One of the greatest Confidence Conflicts a woman faces is in witnessing her children’s growing independence. A mamma’s heart is knit so closely to her child that with each stage of his maturing her heart feels a painful tearing as he needs her less and less.
This heartache don’t only happen with our children’s independence; it could be any relationship. It feels good to be needed, but if our significance is built on someone else’s dependency, our confidence will be crushed when they no longer need us.
Without Independence, we lack confidence.
Think of the pride that beams from a child when he can say, “I did it myself!” Independence creates confidence for the one maturing, but it can challenge the confidence of the one who isn’t needed as much. You know you are bing challenged if you feel you must remind your loved ones that you taught them everything they know, or that they wouldn’t have made it this far without you.
Without confidence we lack independence
When a child learns to walk, a confident mother will help him get his balance and release him to step out on his own. If she is lacking in confidence, she will hover over him with every step. Our own insecurities can rob our children of the joy of independence and create a fear of stepping out on their own… or a rebellious determination to achieve independence whether we like it or not.
Any relationship with total dependency is not healthy, yet without any need for each other there is no relationship at all. If we want to enjoy the people in our lives we must develop enough confidence to become interdependent.
The other day my youngest asked me if it is hard to let my children become adults.
She knows it was. She witnessed the turmoil in my life as my oldest left my home for a life of danger and rebellion. Now she is witnessing the more peaceful transition as this mamma is releasing my next child into the great big world. The truth of the matter is that my daughter has witnessed this mamma’s confidence developing and honestly, I think she is relieved that she won’t have to suffer my constant hovering as she develops her independence.
Of course, after what I’ve been through, I could have chosen to become even more protective of my younger kids, but I figure that if we survived the difficulties that drugs brought into the first one’s transition, we can survive anything, so why let the fears dominate and destroy the beauty of watching them mature?
If you are struggling with letting your child become independent, I encourage you to continue to develop your own confidence. Some kids get hurt when the learn to walk. This doesn’t make them a failure, nor does it make your fault for letting go.
Take it from this mother, the heroin epidemic isn’t just destroying our kids’ independence; the fear of it is killing our confidence as parents. Would you join me in making this prayer (found in Philippians 1:6) a source of strength when fear slips in:
“God, help me to be confident of this very thing, that You have begun a good work in _______ and You will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ, Who paid the price for all our failures.”
I believe that the secret to that confidence is first receiving God’s forgiveness and grace for all the mistakes we make and then trusting that He loves our [kids] even more than we do and that He will lead us in knowing how to handle each stumbling block in their life (and ours). There will be times when we have the right to intervene, but we do not have the right to control. He will show us that balance and He will give us peace in the process.
I think of it as letting go of my children’s hands and holding onto the One who is teaching me to walk through this new stage of my own maturity. Try it, it’s worth the risk.
Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose passion is empowering women and girls to BE and LET BE. Her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach, as well as her personal experiences with abandonment and grief make her message relatable to anyone dealing with rejection, betrayal or loss.
Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available as an audiobook. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com