Parent Grief

I once heard the quote, “when a baby is born, it is a continual journey of letting go. The first step is the cutting of the umbilical cord.” My heart broke in that moment as I recognized the truth of those words.

Letting go is the biggest, hardest and yet essential truth of parenting.

Letting go at birth of your baby being in your tummy – to managing their needs without a manual.

Letting go of your ability to stop them crying, even though every part of your nervous system wants them to stop because it means you are good at this.

Letting go of your ability to force them to sleep, even though you know they are so tired.

Letting go of your embarrassment of their aggressive behaviour towards another child in the playground.

Letting go of your ideals about yourself as a parent – and desperately trying to get it right.

Letting go of your child not being what you would prefer them to be, not struggling like you did as a child, not being overly sensitive or sensitive enough.

Letting go of them when they go to daycare or school for the first time.

I could go on….

What does this invite into our rainbow of mixed feelings?

Grief! This hard, sick feeling in our chest.

Grief is a part of life, and inherent to loving. Whenever you love someone – it comes with grief.

In our culture, we don’t do grief well. We tend to hide it behind closed doors, or worse – try to put a lid on it.

Let the rivers run – so they say. Allow yourself to feel it, pass through you, and acknowledge it as it passes, knowing that it will be back soon enough.

I think I am still learning this.

One thing I am certain of is that grief is a reminder that we have loved deeply, and I for one, would not trade that for the safety of not knowing or feeling grief.

As parents – this is the deal you make when you invite a child into your life.

I am still afraid of what will happen to my sons, what pain is up ahead. What grief I will need to endure.

To be there for them requires me to get comfortable with my own feelings of grief and every other feeling I might resist.

It’s worth the pain!

Sending you all the love and support I can, wherever your path takes you.


You will find more wonderful education, support and community in our Transform Parenting Village.

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