I Am Learning… Still.

Posted on | June 5, 2012 | 13 Comments

We tried it before, but it didn’t stick.

This time, it’s sticking.

J has transitioned back to sleeping in his own bed, or at least to starting the night in his own bed.

I am, at the same time, proud and heart broken by his move.  He is growing so big and getting so independant.  Everything now is “I do it ALL to myself, Mommy,” whether it’s cutting a sandwich or taking a shower.  He puts his own shoes on and when he chooses to go to the potty, he pulls his own pants both up and down.

My baby is a little boy.

And as I’ve watched him grow and change, loving the baby he was and the boy he’s becoming, I’ve also learned that I have a lot of growing to do.   I have a lot of letting go to learn.

Most of the reasoning behind J sleeping in my room was convenience and safety.  If he were tucked close by, he was safe… I could watch the rise and fall of his chest… I could know that he was sleeping soundly with no monsters or demons haunting his dreams.  And let’s be honest…  I needed him there.  I needed the sweet warmth of him snuggled up beside me, needed the soft sighs of his slumber to convince me to find my own.

For as much as I will always need my son, I do not want him to always need me.  Not in that way.  Not to the extent that he needs me to sleep, needs me to wake, needs me to breathe.  For a long time, I needed J in order to just breathe… but that time has passed.

We’re growing, both of us, becoming the people we are meant to be.  He is moving away from and I am moving towards… me. Myself.  And that is how it should be, as we exit the all-encompassing world of babydom and enter the land where toddler meets resistance from the world.  J no longer needs me for everything… only for some things.  And as he grows, he will need me for less and less until one day I will simply beg to be needed… for anything.

And it could sting.  I could let that thought roll around in my mind and drive me crazy with sadness and worry and doubt that I’m a good enough mother, a good enough role model, a good enough teacher.

But no… no.  That’s not the way I want this to play out.

I am his mother.

I will always love him.

And just as I’ve encouraged him to find his own steps, his own bed, and his own voice… I will encourage him to leave me behind.  Not because I’m unworthy.  Not because I’m old and unnecessary.  But because I am my own woman, my own person… just as he will be his own man, his own person. Because we both deserve that freedom to just… be.

So now I sleep alone, stretching my body across the bed with reckless abandon.  Taking all the pillows.  Wrapping myself in every bit of the covers.  There are books on my nightstand for me to read, not books for me to read to J.  There are no more pacifiers tucked in the curves of pillows or the tail end of sheets. 

Slowly, I am making myself at home in this world… a world that used to be solely J’s… a world that is now, finally, becoming my own.


13 Responses to “I Am Learning… Still.”

  1. Jenna
    June 5th, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    You’re not meant to make me tears prick my eyes this early in the morning! Oh well, at least it was a good mummy cry 🙂 I take a lot of comfort that I’m not alone in these changes, and that you’re willing to write about them and share. I love the feeling of the common bonds of motherhood I get when I read your posts.

  2. Lawmomma77
    June 5th, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    Totally not alone… I’m crying right alongside. 🙂

  3. Jacquelyn
    June 5th, 2012 @ 9:51 am

    love this.

    While I struggle to hold on to the “babyness” I fail to see the bigger picture of what I may be holding my son back from. the independence that I am robbing him of and the dependence I am forcing on him. Thank you for helping me to realize what it is in me that I need to work on. that feeling that i need to be needed that has been the source of a lot of issues throughout my life. change is good.

  4. Lawmomma77
    June 5th, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    Lord save us from loving our kids too much? Not possible. 🙂 They’ll learn independence THROUGH our love and because of it… not despite it.

  5. Lolita Lulashi
    June 5th, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    Loved this …it made my teary but the good tears.They grow so fast don’t they

  6. Lawmomma77
    June 5th, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    They really really do. Too fast at times.

  7. Typea Nightmare
    June 5th, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    This made me nauseous and anxious and my stomach is in my throat. AND, I might cry. I am all of those things, and I know you’re healing was from a divorce. Mine is from infertility. Sometimes, I”m afraid that if I close my eyes, when I open them, she won’t be there. So I keep her as close to me as I can get her.

    Oh goodness, no more talk. Pretty sure the tears are close.

    I’m proud of you and J. The smart, lawyer part of my brain knows that this is something I need to be saying/writing/doing, but the real me is terrified of it.

  8. Lawmomma77
    June 5th, 2012 @ 11:37 am


    I can’t even imagine the pain of infertility. But you know what? Your letting go will come in your own time, just like mine has. Don’t rush yourself.

  9. Jsfpwa
    June 5th, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

    Infertility is a complete nightmare. I made it through that, postpartum depression, and now stumbling my way through separation. I find it particularly hard with letting go because it took SO much to get my little one here that and because I probably won’t get to have another baby that I need his babyhood/toddlerhood etc. to last even longer.

  10. Angel
    June 5th, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    I want so much to let go, I want to let him grow up to be his own man, but how can I let go of someone I need so much, someone who is a part of me, someone who is my life. Some would say if you love him you will let go, but I’m still too selfish. I need him too much. Hopefully I can learn what you te learning.

  11. Lawmomma77
    June 5th, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    This was a strong day… there are so many times when I think I will die if I don’t have him right beside me. It’s a learning curve, for sure… hang in there!

  12. KeAnne
    June 5th, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    Beautiful. We never intended to have D sleep in our bed, but having him in his crib in our room for months felt right. And then he went from the crib to our bed when he woke at night. To our surprise, we loved sleeping together the three of us in our bed. We finally transitioned him to his room, and it was right, but oh how we miss him, especially now that the won’t stand still long enough to want to snuggle. Watching him grow up and away is terribly painful, but it’s what must happen. And we like having the lights on and reading or watching whatever we want on tv. These are the bittersweet parts of parenting no one tells you about.

  13. Eli@coachdaddy
    June 11th, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Great stuff. I know as a dad, the bond is different. As a dad, I can take a lot of pride in seeing my girls move farther from me, actually, testing the waters, finding their balance and boundaries.

    I still get caught up in the pull to pull them close and not let them go, though.

    What I’ve noticed after losing my own father, and in seeing this develop in my girls, is that although a kid might get older and bigger and branch farther out, they’re also fostering part of *you* in them, and when you see and recognize yourself in things they say and do, you’ll see that it’s the closest you could really be to a child.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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