I am a helicopter mom. Or should I say "was" a helicopter mom. I am a worrier by nature. I worry about EVERYTHING, to the point of ridiculousness. Greg is completely opposite of me in this department. Which means when we are in family social situations, I am the one watching the kids while he is relaxing and chatting. Greg and I have had many discussions about this, and so I have been trying to find a good balance between being all over my kids and giving them some space to learn for themselves.
So lately when we have been out and about I have made a conscious effort to keep some distance. Like in the past when we went to Chickfila my kids were not allowed to go play in the play area until I was done eating and able to be in there with them. Now I will let them go in while I sit right outside the room watching, chatting, and eating. I still get panicky at times, but I am trying.
The park for me is the hardest. I want to just wrap Greyson up in bubble wrap, stick a helmet on him, and follow him around keeping no less than foot between us the entire time. I have been trying to keep some distance so he can explore on his own. Yesterday I was giving him some space and he fell off a play structure that was around 6-7 feet high.
Yep. You read that right. He FELL!
My worse (park) fear had come true.
I was only about 8-10 feet from him (my idea of distance). I normally would of been standing there at the opening with my arms up yelling at him to be careful of the edge. When I ran over it looked like his arm was broken. It was all twisted. My heart dropped. Luckily he cried for all of 2 minutes (if that) and then was back to his crazy adventurous self.
I on the other hand was not okay. I felt like it was all my fault.
I wasn't right there.
I wasn't reminding him to be safe.
ALL. MY. FAULT.
I thought maybe this fall would of scared him enough to instill some fear into my fearless little boy. Maybe something good would come from this after all. Maybe this would end up being a learning experience for him.
Not even 5 minutes later he was climbing across a tall rock wall, looking at me and giggling because he knew I didn't want him to do it. No fear.
So now I am really questioning my decision to try to give my kids more space. We got lucky this time that he didn't get seriously hurt, but who knows if we will be that lucky again.
Is there a happy medium?
Can I give my kids space?
Is it in me to be okay with that?
I am seriously doubting it.
The guilt of yesterday is still eating at me. Maybe being a helicopter mom isn't such a bad thing... at least then I could sleep at night.