This time a year ago, I would’ve never even been open to a boarding school. And now I have a totally different perspective.
A bit of background
I had my daughter in my first marriage. She was very much planned and a much wanted gift. Due to ‘irreconcilable differences’ though, our marriage ended within a year. A very volatile divorce, malicious intents and bitterness. That being said, the best to come of our marriage was our daughter.
Since the age of 1, it was just the two of us against the world . We were inseparable. My friends used to call her my handbag because I’d take her everywhere. Black families are big on helping raise your child. My mother offered to raise her, and I it was a huge NO. She was mine and I was going to protect her and make her feel loved. It was my role to shield her from this divorce. I wanted to be her mom and dad, her bestie, her confidant. Though she had her own room, we shared a bed for 4 years. Our bond is unbreakable.
Prior to meeting my husband I prayed for a man who would put my daughter first. When he proposed, he asked for her permission first. That is just how intense our relationship is. She was and is my first love, the one who made me a mother.
Over the years we became even closer because instead of getting a sister she prayed for, she got a brother. We are the girls of the house. It makes perfect sense that we are this tight. So I was taken aback when she approached me and asked me if she can try boarding school. What was I missing?
‘I’m worried I’d never be able to cope in Varsity, that I’d have separation anxiety because you are my life’. How did she grow up this fast? I took a week to reflect on it. Conclusion: ‘Hi I’m MrsX and I a helicopter mom’
The truth is, I have definitely gone overboard. It’s my duty to keep her safe and loved . Should children fail? Yes. Should they experience rejection? Absolutely. Are we as parent meant to shield them from experiencing all that and life coping skills? Nope.
I have to learn to let her go into the world. My helicoptering has been protecting me more than her. I’ve been scared to lose her because she has always been my saving grace. She used to wipe my tears during my divorce and she knows me so much. I owe this to her and myself. Letting her make friends, build relationships, become independent and resolve her own conflicts. In my heart I know our bond we’ll be stronger (Our phone bill will be crazy, but worth it, lol). I believe I taught her well and she already is an exceptional young lady.
As fate has it, she got accepted at the only boarding school we applied to, one of the best in South Africa. I’m absolutely proud of the person she’s becoming.