Friday, May 8

knowing love

Last night, the Wildflower woke from her 2nd nap a little early, so I gathered her up and she continued sleeping in my arms. DIY Dad and I were sneaking in a film so I brought her to the sofa with us. She slept and with a little squirming, found herself snuggled inbetween us.

For whatever reason, perhaps as we both looked down on her lovingly, this moment made me think of how loved she was.

It made me think of all that us mindful mamas try to do for our babies. All the guilt, anxiety, doubts, and even fears, that we put ourselves through.

I gave up perfectionism a long time ago, and I am thankful that I didn't bring it into my mothering. However, my childhood, while by no means abusive, left me with a lot of issues to sort through. But it all breaks down to the fundamental lack of love.

I rarely felt loved. I was never sure if I had my father's love. I believed that I had to earn love. It was conditional. I was burdened with the knowledge that my parent's unhappy marriage was my fault - they married because of me. I was made to pay for this uhappiness in a myraid of tiny ways.

I have worked through this pain.

Yet it's impact has never been lost. While I didn't strive for perfection, I was filled with anxiety that somehow I will emotionally scar my baby. If I didn't hold her enough, meet her needs quickly enough, smile at her enough, touch her enough, when the breastfeeding didn't work, and on and on.

If you've been reading my blog long enough, you know that I've worked through a lot of this. How I've come to accept what I cannot, and ought not to, control.



And it was in this sweet moment last night, that what was the simplicity of my gift to my baby came to me.

I'm going to mess up. I'm going to have days of less patience. I'm going to have days I just don't want to play as much or read that book for the gazillionth time, or be this fabulously crafty, playful, or fun mama.

Yet this is life, raggedy and messy and troublesome. And these things give us coping skills and challenges to work through, and that is the human journey.

Overall I am a mindful mama. A kind, patient, nurturing mama. That is the expression of my love for her.

But most importantly, my gift to her is the greatest gift, I think. The one that is given without effort. And that is, that she will know that she is loved. And this will ground her and fill her and raise her as she navigates the crooked paths of life.

She will be certain that she is loved.



pic: www.picoodle.com

15 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post.

    "And this will ground her and fill her and raise her as she navigates the crooked paths of life."

    Everything else stems from the knowledge that one is loved. The self-esteem, the self-worth, self-confidence, the self- everything.

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  2. That a child knows she is loved. She feels loved. You've cut to the heart of the matter. Perfectionism can create monsters (I've known so many wounded narcissists who have 'perfect' mothers).

    This is a beautiful, tender post (I don't mean that to sound sappy). It's really moving. Your love as a mother is palpable here.

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  3. How lovely that you would write about this. It is as if you touched exactly on all of my concerns and moments of questioning. Thank you so much for such thoughtful words. :)

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  4. Such a thoughtful and lovely post. I am now processing DS's first 2 years (with some difficulty)...did he feel loved when I was completely shattered by PPD? Is that why he was so miserable? Because though I went through every motion to try to care for him in a loving way, I couldn't get in touch with the E-motion? The past is hard to think about. But the present is overflowing with love and adoration. I hope it can help make up for it.

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  5. I think the perfection - or striving for it - can be so dipilitating to parents. We want so much to be mindful and be all our babies need. It's very difficult to realize or remember that we're still human too.

    I know with an older one, it's become much easier. He even reminds me on occasion that "no one's perfect". Living more authentically - "this is what we strive for, but that will happen" - I think is more beneficial to our kids than diluding them that life or those we share it with will always be perfect.

    ~Tara

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  6. very touching and inspiring~ i can relate to this one so much. i'm so glad you had that moment last night :)

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  7. Very beautiful and touching post, saturated with the love for your daughter. Not bringing perfectionism into motherhood is huge! :)

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  8. I was told by a therapist that a perfect parent is very, very damaging to a child. Children need to see the adults in their life mess up, admit it, and try to make it right.

    Absolutely beautiful post. I'm sure that my children will have their own issues to work through thanks to me, but they will be very different and much less damaging than the issues that I have been working through from my childhood.

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  9. Beautiful thoughts and poignant words. I feel this way sometimes, too -- like I'm afraid my baggage will scar my little one. But then I realize that he knows he's love. I can see it in his eyes when he looks at me. I'm sure you see the same in your little one's eyes, too. She knows she has a loving, wonderful mama, and we all know it, too.

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  10. That's so beautiful. When I was constantly worried about making mistakes with my son, fearful that I might ruin him somehow, my husband said these very wise words, "It's more about the relationship you have with your child than anything else." He's so right. I hope that the 99% of the time that I am kind and patient and accepting will outweigh the occasional fit that I have.

    I am trying to give up perfectionism. Reading about the experiences of other mindful mamas helps me let go a little bit at a time. I think the perfectionism stems from "conditional love." Always trying to gain your parents approval is a big task, one that never seems completed. I wish all parents understood that what they might think is discipline is actually conditional love in the minds of their children.

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  11. I just love those moments when the love just sweeps you away. How moving this post is, to reflect on what that experience is like for the child. Seeing my own mother loving her grandchild has also been a gift as it has enabled me to see how I too was loved, imperfectly, yes, but loved.

    Thanks, Mon, for another thoughtful post.

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  12. So beautiful, so true.

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  13. A gorgeous post, so soothing to read. I can't say any more than what has already been said. I just hope I can give this gift to my little one.

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  14. The photo!! SOOO goregous!! SO gorgeous.

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  15. Such an incredible photo. Those hands, those parted sleeping raspberry lips, the gorgeous face in soft-focus. And your words, how they resonate.

    Beautiful.

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