My daughter just got her high school acceptance letter, and I have mixed emotions

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

It happened. My eldest daughter got her high school acceptance letter and I'm a mix of emotions.

When did my baby grow up? 

It seems like only yesterday she was learning to walk and now we're buying her a school uniform for high school. 

I feel a mixture of pride, excitement and sadness. It's like an emotional rollercoaster. I know it's not about me, it's about my daughter – it's about her journey towards adulthood and I'm thrilled for what's to come. 

It's just I'm a mum and I'm not sure if I'm ready. I knew this time was coming, but why didn't anyone warn me how overwhelming it would be?

There's so much chatter about becoming a mum and being a mum to little kids, but then the conversations dry up and before you know it you have a teenager who is going to high school.

I'm not sure I'm prepared or ready to be a mum to a high school student. 

She's definitely ready though. That's one thing I'm certain of. My daughter is a capable, determined, kind, thoughtful, hardworking, funny and talented young woman.

Everyday she surpasses my expectations and is on the path to a bright future. I need not worry about her - I just have to stand alongside her in case she ever needs my support or guidance. 

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But no matter how much I know she is ready for the next stage in her life, I'm still nervous. High school is a big step. It's full of huge and often scary learning moments, mostly to do with growing as a person. It can be cruel and heart breaking. It's also full of exciting and new experiences to cherish.

High school is when you experience some of your most hated and most loved moments in your life. Well, it was for me.

However, I'm learning to push aside my own personal experiences and not let them cloud my daughter's journey, but it's hard not to warn her of what's possibly to come. It's hard to stand back and smile, knowing that she'll have some tough life lessons ahead of her and all I can do is be here to listen. 

She is her own person. And the older she gets I have to relinquish control as a hands on parent and transform into a support network.

She's my first child to go to high school and I suspect it will easier by my third child, but maybe not? What do I know? I've never done this part of parenting before. This is all new to me - much like each stage before. Parenting is a steep learning curve. We're all just making it up as we go along.

All I can do now is go with flow, make sure she has everything she needs, be ready for the unexpected and hope with all my heart her high school journey is amazing. 

She's got this, I'm just not sure I have.