We’re moms. We naturally want to keep our offspring safe. Tons of other creatures do this as well. You’ve heard never to get in between a mama bear and her cub, right?
How can we allow our growing, maturing children to embrace life and all its adventure (and danger) and still keep them safe?
I can’t even look when my kid is climbing a tree – and I used to be an avid tree-climber. My friends were always getting stuck way up high in the tree and I’d have to climb down and get my dad to come rescue them. When my kids climb the big evergreen in the back, I have to look away because it is too much for this mama’s heart to handle.
I’m constantly checking and double-checking safety things. We generally don’t allow sleep-overs. I am terrified to take our trip out West next year because I’m scared my kids will fall off a cliff or get stalked by a mountain lion (did you read that Reader’s Digest post from forever ago?) or mauled by the mama bear mentioned above. Seriously, I fight that anxiety each time I plan that trip.
And now, get this: my daughter is going to take a year off from school between 8th and 9th grades to travel. She’ll be going all over the United States and Canada visiting friends and family. We’ll also take a few weeks and hit Spain and Europe together. How on earth did I ever convince myself that, that was a good idea?
When we presented this idea to our daughter, I knew she’d say yes because she lives for adventure. She has taken up difficult mountain biking with my husband, attends a Spanish Immersion school, camps and sleeps outside – not even in a tent (she WILL be in an RV out west – absolutely NO sleeping outside!), and she tried out for worship team at her school even though she was extremely nervous. She feels fear. She’s not reckless. She understands risk and decides to live boldly nonetheless. As Ruth Soukup says, she embraces the phrase, “Do it Scared!”
So how do I keep myself from being a puddle?
1. Know My Child
If you want to be able to regain composure at every new idea or adventure, you have to know your child. You can’t know your child if you don’t take the time to do so.
Suggestion: Our free Manage Your Time Like a Boss Course will help you regain the margin in your life and tame your schedule so you can spend time with the people who matter most. It has helped tons of moms out there get control over their calendars, so they can start to have the time and mental space to sit and think about who their children really are and how they can best minister to them.
- Is your child an idea person?
- Does he have a ton of crazy ideas that never amount to anything?
- Does he just like expressing his creativity and isn’t really serious about fully pursuing anything?
- On the other hand, is he calculated?
- Has he thought of something over and over again, weighed the options and still decided to go through with it?
- Is she a researcher?
- Does she know exactly what she wants?
- Can you trust the child’s decision-making?
- Is your child open and honest with you?
All of these questions come into play when you evaluate a proposition or a scenario, but again, you won’t know the answers to these if you don’t take the time to know and understand your child. What makes him tick? What makes her feel alive? What would they spend their time doing any day of the week? What crushes their spirits?
2. Let Dad be Your Barometer
Dads are naturally more adventurous than moms, generally speaking. They are willing to take a few more risks, so they end up being the “fun parent” and us moms end up being the “bad guys” sometimes. Use this to your advantage.
Dad doesn’t want your child to die.
You can trust him to make decisions, handle unique opportunities and take the lead. Stop squashing his attempts with your practicality and fear.
Trust me, I’ve been there and I’m currently “there” right now! I have to remind myself that he loves the kids as much as I do and God loves them even more.
Sooner or later I need to release my grip of control. I can’t control every situation and scenario, no matter how much I try. I’m not supposed to and neither are you.
I see too many moms keep the reigns for themselves and the man just runs alongside the carriage hoping she’ll let him in some time. Give the reigns over for once and let him lead the kids into the adventure. Ask him to help you see things in a different light. Ask him to help you release more.
Suggestion: I’ve been convicted of my need for releasing areas of my life to God. I created a Bible Study that will help you or a group walk through that. You can access it here.
3. Look for Opportunities
Keep your eyes open for unique opportunities that make you a little nervous, but overall, would be fantastic experiences. Push through your bubble. Step outside of your box. Do it little by little and soon you’ll look back and see these heart-warming memories sprinkled on your family’s timeline. You only have so long with the children while they’re at home. Make the most of it and determine to live boldly yourself. Click To Tweet
4. Get Your Child’s Perspective
Children hear more and understand more than adults give them credit for. Ask your child’s perspective. Ask them why they want to do things the way they do. Ask them what they think they’d like to do with their lives. Where is God prompting them right now?
It’s worth the conversation.
You’ve got this, Mama!
I’d love to hear how you cope with the mom-fear!! Leave a comment and help us all!