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Leave him.

I see you across the pool from me, momma. Here I sit watching my boys jump off diving boards, swim like fish in the deep end, and run up and down the stairs to those huge water slides over and over again. And there you are. I see you in the shallow end desperately trying to coax your little one to go with the trained lifeguard. You know he needs to learn to swim, but he’s screaming and kicking while desperately holding onto your neck. I see you handing him toys trying to convince him. And I see you. Just you.

You look defeated. Exhausted. But breathtakingly beautiful.

From a momma of middles to a momma of littles, may I give you one piece of advice?

Leave him.

Yes, you’ll come back. Yes, your heart will feel like it’s being ripped from your chest as you walk away. Yes, you’ll feel like you are abandoning him.

But here’s the thing, momma . . . he’s OK.

Yes, that lifeguard will help him calm down. Yes, he will likely stop crying the minute he can’t see you anymore. And yes, he will get used to it. He will know you’ll come back for him and be oh-so happy to see him. He will run to you after his lesson so very proud of what he did. He won’t be able to contain his excitement and he will want to show you his new skills over and over again.

And before you know it, you’ll be sitting by the deep end watching him swim with his friends. You’ll remember the day he screamed when he didn’t want to leave you for his swim lessons.

And every now and then, he will tell you to watch him jump off the diving board, climb the pool rock wall, go down the fastest slide, and jump in with him.

You’ll remember the little boy, cherish the young man he is now, and look forward to watching him become the strong, independent, and capable man he will be.

You’ve got this momma. Leave him.

Originally published on the author’s page 

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Bailey Koch

Bailey Koch is an advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves in every way. Married to her hottie hubby, whom has survived 5+ suicide attempts, and mom to two teenage boys, the oldest with High Functioning Autism and youngest with Epilepsy, Bailey is passionate about mental health and parenting through the messy realities. Additionally, Bailey is a Doctor of Special Education and works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney preparing future special educators to be advocates for the learning of all. Bailey and her husband, Jeremy, have written and published two books. "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is written for families, at a child's level, to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression. Follow their journey, the triumphs and the challenges, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anchoringhopeformentalhealth and Instagram at @anchoringhopeformentalhealth.

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