as I work around his schedule. My brother got a car. So now he can come to my home easier. I just have to work around his school schedule. He is in college. In the area! So he can come and babysit. I held out and it was for the best. Now Jack’s favorite sitter can watch him when I need it. That is such a relief. I wasn’t ready for that gigantic step just yet!

How have you let your kids spread their wings? Do you get the “I trust you not others” motto? Has independence been difficult for you? For the kiddos?