Dear Helicopter Mom: I See You, and You’re Awesome

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Those who know me know well that the term “helicopter parent” has never applied to me. I subscribe pretty solidly to the style of parenting I have heard affectionately called “let-them-bleed parenting.” My kid has had permanently scraped-up knees since the day she learned to walk. I let her go up the slide at the playground. I let her fall off of things (within reason.) She’s a pretty rough-and-tumble kid, and I want to encourage that. I want her to be brave, tough, and independent. Being hands-off is how I’ve chosen to meet these goals.

I see you, helicopter mom. I see you as you lug to the park your gigantic diaper bag full of every imaginable item from sunblock to bandaids. I see you following your toddler around the playground, helping them climb and slide and swing. I see you, and I have something to say:

You’re doing great. Truly. You’re a fantastic mom.

In a world where helicopter parents and let-them-bleed parents too often judge each other’s choices (I’ve been guilty of it myself), I want to state for the record that I think you’re crushing this whole mom thing.

When I look at you, I see a mother who loves her child with her entire being. I see a mother who knows that child’s needs, tendencies, struggles, and talents better than anyone in the world. I see a mother who wants for her child the same things I want for mine, and is choosing to pursue them in the way she has deemed best.

We can all agree, I think, that parenting is a gigantic guessing game, and the repercussions of a bad decision can range anywhere from mild inconvenience to unspeakable horror. We’re all just doing our best to navigate the scary world of parenting, while having to admit that we’re making this up as we go along.

So go you for making those decisions. Go you for doing the best you can, and caring for your child better than anyone else ever could. I see you. You’re awesome.


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