Family · Life

Anticipation and Preparation: To be or not to be, a helicopter parent!

Last night neither my firebrand teen nor I could sleep. She was hyper excited, the biggest Inter School Competition was here and she had to be in school at 6 am to catch the bus. I was hyper anxious not to oversleep for she had to be in school by 6 am to catch the bus.

Anyway, two alarms later, a hurried breakfast, plenty of “Where are you? Hurry up! I’m almost there” phone calls and texts between the buddies, panic stricken dash on the scooter (nothing tackles the shortcut alleys like a two wheeler), we were at the school gates at 6 am to catch the bus.


That’s where Ms Fiery Teen bid me goodbye.

“I’m ok mom. No need to see me sit in the bus. Yeah, I’ll hello everyone on your behalf. Wish me luck. Cheerios!”

With that she disappeared into a crowd of children who looked remarkably same from a distance. There was me and another anxious couple parked at the kerb. They, I assume, were hopefully trying to catch a glimpse of their kid or maybe the accompanying teacher. I switched on the ignition, fired my scooter and took off.

She had the phone, the teachers accompanying were my colleagues (yeah! Same campus, different wings but I swear I haven’t mentioned a word to them about Daughter Dear) and the school where the competition is taking place has a friend who promised to look out for her. Also I did not intend to be a helicopter although now that I’m writing this down, maybe I’m hovering discreetly at a distance.

I really need to get a life, catch up on my chores, TV viewing, meditation, blogging and my school work.

Barely do I reach home when the universe decides to surprise me.

My school declares a holiday for the staff after sending multiple reminders the previous night for reporting on Saturday at 8.30 am. Then I also get an invitation to go to the same Inter School event in a chauffeured car in the company of another great friend I had been meaning to meet. I’d say, the universe was definitely egging me on.

Believe me, every fibre in my body urged me to go. The only thing holding me back was probably facing Ms Fiery’s exasperation on seeing mom who was safely tucked at home appear and my own thoughts of ‘succumbing to the perils of helicopter parenting’.

There I said it!

A helicopter parent (also called a cosseting parent or simply a cosseter)[1] is a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they “hover overhead”, overseeing every aspect of their child’s life constantly. ( Wikipedia)

So I brewed a cup of hot coffee, steeled myself for a ‘have fun, keep me posted’ text to all parties and went offline. My day stretched, full of possibilities and I could sleep too. Nothing like the moment to tackle the laundry pile, perfect way to destress and get clean sheets.

Hmm… now that I think, I am actually looking forward to next year when she’ll be finally off to college. The nest then will be truly empty. Sonny leaving for college last year hadn’t been too bad. Ms Fiery tells me because I took her on as a pet project.


To tell you the truth, it was a relief to all, including Sonny to finally button down what he wanted to do professionally and get a place in the college he had short listed. Sad to say but in India, decision regarding how you want to go about earning your bread has to be made pronto or you miss the bus.

Seriously, what’s with this fear of missing the bus with us.

Anyway, Ms Fiery marches to her own drumbeat and she is damn sure about what she doesn’t want to do.

So yeah, preparing myself to let go and rather looking forward to what she does do.

Meanwhile, learning to clench harder when advice is rejected in favour of walking down paths that angels fear to tread, resisting the urge to play Sherlock, bottling my irritation, not thinking of the worst case survival scenarios and doing my best not to throw the ‘I told you so’.

So there, although I’ve been told the empty nest syndrome is brutal, the anticipation is strong. I intend to go through my bucket list of travel and adventure with ruthless efficiency and for once not let school calendar disrupt my plans.

Meanwhile I’m still feeling terrible about not going (the online chatter – irresistible, I’ve discovered, says everyone I know is there…aargh!) but the silver lining is that laundry goals for the week have been achieved and maybe this August post will be published soon enough.

By the way, this is a fabulous time to be alive for it is technology to the rescue. My friend in that school sent me the live streaming link to the show so my FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is taken care of .

As for Ms Fiery, I happened to text her of the opportunity to travel to her for the event, she texted back, “Please come Ma. Don’t think, just come.”

My baby is the best!

The idea was sparked by a fantastic travel writer and photographer’s blog series Anticipation and Preparation. Here’s to incredible travel goals although in case of this post, empty nests are more of an inevitable kind that come with their set of anticipation and preparation.


15 thoughts on “Anticipation and Preparation: To be or not to be, a helicopter parent!

  1. I felt I was reading my story only. The same apprehensions, the same ‘I can manage’ retorts and then the empty nest. You keep their rooms intact for those couple of days and store all the memories, holding on to them and surprisingly they never fade away in spite of your fear of grappling with Alzheimer’s. Letting go is the only way but it doesn’t mean giving them up! So, keep up with your parenting, if not on a helicopter then on a two wheeler and enjoy seeing them taking the world head-on!

    Thoroughly enjoyed going through your day in which universe played a pivotal part:) 

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your reassuring words Manjari. The idea of scooter mom sound swell, we need to spread the word. The helicopter and tiger moms could use a break.
      Also now I wish I had listened to what the universe was trying to tell me. It’ll be aye aye ma’am all the way!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve adopted the mantra of ‘publish or perish’ with a gusto but it’s the ‘polish’ that slows me down. Monthly goals are intact, till now and fellow bloggers like you who drop by and leave a positive comment go a long way it raising my spirits. Thank you Rachael for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The idea of the helicopter parent is one I’ve often thought about. My three children are all out of the house now, but one is always in danger of boomeranging back, which gets really old now that he’s 25! When I was raising them, I always had a hands-off approach, standing back and letting them make their own decisions and mistakes. I don’t think it’s in my character to do the helicopter thing, and I always got annoyed by those mothers who did that. I now often wonder if I should have been more hands-on. Who knows if it would have made a difference. This is an interesting read, Sheetal. Thanks for linking to my anticipation & preparation post. It definitely is a time to anticipate – the journey to the empty nest. I’ll link it to my next A & P post on 9/28. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your engaging comments, it was food for thought and I’m also happy to be linked to your fine series.
      I suppose parenting never gets easy and what works for one may not work for the other. I’m trying for the middle path with my second one but more often than not, I throw my arms in despair. That’s a young adult for you- unpredictable and mercurial but in the end may surprise us all, in a good way.😊


  3. Aha! I see why you publish once in a month. Parental concerns artistically blended with musings!
    Was this for the milestone? The holiday in saturday left me grumpy since I had the debate but now things are looking up and its been postponed to Wednesday.

    Liked by 1 person

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