I take this as the feeling I will get when I have to watch my child fail at something in order to grow stronger and wiser and be a better person. It's an awful feeling to be able to know what most likely will happen and not be able to change it. Not only that but to witness it and to witness a person you love go through it is an awful awful feeling. It blows. It sucks. You feel helpless in this situation.
Problem is, you have to fight the urge to do anything about it. If you do, you in effect hurt your loved one. You aren't thinking of his/her best interest. No one can solve someone else's problems but they can help by allowing them to use the abilities that God has granted him/her.
Studies show how children learn and retain more through trial and error on their own part not through others. I know this is another one of those captain obvious studies that are rampant but it's really really true.
It's a problem I think most folks have. That's why couples fight. One person wants to vent and the other wants to automatically offer a solution or a fix. That's why parents can hinder the process to full fledge independent human being. The parent wants to protect the child from harm but you can't protect a person from harm always. You need to build their character and their person to be strong and self-reliant so they can protect themselves and eventually display the necessary skills and strengths to help teach others to be self-reliant.
I want to protect my children like all parents do but I want them to be strong, smart and have a strong sense of self and their surroundings. I want them to be independent and not a follower. I want them to be true to themselves and not fall to societal pressures, mass marketing and modern society mandates.
In order to do this, I need to be able to watch sometimes and let them fall. That means Mom has to have that inner struggle with herself and that also means Wife has to have the self retraint to know when to just be quiet and help ride out that storm and be there to help pick up the debris that follows it.