We had a bit of a problem on Monday morning. It was the first day that they were all back to school and my first day back to work (face-to-face rather than at home via zoom).
Two of the children are in primary school so I had to drop them off on the way to work. My husband was home as he needed to stay in to ensure that our two older sons got on the school bus that comes to our home as they have special needs. And our daughter was catching the public bus for the first time to secondary school, where she started a couple of days earlier.
We had it all mapped out. We had it all planned. We were sorted.
Our daughter was meant to be at school at 8:15am, but messaged us to say that she was on the bus and was still not at school. After a few messages to and fro, we discovered that she was miles away and on the wrong bus. I had to leave to get the younger ones to school and then go to work, my husband had to stay home to get the older ones on their bus. And she was miles away from where she should have been and getting distressed about being late for school and not knowing how to get there.
I’ll admit that there was a slight panic – all from me. But with a bit of juggling, we managed to get everyone to school (my husband had to do the rescue mission while I stayed to get the others on their bus) and me to work (slightly later for work than I wanted to be but it was ok).
My instant reaction was to take her to school every day (even though I am not sure how I would have done it logistically). Why? Because I hate the unknown happening and I want to stay in control. But I also knew that I had to let that go for my sake and hers.
So, the next day, she went again and this time, went to the right stop and caught the right bus – huge relief all around.
If I had insisted that I took control of the situation, she wouldn’t have increased her independence and her confidence in herself would have been knocked.
Letting go is something that I’ve been working on and I have found that, ironically, the more I try to control things, the more stressed and anxious I feel in trying to control things that were ultimately out of my control.
For example, even if I had driven her in each day, there could have been a traffic accident, so she would have been late anyway. The car may have not started or broken down. There may have been a problem at home with one of the other children (or their schools or their bus) that meant I couldn’t take her in on time.
So not matter how much I try to control the situation, there is always going to be unforeseen events, that would increase my anxiety and stress levels.
Letting go of control and allowing her to go by herself was the right thing to do for everyone.
No matter how old your child is, you have to let go of controlling situations and go with the flow. Both you and your child will benefit.