My Teens Don’t Need A Helicopter Mom Anymore, And I Feel Like I’ve Been Retired

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How do you let go? How do you know when you’re kids are ready for more responsibility and how do you become ok with it? Who really knew the ache and pride felt as your children grow. There is a part of me that feels so me embarrassment in admitting that I’ve been a helicopter mom; wanting to protect my kids from everything I can. I mean everything. Which is like every other mom, but maybe not to the level I have. But now my kids are older and don’t need me to hover anymore. What’s a helicopter mom supposed to do when she retires?

My Teens Don’t Need A Helicopter Mom Anymore, And I Feel Like I’ve Been Retired

I’ve been a stay home mom since I was pregnant with my oldest, who just turned 17. So in me saying this, I have been truly blessed to have the opportunity to see all 5 of my kids firsts: coos, smiles, rolling overs, crawls, words, laughs, first day of school, all the milestones I have been a part of and now as they are getting older they aren’t needing me as much as I want them to, I’m having a harder time with it than they are. They are ready to go out and conquer the world, I mean I  have courageous and really independent children, and its not always that I don’t think they are ready for the responsibility, its all the unknowns of the outside that make me worry.  I could really drive myself crazy worrying about all the things that could happen.

I bet some of the most common characteristics of a helicopter mom is anxiety and worry. Pick something…seriously just pick something, and you will worry about it. Are you doing a good enough job, can you do more, the overwhelming anxiety does not make letting go easy. It just adds to the worry. Then theres guilt that goes hand in hand with this because you don’t want your child to see you stressing over the small stuff, and it causes them to now worry.

Where is there a balance in letting go and holding on? I don’t thing any parent has the perfect answer. You can read as many parenting books as you can get your hands on, but most is theory, and every child is so different that what will work for one will not work for another. Just having 5 of my own kids I can tell you this, once you think you have one figured out and try it with another child your approach won’t work, and you’re stuck back at square one feeling inadequate again, looking for any way to reach this kid.

All this is coming about because I am now faced with getting a job out of the house and my children will have to be home alone. I know a lot of people don’t see this as a big deal, and that thousands…even millions of children have to do this everyday, but I don’t want this for mine, this wasn’t how our family plan was set. I’m not saying either is right or wrong for anyone, all I know is what is best for my family and this is such a shell shock for all of us. I love being there for them whenever they need me, or when they don’t. Just to have that time with them, because you only get a short amount of time with them really before they are ready to begin their own lives and you’re just a second thought. Pretty soon they’re doing their own laundry, feeding themselves, driving around, and they have friends who fill in the gaps…what’s a helicopter mom supposed to do? It’s truly a beautiful thing seeing them get older and become independent, yet pulls the heartstrings, because those times of them needing mom all the time are gone.

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  1. Jamie, thank you for your honesty in this post. I’m not a parent, but I am a caregiver to my nephew. He’s 12 this year, and it already feels like he doesn’t need anyone anymore. Both his parents have always worked, so I stepped in to help the family. I love that kid like my own, so it’s hard to see him growing up so fast! If it’s hard for me to let go, I can’t imagine what it must be like for you as a momma of five. It’s awesome to see them grow up and become independent people, but it can be emotional. Thank you, again, for such an insightful article.

  2. Beautifully and honestly written! Form a exhelicopter mom myself. My biggest fear was if something happened, (injury or kidnapping) I wouldn’t have been there to protect my kids! And yes, they all survived and are ok…