My little dude knocked himself out last night. He was inside a box pretending to be a box troll and he fell backwards and well, it wasn’t the best ever. We spent the night at the hospital and ever since we got home, I’ve been crazy anxious. I keep wondering if maybe my free range parenting style isn’t such a good idea. Basically, I’m guilt tripping myself, doubting my choices, and feeling super responsible for my kid getting hurt. All day long I’ve been nagging at him, “don’t stand on that,” “get down” “slow down” “hey, why don’t we just chill and watch a movie” - I’m straight up afraid to let him play!!! So NOT like me. Anyone who knows me knows we NEVER watch movies when there is daylight we can play in. But overnight I became the epitome of the overprotective helicopter parent. Hell, I’m annoying myself. Hah! I might very well have wrapped him in bubble wrap and put him in a helmet before the day was over lol
He clearly noticed because he stopped and said, “mom! whoa, chill out! I’m having a good time and I’m okay with getting hurt.” Ugh, but I’m not!!! It’s so nerve racking giving them space to be wild. Because the truth is: they are going to get hurt when you give them space to play and explore. So, how do you find that balance between giving them too much space and not enough. I don’t know. But I know this: they have been raised with freedoms most kids don’t have and it has served them well. Yes, we’ve gotten hurt here and there, but they are strong and capable and unbelievable grounded humans and I know with every fiber of my being that it’s because I haven’t hovered over their every move. They’ve been given room to try things and fail. They’ve had space to roam and explore. It’s given confidence and wisdom beyond their years.
The thing is, today I’m scared. I fucking love them and I just want them to be safe, but I think pulling in the reins and wrapping them in a bubble would be crazy selfish of me. I would feel more comfortable, but is that what’s really best for them? Um...no.
My truth. Loving them means giving them space, loving them means letting them play...and yes, loving them means letting them get hurt sometimes.