The weekend came that my husband was taking my son away for a retreat weekend. My husband is a great dad so why was I so anxious about it? I suppose like most moms I feel like I have to take care of everything, as though I am “Super Mom” who can fix any and every situation for my kids. This feeling often consumes me and if I'm being honest it is quite exhausting at times.
I know I drove my husband crazy the week before they left. I must have repeated 1,000 times the things he needed to do to take care of our son as if he didn't know. He gave me those looks like “You are being nutty”, but he knew my stress was coming from simply wanting everything to go well.
I started thinking there must be something wrong with me. My husband and son were going away for a nice weekend experience and my daughter was going to be away at a sleepover. What mom wouldn't rejoice in having a weekend to herself?
They left Friday and I couldn't wait to hear from them to calm my mommy nerves. My husband finally texted me late that evening saying, "We got here ok but he's having a little bit of a tough time". I jumped to call him and wanted to say just come home. My anxious thoughts were swirling telling me my fears were right. I had to STOP and BREATHE and get my thoughts together before I got on the phone with my son.
My son, like many boys, is a "mommy's boy". He seeks me out when he needs to know that everything is going to be okay. I got on the phone with him as he began to tell me how much he missed me and he wished I was there with him. My heart sank, but I knew that giving into my fears of wanting to make it all okay for him was taking the easy way out; it would not teach him anything. I told him I missed him too but was so excited to hear all about the awesome adventures he would be having with his dad. I told him that I loved him and knew he would love his time there. I told him to focus on the fun rather than things that were stressing him out.
I got off the phone and thought, “How can I expect him to do that if I can't do it myself?” I also thought about all the clients I work with and knew they too feel this way at times. This gave me the inspiration to stand in integrity of what I believe, of what I teach. So I dropped my daughter off at her sleepover and went home to rejoice in the quiet time I would have to myself. I watched my favorite shows and took a long quiet shower. I applied a face mask and took the time to take care of me. I did so knowing and trusting that all would be okay for all of our "adventures".
I learned that by pushing past my fears of what could go wrong, I opened a space for us to learn all the wonderful things that went right. Trusting others to help me is sometimes hard for me to do. However, I learned that it is necessary for me so that I can be a better mom and teach my kids to trust themselves in the process. It's also so important for me to be able to take some of the pressure off myself that only I can "fix" everything. What I learned that weekend is if I want to be the best mom I can be, I have to let go of having to be in control all of the time. I have to have faith and trust in my husband. After all, one of the many things I love about him is what a great dad he is. We work really hard together on our parenting and I need to believe that it has helped our children to be who they are - great kids!!
By Margarita Daskalakis