Loosening The Apron Strings

It’s hard isn’t it? Seeing your children grow up. They are only tiny for so long and before you know it they’re off being grownups themselves. I know I’m guilty for trying to hold on to Eban’s childhood as much as possible, ignoring the fact that in order for him to be a successful adult I need to loosen the apron strings…slightly.

Loosening the apron strings

Where Has The Time Gone?

He’s eight next month, I’m not quite sure how that happened but it has. To me it seems like only yesterday he was barely able to walk or talk (well, it was if I go by my Facebook “On This Day”) and now we’re discussing him walking to school on his own and having conversations about sex – health week at school.

I’m trying to see him as a rapidly growing person, one who doesn’t need mummying all the time and so I’m actively trying to give him a little more rope. Give him the space he needs to develop additional skills and independence but it’s so hard.

Loosening The Apron Strings

So, here are the things I’ve been trying to not make a fuss about. The things that have actually been hard to come to terms with but have also made me so proud of the man he’s becoming.

Walking To School

Eban’s school is a 25 minute walk from our house, across a busy road and a dual carriageway. Much to his annoyance, I’m not ready for him to make that journey alone and I won’t be until he’s approaching the end of primary school. What I have done is taken a step back.

Rather than walking him into the playground and watching him go right in to school, we’ve started saying our goodbyes at the edge of the school’s grounds. I watch him toddle across the school field or down the driveway on his own, with the occasional glance back and a wave. The first week of doing this was hard but it’s given him loads of confidence and has made him feel more grown up.

Next step is the end of the road…maybe after the summer holidays.

Helping With The Shopping

This is something he’s initiated himself. When we pop in to Asda for a few top up bits he enjoys using the self checkout himself. He knows which buttons to push and loves scanning all the products and packing them. He knows to enter a bag if we’ve needed on and which buttons to push for which payment.

This actually came in handy today when I realised we were out of Frubes for his lunch, I yellow sticker them in bulk and freeze them. My choice was either no yoghurt, not taking Dax with us on her morning walk or trusting him to go buy his own. I chose the later.

I handed him some change and told him to go pick whatever yoghurt he fancied while I stood at the main entrance. Off in he toddled, picked up what he wanted, hit the self checkout and came out again. The “yoghurt” seemed to have changed into a single strawberry cheesecake but it’s what he wanted.

Doing Things Himself

I’m still very much of a “oh I’ll do it for you” kind of person. Not because I don’t think he can but because I’m so used to doing everything around the house.

Many months ago I taught him how to use the washing machine but most of the time when he offers I’ll reply with “Don’t you worry about it, I’ll do it”. This week I heard a slow THUD! THUD! THUD! coming down the stairs, turns out he’d realised the dirty laundry basket was full so brought it down with the intention of loading the washing machine. To his disappointment I hadn’t unloaded the previous was load so he couldn’t actually put it on.

Over the last week or so this sudden independence has seen him wanting to make his own dinners, make his own hot chocolates, set the table for dinner and clear away the plates. Unfortunately he’s yet to turn on the switch for “clean his room”, “close his curtains when naked” or “remember to shower BEFORE bedtime”.

Coming To Terms With Growing Up

Seeing Eban grow in to a caring, funny and helpful young man is a wonderful feeling but it seems to be going so fast. He is our only child so it’s not like I can transfer these feelings on to the next one down, I guess I’m going to have to get used to it. I’m sure at some point I’ll accept it and he’ll soon be cursing me for the list of chores I give him each day.

For many parents, myself included, it's hard to watch your children grow up. It's hard loosening the apron strings and giving them the space and Independence they need.

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