One of the things that I love most about watching our little guy grow up is how he is constantly learning. Part of learning is, of course, engaging with others and he is a little hit or miss there. He’s a pretty shy little guy but once he likes you, he LOVES YOU. (Like too much.) But I am constantly in awe of his sweet disposition and desire to be with the people he loves. It’s also something I seriously struggle with (#momlife).
There’s nothing that quite prepared me for how much tension I would feel about our little guy loving and connecting with others. Obviously, I’m thrilled and want him to continue to want to create beautiful relationships with other people in his life. But I also feel a great deal of sadness when he is super ready to leave me to be with other people. (Or when he choose them over me…cue the mom tears!)
Figuring out how to foster a love for getting to know others, accepting people who are different from us, and creating deep and meaningful relationships is 100% a priority. I also miss the little boy who used to never want to be with anyone else. (Although at the time it was a bit suffocating…perspective, right?!)
I’ve by no means figured this out, but am sharing some things that are helping me in this in case you are struggling with this too. (And if you have any brilliant wisdom, share it in the comments below!)
- It’s okay to excuse yourself for a quick cry. Maybe it’s my pregnancy hormones talking , but I’m all sorts of emotional these days. So, when my little guy (who isn’t so little anymore) rushes off to someone else or doesn’t ask for me when we are out with friends/family, I sometimes have to just take a moment to collect myself. And that’s totally okay. It doesn’t make you a bad mom for feeling what you feel.
- Continue to support the progress your kid is making. Obviously, I want our son to continue to seek out relationships and connection with others. I don’t want to stifle that in any way because of my own baggage. So, this is something that I intentionally try to encourage and support in him even if it pains me a little bit. The end result is going to be totally worth it.
- Embrace the moments when your kid does want you! It may not be as frequent as when he was a baby, but he definitely still needs his mommy so I try to be really available and responsive during those times. I also try to be intentional about making time for just us. That way he gets some mommy time and I get some baby time. (He’ll always be my baby…sorry honey!)
Motherhood is not an easy journey. You learn a lot about yourself. But I’m learning to embrace the special moments and live into the excitement of seeing our son grow into an incredible little boy.
Have you struggled with this? I’d love to hear from you!