I had three kids by the age of 26.. I remember being so tired I would go into the shower and cry. I worried about them constantly.. I worried that I wouldn’t have the energy to keep up with the midnight feedings or that I wasn’t paying enough attention to the boys or that I wasn’t paying enough attention to myself or my husband. I would tell myself that as soon as ONE of them slept through the night, everything would be better.. and then they do.. and my worries changed.
Then we enter the stage of sleeping through the night but awake all day. It was no longer formula and baby food, it was REAL food.. and I worried that I wasn’t feeding them the proper foods, that they would choke on pieces of ham or chips or cookies.. I would tell myself that as soon as they started walking, everything would be better… and then they do.. and again, my worries changed.
Then I had three kids all under the age of five WALKING… everywhere.. and I worried that they would slip away from my sight and head out to the pool or out the front door or slip away from me at the mall.. I would tell myself that as soon as they started school, everything would be better.. and then they do.. and again, my worries changed.
Then I started working while they were at school. And I worried that they were going to be teased or bullied or I wasn’t going to be around if they got sick. I would tell myself that as soon as they entered middle school, everything would be better.. and then they do.. and my worries changed.
All three in school, two in middle school and one at the elementary. And I worried about them walking home and where they would go and who they’d stay with.. would they get into someone’s car, would they remember to look both ways before crossing the street, would they JUST LOOK UP FROM THAT PHONE! I would tell myself as soon as ONE was driving, everything would be better… and then they do… and again, my worries changed.
Now all THREE are driving and I worry if I can afford it, are they drinking, is someone else on the road drinking, are they paying attention to their surroundings… will they ever JUST STAY HOME? And I’d tell myself once they were all grown and out of the house, everything would be better… and then they do.. and guess what – I STILL WORRY.
Bottom line – doesn’t matter how old they are or what stage of their life they are in you will always worry about them; that never changes. The only thing that changes are the worries themselves.
If I could go back to the days when they were all at home and I would cry from being so tired; I would do it in a heartbeat – because at least I knew they were there – with me. But I cant, so I just have to hope for the best… hope that we taught them right and let them go.. watching as they walk out the door – again.