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  1. #1
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    Default Letting go of control

    Hi ladies

    Terrified of posting this here and bearing all my warts. Please don’t quote this post, i may delete later. And please no negative comments as i am extremely emotional regarding this.

    A little bit of background for context. I have a beautiful 3 year old DD. A stillborn DD and have had 3 miscarriages in the last 18 months.

    I am having some difficulties letting go of some parenting control. I guess you could say I have never allowed anyone other than a relative look after DD for a few hours, and that was in our own home. She has never stayed at her grand parents (either side) never gone out and about with her Dad (my husband). Or ever gone out and about with anyone without me being present.

    We have also never used a babysitter, or child care.

    Whenever a relative asks to have her over (from when she was a year old) i have always come up with excuses.

    Its not that i dont trust these people, especially her dad (my husband) as he loves and cares for her the same if not more than me. I just get this overwhelming feel of something bad happening to her because im not there to keep an eye on her.

    Logically i know this is such a bad way to be, but the fear over rules the logic in that moment.

    I am coming to discover that i do have some traits as a helicopter parent.

    I am terrified of putting my own fears and anxieties onto my daughter and those who love and want to care for her.

    She starts her first year of schooling next year, and i have mixed feelings about her attending.
    My overriding feeling is that i am so excited for her to attend as she is more than ready for school and will absolutely love it. But there is also that part of me that is terrified of this next stage of her not needing me as much anymore.

    I have been a stay at home mum for the last 3 years devoting my whole being to raising , protecting a nurturing her and i guess i don’t know what to do with myself as she needs me less and less.

    I know alot of this stems from my own dependency needs and fears of not feeling needed. But I guess what im wanting to hear, is if anyone has ever dealt with any anxiety issues around letting go of control.

    Im sorry for the brain dump.

  2. #2
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    @MrsMummaButterfly I'm so sorry for the loss you've endured 💔.

    I don't think you're a helicopter parent at all, that term doesn't seem right. You're a loving mother who has had her heart broken by loss, and you are protecting your DD because on a visceral level you are terrified that something could happen to her. You've become hypervigilant and protective because you've experienced how powerless you can be to save someone you love, how quickly life can be turned upside down, and you are protecting the person you love most in this world.

    Through different circumstances I felt very similarly about protecting my child a few years back. I went through a very traumatic loss through tfmr, followed by multiple miscarriages. After the tfmr I kept my then-only child close to me at all times, I was terrified the universe would take her away as well. When she was in childcare I would spend the day at work on high alert, tense, waiting for a phone call to tell me that something had happened to her. I didn't want anyone else driving her, taking her anywhere without me. I would check on her multiple times at night. Basically catastrophising every situation, dreading the many things that could go wrong.

    Do you feel like you might benefit from some further grief counselling? Someone who specialises in ptsd following loss? If you don't feel you need that, whatever you do don't be too hard on yourself. The fact that you can see that the way you're processing risk is affected is a good thing. I hope that you have support around you, people who understand how hard it is for you right now to let anyone else look after your child.

    Sending you lots of love xo

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    Don't be twrrified

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    I don't think helicopter parent is an appropriate term either.

    Although I used childcare from 14months (one afternoon a week, because I felt he wasn't getting enough social interaction)...

    my eldest never spent more than a few hours without me. The ONLY person I trusted was my own mum. We've never used a babysitter and he's 9. His first night away from me was at 3.5yrs old. We figured because I was pregnant with #2, we needed to ease him into being comfortable with my mum/df while I was in hospital. He spent the night with my mum and had so much fun, went so well, he didn't want to come home the next day!

    Even now, at 9... I have friends offer to mind him overnight (one lives on a farm 20 mins away and offers every couple of months to send him up there overnight) but I just can't...
    He's never slept over at a friend's and it gives me huge anxiety attacks thinking about it.

    I also have issues with going places without him (eg if he's at school and I do a road trip to the town over, I always stress about if something happened to me how he's get through. (Sorry, not meaning to add to your stress)

    I haven't experienced loss like you have, ( i had 1 mc prior to ds1) and still feel this way, so in my case, I don't think the feelings are a result of loss issues.

    I just keep running over things in my head and talk myself into feeling ok, while not acknowledging the negative voices "ds1 is at school. He is fine. I'm a safe driver. I'll be careful. I can't wait to see his smiling face when I pick him up" or "ds1 is with mum. Mum raised me, she knows my parenting rules, she respects my choices. Ds1 loves it/ her and is fine. He's ok. He'll be ok. I'll see him tomorrow"



    I feel the same way with ds2 and 3 too.

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    @Kalina thank you so much for taking the time to respond and in such a lovely way. I am so sorry for your losses too.

    How old is your DD now? And did you seek any professional help? Has letting go a bit more become easier?

    Everything you say definitely makes sense and resonates with me.

    I think when i refer to feeling like i may be a helicopter parent, most parents would at some degree during those early years in your child’s life, especially the toddler stage.

    I just want to the absolute best mum i can be, but also at the same time know that a perfect parent doesn’t exist. Ive wanted this my whole life and want to be the best version of myself for my husband and our daughter.

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    @shadowangel0205 thank you so much for your response. Im sorry for your loss and that you also have similar struggles.

    Have your feelings intensified once your DS 2 and 3 came along?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsMummaButterfly View Post
    @shadowangel0205 thank you so much for your response. Im sorry for your loss and that you also have similar struggles.

    Have your feelings intensified once your DS 2 and 3 came along?
    I wouldn't say they've intensified. I feel the same way about all of them so I have just chalked it up as me being protective 🤷‍♀️

    Ds2 was also 3.5yrs when he had his first night away from me, again, because I was pregnant and we wanted him to adjust. He started childcare (1 afternoon) at 2.5yrs. He had barely spent any time away from me also, even less than ds1.

    Ds3 is 1 and has spent maybe an hour away from me, as a newborn... I'd feed him, poor him to sleep and zip out while both mum and df minded him (And the older 2) no plans to start childcare as yet. Nor for sleepovers.

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    I think 3 is very young to be considering staying overnight. My ds is 6 and hasn't stayed anywhere without me. So I definitely don't think that is overprotective.

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    I'm so very sorry to hear of what you've been suffering through. I can relate to the feelings of anxiety and apprehension about having your child in someone else's care.

    My eldest DS has spent 2 nights away from me, both times of which I was in hospital giving birth. He stayed with his grandparents and I think I must have called 3-4 times that day between contractions, and was asking questions such as 'Did you lock the front door', as though they had never raised a child themselves.

    You're not a helicopter parent and neither am I. You are a parent who has had the rug pulled out from under them in the worst way possible. Loss doesn't just cause grief, it causes indefinite anxiety as well. It implants the question of 'What if' and our imagination coupled with infinite love for our remaining child, gives it the food it needs to flourish. Loss removes our security blanket and leaves us with a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability. Suddenly, everything is game; and as a parent, that's an absolutely terrifying concept.

    Be gentle with yourself. You are healing from trauma. Life has taken precious beings from you and you're petrified it might happen again. When you are analysing your behaviour, on the surface it may seem as though you are controlling for the sake of control, but if you look beyond it you will see that your grief is one doing the talking.

    From my understanding, helicopter parenting is more so not allowing the child any sense of being themselves by constantly 'saving them' at every sign of discomfort and by paving their way for them. Helicopter parents are also overly involved to the point of not allowing their child the chance to fail, which is detrimental to the child's personal growth and development. You are not trying to save her from life's small and inevitable ups and downs, you are trying to ensure that she goes through life safely enough to see the next day.

    Now, I'm not entirely sure how appropriate is this, but I'd like to say that I'm glad you spoke up. Exposing our vulnerabilities can feel paralysing, but ultimately in the long term, it's freeing. I can't tell you how many times I've started up a thread only to delete before submitting. Note to self to be more like MrsMummaButterfly.

    In regard to your desire to be the best you can be - You are a good human being and a good mum and wife. You are already the best version of yourself, so please don't feel that you aren't. You just need a hand to hold while you work through feelings of loss. Sending you love. xx

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    Is it possible that it is part of your personality?

    For me, I know I struggle with control. I like things done a certain way so I do them myself rather than someone else do it.

    I don't use babysitter. My mum has looked after the kids when I was having babies and less than a handful of times so I could have a few hours to do something.

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