I read somewhere that a mom can pick out her newborn’s smell from a hundred other newborns. That’s impressive. But you know what would reeeealllly impress me?? Take that same newborn, fast forward about sixteen years, and then ask that child to pick out her mom’s blog. You know, like a blind taste test. No photos or telltale monikers, just a group of blogs. All your kid has to do is find YOU in the lineup.
I’m pretty sure mine wouldn’t be able to. They’d probably come across the post where I said I’m “raising my daughter to shine” and say “Oh! Oh! I want THAT mom!“And then they’ll take off their blindfolds and look in disbelief as I stand in front of them like a disgraced Pepsi can.
I wish parenting were as easy as blogging about parenting.
It’s About Perspective
One of the reasons I love showing up here every morning is that no one knows the love of a mother better than other mothers. And on days that Katie thinks I am a grinch because I won’t let her eat her weight in raisins, you guys know I made that call because I love her. It’s nice to be affirmed that way.
But sadly, that is not the test. We know we love our kids, but do they?
Children do not experience our intentions, no matter how heartfelt. They experience what we manifest in tone and behavior. We cannot assume that children will know what our priorities are: we must live our priorities.
If it were just about me making “hard” choices “for their good,” I think I could live with them being annoyed with me sometimes. But that’s only half the story.
The truth is, I have given them the things I hold most dear: time, energy & sleep.
Unfortunately, I have learned that it is possible to give all three of those things without giving them what they really want: ME. When I am tired (which right now I really am. I fantasize about the day when our family will sleep in past 5am) it is so much easier to be on automatic and “do stuff” rather than be present with my little ones.
Right now their needs are so great it’s tempting to think we are connecting all the time. Mama feeds. Mama soothes. Mama sews JC Penny the bear (not the duck) back together. But slowly things are changing. I’m needed less. My involvement is optional, but Katie still wants me. If I keep meeting her heart’s desire (as I have been) with a glazed expression and a “I just need to do one more thing before we play” how long will it be before she stops asking . . . and caring?
I’m determined not to find out.