Parenting: Control vs. Letting Go

This word is getting louder and more intense as I get older: Control.

As a young parent, I kept things safe and predictable for my kids. This control showed up in planning, organization, busy work, staying up late night or keeping things clean. I am a lover of the online calendar and to do lists. The house is organized and we know what we will be doing for the next few months. Controlling the situation was a way to make my kids safe, give them a peaceful home and offer more opportunities to the family.

Later, control with teenage kids became a bumpy ride. They pushed back and I thought, “I know what’s best because I love them so much.”

My friends who have adult kids tell me, “You don’t have any control with your kids later in life.” The skill of having control, which I was very proud of and has brought me success and order into my life, is now bringing me anxiety and confusion.

This brings me to the question, “Did I really ever have any control?”

In our society today, I get the perception that if I plan, organize, sacrifice and work hard, that things work out in my favor. I’m realizing that I spend more time attempting to control my situation than actually living in the present moment, which will be gone in a second just to become the past.

Reflecting on my kids, I now know that I just want to BE with them instead of doing and giving the best to them. Instead I want to go with the flow when I am with them. Not perfect, but together.

As my oldest is off to college, I don’t know what he is up to and I am praying that he has some self-control. I guess I have to let go of those thoughts…

The next thought comes from my inner critic telling me if I let go, I am “giving up.” I sense my body and feel, no its not that. I just need time to process all these changes. Giving up is a feeling of helplessness. I know my life is fundamentally good and I raised good kids.

Letting go is about shedding the anxiety which gives me emotional freedom and somehow creates the time and type of wealth I want. Funny how not worrying is so freeing.

Let me ask you what is your relationship to CONTROL?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *