A Parent’s Perspective!
So here we are, one more stepping stone, the baby of the family off to university! With September here, all around me are families sending their babies, young ones, older ones off to nursery, primary school, secondary school and I think to myself: “All of us parents are in the same boat”!
A few years back, a yoga friend of mine was bawling her eyes out when her only child was going off to university. So, ok, I get it. If there were other children left at home she may not be feeling the same way. But still, there was a veteran mother aching and unable to cope with her grown-up child going off to university. Another example was more recently, when last year, another friend was overly stressed about her eldest going off to university. She even thought of relocating her home to go live in the same city where her daughter would be studying.
Hang on a minute! Surely it’s a good thing your kid is off to university. What I say to all parents and mothers who aren’t coping, regardless of the age of their child, is: “You’ve got this! You’re doing a grand job!”.
Our job as parents is to nurture and enable children to become independent young individuals, with a mind and a will of their own, to make them the healthiest best version of themselves. We should be proud and happy that these kids are able to go off to school, to lead their own lives and follow their own dreams. We should applaud their individual thinking, their brusqueness, and rudeness, their independent spirit. It means we’re doing a fantastic job at bringing them up. That’s what we want after all – feisty spirited unique individuals, testing boundaries and working things out for themselves. They’re not being argumentative, they’re processing!
I say to parents: “Imagine the opposite! Imagine if you had children who didn’t want to go to school, who were unable to go to school, compliant children who never questioned you or balked at any of your teachings or suggestions”. So yes, they’re going off, they are leaving the safety net and going out learning about the world and that is exactly what we need them to do, want them to do and wish for them to do.
So, what about me, with the last child going off to university. How are we feeling in the house? Well, her brothers will miss her terribly. The house will be empty, metaphorically speaking. Our youngest, the baby, is the chirpy one. It stands to reason that the rest of us are all working, all hustling, busy all the time. The baby of the family is the laughter and the noise, the glue that brings us all back to the table. She’s the one who’s looking for us for inspiration and for guidance. But she’s the one now forging her own destiny, blazing her own path, going off by herself to make her own memories away from us. She is slightly nervous, rather excited, fully aware that this is truly the first time where she will be standing on her very own two feet, away from the family nest.
So yes, we will miss her awfully. All parents miss their children, regardless of where they go, to school or university. We all worry about them, wonder if they’re making the right decisions, making the right friends, eating the right things. I say worry not: “They’ve got this!”. You have nurtured them, the universe will protect them, they will do their best learning away from you but you are there waiting for them at home. They will find you if they need you when they need you. They will definitely need you, regardless of their age. They’re all your babies!
If we are parents, then we are blessed enough. We are blessed already. The rest will take care of itself! Have faith!