Let Them Be Loved

When I became a mother, there was a whole new side to myself that I never knew existed. The animalistic, violent, mother-bear-esque strain of my personality RAGED after my first child was born. I can remember my husband coming home after a long night at the hospital, and I was nursing our three week old in her nursery. He walked in the door, and immediately tensed. “What are you up to?” he said. “I figured out three different ways to kill someone if they came in here and tried to take SJ while I was feeding her” I replied. After I described, in graphic detail, just what I would do to a possible intruder (gouging an eye out, braining them with a lamp, hurling them out the window), my husband quickly got me tucked into bed thinking that sleep would help me to not be quite so manic. 

I’m still crazy for my kids. 

With the surge of missing children ads, tips on avoiding predators, how to talk to your children about tricky people and all that other info that comes through my news feed, it is a wonder that I haven’t totally lost my mind and started geotracking them. I have huge anxiety when taking them in public by myself because what if someone tried to grab one of them? I’m not an octopus. They outnumber my hands times two now. And in this ever-present desire to keep these most precious treasures safe, I tend to poo-poo all over their fun. I worry about others driving them and taking care of them. I worry that their snacks might upset their tummies or that they won’t like the food served to them. I worry that they will be rude and rowdy.

I worry. 

Sometimes I hold onto my kids to their detriment. I have to remember there are others who love them, and that I should share my kids with them. Our recent family trip to Arkansas was not one I was looking forward to. I didn’t think our kids were ready for 6 hours in the car, and I tend to fear the unknown. Lucky for me, I am married to the man who is Mr. Spontaneity and will just do the damn thing with little regard for consequences. The knowledge that the majority of the trip was going to be spent with family we haven’t seen in two years was my silver lining and kept me motivated to make this work.

The trip was a smashing success.

I overcame my fear of traveling with the kids, and it was such a wonderful experience. The kids rocked the car ride there and back. We were prepared with new-to-them movies and snacks. My travel potty worked great, and they even took a tiny 30 minute nap!

Upon arrival, my kids were showered with attention as the adult-child ratio was like 4:1. They got to spend time with people who have similar personality traits, that I didn’t even realize were there! They were loved on and had THE. BEST. TIME.

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There were a few times that my husband found me, and we put our arms around each other and heaved a big ol’ sigh of relief. In letting go and allowing our children to be loved by others, we were loosed of the burden of constant care that we have been under for six years. We got to sit back, drink a beer, and enjoy the company of our family, without worrying about the kids. Our kids enjoyed being the only great-grandchildren and getting basically all the attention available. It was beautiful to see.

Since returning home, I have made a conscious effort to let go and let my children be loved by others. They have gotten some one-on-one time with grandparents and aunts. They have ridden in cars driven by someone other than myself or my husband. I have let other people make choices about what they will eat for dinner while on an outing.

And you know what? The kids say this has been their best summer ever. 

Sarah Keating
Sarah is a 30-something mom of four children under six and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She returned to Acadiana two years ago following her husband’s completion of medical school and residency in Shreveport. After the move, Sarah switched gears from full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist and working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to her brood. Her current hobbies include “speech-therapizing” her children, re-reading the Outlander series, catching up on her Netflix queue after the kids go to bed, completing XHIT videos at naptime, and taking her medication every morning. She loves and respects the sacredness of motherhood, but sometimes you just have to let go and laugh it out. Motherhood has been the most humbling, and empowering journey she has experienced.


  1. Great advice! Our younger generation of children needs to get the opportunity to grow without being constantly watched over and ta-ta’d.


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