Originally featured on Elephant Journal January 31, 2018
A few months ago, I dropped off my son at daycare for the first time.
He was excited by all the new toys and playmates, while I frantically tried to hold onto my hot tears until I stumbled out the door.
Nothing really prepares us for the shocking separation between a momma and newly independent child. It’s heartbreaking, exhilarating, and traumatic all rolled into one great big pile of sleepless nights, changing roles, and soggy tissues.
I also learned a painful lesson in ownership. My son isn’t mine.
Biologically yes. My body grew his sturdy frame and beautiful eyes. And I most definitely gave birth to him.
By creating prolonged physical space between us for the first time, we both learned (well, I relearned) that we are both functioning individuals on our own. Radical! Often this is shocking for new moms. We know it intellectually, but it’s incredibly easy to let our sense of self be defined by parenthood.
Our language feels so woefully inadequate to describe our deepest bonds—what we say aloud creates the relationships that we live.
Too often, we parents approach parenthood with ownership. My child, my daughter, my son, without ever analyzing the power dynamics, expectations, and relationships we create with our words.
I don’t feel pride in saying my son, I feel pride in being his Momma. This slight shift of perspective can fundamentally change how we approach parenthood and hopefully how our children grow into independent…
Read the full article here.