Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Advice for a Hovering Mom?!

Last week Connor and Brady attended a day camp at The Little Gym. This place is an outgrowth of the Gymboree corporation as best I can tell. Brady attends weekly classes there so we thought it would be a great time to try it out. The Little Gym is fun, well-equipped, and active! A terrific place to get the 2-year-old wiggles out. I was excited for Connor to play, somersault, and balance beam her mornings away. The program was from 9-noon --- 3 hours, 2 days. And it was a drive up and drop 'em off type camp...a first for us.Connor has never shown an ounce of separation anxiety. She usually plants a kiss on me, tells me to leave and off she goes. But this was a little different. It was total French instruction, a gym full of French children and a brand new environment. Her teachers reported that Connor participated and had a lot of fun, and indeed I left without her getting upset on both days. But they also said she was sad and 'missing her mommy' during any down time between station rotations.
To tell the truth I don't blame her, I was equally as anxious during the time we were apart. It was disconcerting they didn't take my phone number, spoke scant English, and only asked her name and then I was to leave. The first day I sat in my car the entire time reading - I just couldn't leave the parking lot. The Little Gym was clearly a classy place - the level of vigilance is just different than in the USA. Something inside of me sang when I got her back in my arms each day. Connor proudly showed me her new skills, including forward rolls, and she is still talking about The Little Gym. It was a rewarding experience. I am glad we did it. And we need to have more big-girl experiences like this. Both of us.
So, I admit it - I am a hovering, overprotective mom. It is the hardest thing in the world for me to step back and let Connor go. I never thought I would be that way. I hoped I would be a super cool, laid back mom who could let go and roll with the punches more often than not. I used to be that way when I was a working mom. But being with Connor nonstop has exacerbated my hovering. As has living in a place where the native language is not English. I feel that much more awash with love for my daughter and protective of her environment. Perhaps I will relent a little when I return to work back in the USA. In the meantime, I am open to advice!

1 comment:

vanessa said...

I’ve read your story, and I recognized myself as a hovering mom as well. Though, my daughter has been several times at the Little Gym, and it helped me a lot in the separation with my daughter. They take so good care of the children, that I was happy to leave her at this place, rather than any other. I found they were very professional in their approach with the children, and at the end of each day, they could tell me exactly what my daughter did, what I really appreciated. So, Ithink you have found the right place to work on the very difficult separation between mother and daughter. Keep on!