February 28, 2014

There was a mother who couldn't let go & Weekend links

There was a mother who couldn't let go...
of her control that is. 

And I'm talking about myself. 

I'm an overprotective mom (just so you know, I'm not proud of it) and I was afraid of letting go of my boys. I always felt that I need to be "protecting" them. 

I am not an anxious person. But I have to admit, motherhood makes me anxious. I still remember the first time I held my older son in my arms. I promised myself to protect him from anything in the world.

Even though I've learned to loosen my grip on my boys over the past five years, I still have a lot of growing up to do as a mother. Yesterday was a turning point for me, and I wanted to share the experience with you. 

I was feeling quite nervous yesterday. Steve and I had a meeting with our 5-year-old's kindergarten teacher to discuss if he would be ready for first grade next year. My son is a November baby and he is the youngest in class. We decided to go with whatever his teacher was going to suggest, having him stay in kindergarten for another year or move him up to first grade. His teacher is the best we've ever known, and we completely trusted her judgement. 

            The First Day of Kindergarten (and School Bus!!!) last September.  
He didn't quite know what do to when the door opened.

Why was I anxious, then? Well, here is the thing. The boy believed he was ready for first grade, and he was really excited about it. We told him he might have to stay in kindergarten for another year, but that didn't change his mind. If we decided to hold him back, I didn't want to see his heart break. 

But if we decided to let him go to first grade, I thought that would make me nervous, too. Will he be able to catch up academically as well as socio-emotionally? His classmates do and say things that are more "mature" than he is. 

The meeting went really well. The long story short, my boy will be in first grade next year (gasp!). His teacher doesn't believe holding him back will benefit him in any way. He is academically thriving, and the social aspect of his development will catch up when he is ready. He will be one of the youngest in his class (insert me crying here).

It is time for me to let go of my control as a mom and let the boy blossom into the person he is meant to be. I want to give him enough room to grow.

I need to believe in my son that he is resilient enough to thrive through challenges. I also need to trust God and His plans for us. I'm often scared for him with things he is not even scared of. You know what though? He continuously amazes me with what he can do only if we let him.

Another important thing I learned yesterday: Having a teacher who truly cares for your child really makes a difference. I'm impressed how much attention his teacher gives to my son and all the other children in the classroom. She knows her children so well and approaches each child differently depending upon his or her needs. I am so grateful for her, and all the wonderful teachers around the world!

Moving on...
* * *
I am still working on styling my kitchen walls. It's not quite "me" yet. I'll keep tweaking this corner until it feels right. I just wanted to share the mid process with you.

The kitchen corner before...

and after... 

and still continues to change...

* * * 
Before I go, I wanted to share with you a few inspiring blog posts I came across this week.
I know. You're welcome. 

Arrows :: A Secret Weapon In Decorating by The Nester

How to Accessorize a Console: Step by Step by Lauren Liess

A Letter from a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother, and vise versa by Dr. Carolyn Ee (Every mother needs to read this!)

Have a lovely weekend!


  1. Congratulations to your son! As always I so appreciate your writing on motherhood. Your ability to think of the long term effects of actions in the everyday is very impressive.
    As for the importance of a great teacher...oh I could go on and on but I don't want to hijack your blog with my own essay. Haha suffice to say I am eternally grateful for my teachers; especially my German teacher. I still think of her often as she gave me the best advice I have ever received: "you're never going to fit in, so you might as well enjoy standing out". Seems like a discouraging thing to say to a kid but it was the truth and truly a revelation that was so powerful.
    (Can you believe this was the short version of my original comment?)
    Your new artwork looks great! If you're missing the plates you could always do saucers flanking either side of the paintings.

    1. Thanks, Stephen! My son's really excited he's officially going to first grade next year. I think his excitement is a good sign, and I'm so glad we decided to go with the flow. I'm so grateful your German teacher guided you when you needed it. It's amazing how a great teacher can change a child's life. And using saucers is a great idea - I'm going to give it a try and see if I like it :)

  2. Dear Yuko, The picture of your son is too adorable! I just want to give him an enormous hug :)

    I empathize with your control issues in regards to your children. I think it just comes with the territory, you are raising another human being, and for those of us who take that seriously I believe do parenting well :) I wish I could keep my daughter in a protective bubble! You sound like a caring mother full of love for her children.

    In regards to your son's age and considering holding him back in kindergarten, have you read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell? According to Gladwell, there are a slew of parents that postpone having their children enter kindergarten until they are older so that they appear to have an edge developmentally. Evidently, when teachers see the "advanced" learning in these children they are seen as academically advanced - even though it is just that the child is a year older than his peers in the same grade level/class. This advantage seems to stay with the student all through their school years making them more inclined to receiving more attention from teachers and receiving more academic awards/accolades. It all seems a bit sly and unfair to other children. Anyway, it is an interesting book.

    1. Oh I wish I could keep my boys in a protective bubble too! But it's time for me to pop the bubble and let them breathe :) Thank you for recommending the book. I will definitely take a look at it.

  3. Yuko, I think it is simply instinctive to want to protect our children and it is easy to allow it to become over protective so as mothers we have to be careful about the choices we make. My son was the youngest (Nov bday) all through school and never suffered as a result of it. In fact, his best friends were the eldest in his class and the two eldest ended up less well socially and academically. I really think too much emphasis is placed on birth date. How your child fares through school has much more to do with personality than age. Also, there have been studies that have shown it is beneficial to be with older kids and that the older kids are the ones who lose out because they aren't challenged.

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Gam. You are right. Each child is different and we parents need to make a decision that's best for the child. I believe sending my son to first grade is his best interest, considering how much he has grown in the past several months of going to kindergarten. As parents, we want to give our children enough challenges so that we can help them maximize their developmental growth. Thank you for sharing the article - I will go take a look at it now. :)

  4. You have experienced a very significant revelation; the challenge will be holding on to it when the desire comes to exercise control again so that oh you feel better about whatever circumstance is presenting itself.

    Sounds like you understand your son. Keep encouraging him to be true to who he is. Mine is the oldest in his class, and yet his temperament dictated that he would never be the most gregarious or the most involved, it's just not consistent with his nature. And, he has stayed true to his nature all through school and into college.

    I like the change in the kitchen. I think the gold frames tie the area together well! I'd move the alabaster vase into this area for the tulips. Thoughts? Btw, I'll get back to your email soon! Thanks!

    1. Just like I am trying to uncover the shape of my soul, I want my boys to do the same. I want them to be true to themselves and feel/find their ways. If I ever feel tempted to control them/circumstance again, I will email you for help ;-) I will try the alabaster vase and see that works better.

  5. I love the pop of orange in the art, and the tulips in the blue and white pitcher looks so cheery!


    1. Thanks Eddie! Can't wait to bring more colors in the house with freshly cut flowers from the garden. Is spring here yet??

  6. Letting go is hard! Praying for your little man today, mama.

    1. It sure is hard! Thank you so much for your prayer :) oxox


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