Wednesday, March 16, 2011
A Mother's Love
Yesterday, I read this blog post and I've been pondering it's meaning ever since. Obviously, the post struck a chord, with mothers especially, and readers have had quite a wide range of response.
I don't necessarily identify with the author's point of view, but then again I only have one child. I do, however, think it's unrealistic to expect that a mother will love all of her children exactly the same way 100% of the time. I don't think I love any one person exactly the same way 100% of the time, so how would that be possible from person to person?
Like many mothers of singletons who hope to have more children in the future, I think, how will I feel toward any future child? Will I love them as much as I love my first? Will our bond be similar, or different? I won't really know until we cross that bridge into multiple children, but I do know this: a mother's love is something special.
Everyone says that, but what does it mean really? To me, it means it is bottomless. My love for my son is something that is infinitely renewable and never ending and quite unlike anything I've ever experienced before. I know it's cliché, but things are cliché for a reason; because they're true.
Let's talk about yesterday. It seems that a lot of moms like to pretend that they live in a Perfect world with a Perfect house and Perfect children and a Perfect spouse, living a Perfect Life. I'm not really sure where this perfect place is located, but I'd love to buy a ticket some day because I certainly do not live anywhere near the Land of Perfect.
Yesterday was one of THOSE days. If you're a mom, especially a stay-at-home-mom, you know what I'm referring to.
It was the kind of day where I got out of bed and everything seemed wrong. A ton of little things added up to one bad day. Jack's schedule was off. He didn't want to eat. He didn't want to sleep. And for the first time in his life he fervently refused to nap despite all of my best efforts.
By the end of his two hour "naptime" I was frazzled, overwhelmed, and frustrated. By 4 o'clock I was wondering, shouldn't Daddy be home by now? because I very badly needed a break from it all.
Once he did make it home, I had a few errands to quickly run before making dinner and as I walked out the door I joked to my husband, "I'll be right back, or maybe not... ". I was completely joking about never returning, but it was certainly the kind of day where I could have benefited not from taking 30 minutes to run to the library, the bank, and to fill my gas tank, but taking a couple of hours to curl up someplace alone (alone being the operative word here...) with a good book and a steaming cup of tea.
By the time I returned from my short absence, I was more relaxed, but all evening I still had that nasty undercurrent of stress which left me feeling short-tempered. It was just the kind of thing that wasn't going to cure itself until I was able to dive under the covers, get some sleep, and start fresh the next day.
After we went to bed that night, I stayed up much too late reading, as usual. Just when my eyelids were starting to droop and I felt the urge to shut off my book light and go to sleep, I heard Jack stirring in his crib. I thought, Oh no. Maybe if I just lay here holding my breath, he'll go back to sleep because I am ready for this day to be over! Of course this didn't happen.
My husband usually tends to Jack when he gets up overnight, but because I was still up I felt it was only fair to go ahead and take care of him. So I forced myself out from under the warm blankets and made my way to my son's room. What originally felt like a chore turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Waiting for me in his little footy PJs was my precious little boy. As soon as I walked into his room his face lit up and he gave me a huge grin and a little squeal. My heart melted. And once we got settled into the rocking chair and I snuggled him and rocked him in the soft glow of his nightlight I could feel every ounce of the tension I had been holding onto throughout the day just melt from my body. Replacing it, was a feeling of love so deep I know it will never abate.
At that moment, as I held my boy and smelled his sweet smell and felt the weight of his tiny body, which fit just so up against my chest, I could physically feel that I loved him with every ounce of my being.
And suddenly I understood that THIS is a mother's love. A mother's love is unbreakable. It comes from a connection so deep that it can never be severed. Yes, some days are harder that others, but it's something that will never completely dissipate. Even under frustration and stress it's there, just waiting for you to take the time to relax and reconnect.
Maybe there's a difference between like and love, or maybe love is something that changes and adapts based on a situation. Similar to the way the relationship with your spouse starts off with love that presents as lust and then moves on to something deeper and more comfortable. I think feelings by nature are very hard to quantify and measure and compare, but I do know that a mother's love is something special and life changing and I'm privileged to have the chance to experience it.