Don't Judge Me, I'm a Helicopter Mom
I keep a pack of Wet Ones in my back pocket and wipe my toddler’s hands immediately after playing at the park. I hover with my arms outstretched, ready to catch him as he swings, slides and climbs. As he follows his little friends from the tunnel to the sea-saw, I’m always just a few steps behind… ready to save him from falls, fights or any misfortune that could befall him at the playground. I’m what some people refer to as a “Helicopter Mom.”
I see the other Moms at the park, sitting on the benches relaxing while their kids play. They casually chat with other parents or bury their faces in their smart phones, enjoying a few minutes of peace while their kids burn off some energy before nap time. I see them giving me side eye, stink eye and rolled eyes. I see them snickering to their buddies about the “crazy” over there buzzing around her kid like a fly on a barbequed drumstick. The truth is I wish I could be like them. I wish I could relax at the park and chat and check Facebook without worrying. How I wish I could barely look up as my kid runs from one part of the playground to the other. But I’m a “helicopter mom” and it’s not easy.
But I promise you, I don’t hover without reason. So before you judge this crazy mama for “helicoptering” you should know a few things:
My son was barely 2.5 lbs when he was born premature .
For the first week of his life, I could only touch him through the small window of an incubator, at specially designated times.
His tiny body, connected to a host of wires and tubes fit in the palm of my husband’s hand.
He spent 81 days in intensive care, with 79 of those days on oxygen support.
He has turned blue in my arms and had to be stimulated to be revived.
I know way more medical terms than I should.
I have handed him over screaming and crying to a nurse at the door of an OR, twice.
He has persevered through 3 surgeries, 2 of which were open heart.
The receptionist at the pediatrician’s office knows my voice.
A common cold sometimes results in a hospital visit.
I have faced my child’s mortality.
So yes, I’m a “helicopter mom” and maybe I’m just a little bit “crazy overprotective.” But wouldn’t you be?
I know I should give him space to fall and get up and work out problems on his own. I know that “coddling” him won’t help him learn to conquer the cold, hard world as he needs to. I know I need to slowly let go and let him go forth into the world, brave and bold with confidence. I know he can do it too. I have personally witnessed his superpowers. I have seen him overcome obstacles that most people don’t ever face in their lifetime.
But give me some time to hold him close. Give me some time to keep him safe. Let me be his rescue helicopter, hovering for a little bit longer…for as long as he wants me to. Someday way too soon, he will decide all by himself that he’s ready to do it on his own and I’ll have no choice but to let him go.
© Nicola Rios Nogales and ispeakmom.com, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicola Rios Nogales and ispeakmom.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.