I am a helicopter mum.
For those of you who havnt heard the term before it refers to a parent who ‘hovers’ (get it?? Coz a helicopter hovers? Hysterical) over their kid.
I’m not ashamed of the title. I accept that I am overprotective which may or may not hamper my girls development in some arb way in the long run. It may also help their early development knowing that there is always someone close by to help them. Who the hell knows. All I know is that I’m there when they fall and need a hug. I’m there to stop my little one from eating a cigarette butt at the park. I’m there when my eldest sees a cat and wants to follow it because they are ‘best friends’. I’m right there.
I came to a terrible and equally wonderful realisation recently. Every day I spend with my kids is a day that they move further away from me. I always knew this in the back of my mind but I guess I didn’t really want to unpack the thought and process it. It would be easier to keep on ignoring this fact except that I no longer can.
My firstborn starts school on Wednesday. She has just turned four and has been home longer than most kids. Being at home with me has resulted in her social skills not really being up to par. She thinks everyone is her friend and struggles to process her emotions when her feelings are hurt. She has no concept of classroom structure or personal space. She is her own boss in terms of choosing activities to entertain herself. She is my baby.
Except that she isn’t a baby anymore. Her feet touch my knees when I pick her up. She dresses and undresses herself. She sleeps in her own room and falls asleep on her own. She cuts her own meat and drinks from a mug without a straw. She orders a red cappucino when we have dates and teaches her baby sister how to pet the cat gently. She pretends that she didnt want the last piece of chocolate when she finds out that I ate it. She is a marvellous, gentle, kind, thoughtful, imaginative, creative, caring little girl.
I am looking forward to her starting school. As much as I will miss her I know that she needs this. She needs friends. She needs other kids to play with and a teacher to provide mental stimulation. She may cry on the first few days (not as much as I will) but I know that this big step will be much harder on us as parents. I guess this will always be the case. Raising kids is one long drawn out goodbye (how depressing I know but I’m missing my baby so give me this moment to wallow). You just have to do your best to make sure that when they do leave, they are fully equipped to handle whatever comes their way.
I am also looking forward to the mornings alone with my little one. I havn’t really had a chance to have much quality one on one time with her and I am so excited about it. She is such a fun little sausage and the happiest baby.
But I really am going to miss this time with A. Early morning bed games, late breakfasts, morning movies and popcorn. I have been so fortunate to have had her all to myself for this long. I hope she doesn’t miss me as much as I will miss her.
I am a helicopter mum.