Spoiler Alert: Learning about mothers love is one of our earliest lessons in life. As we all know, a mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. When we are connected with our children, and we provide what they need in the way that they need it, a mother’s love transforms the way that child grows up and relates to the world and the people in it. But we need to dig deep within ourselves to make sure that our children feel truly loved.
I worry that my boys deserve more than my best. Even my best means that sometimes I loose my temper. Sometimes I yell. Or I don’t listen. Sometimes I ramble. I definitely ramble a lot. And sometimes I nag.
I wonder if my mother ever worried that her best wasn’t enough? Because it didn’t always feel like it was.
My mother wanted desperately to be a mother. At age thirty-seven, my parents adopted me. My mother always told me that she owed me a special duty because they had chosen to adopt me. (I’m sure she meant no offense to birth mothers – obviously, they also choose and really want their children!)
She took her duty very seriously. Maybe this was the crux of my not getting what I needed from her. Owe. Duty. Serious. Where’s the joy in all of that? She was always dutiful – both as a mother and a wife. When she saw that our public school wasn’t a good fit, she scrimped and saved and moved me to a different school. She signed me up for gymnastics, ballet, horseback riding, piano lessons, everything and anything that was available because, in her mind, that’s what good mothers do.
Now that I’m a mother and I’ve had a chance to process so much more about my own upbringing – I’ve figured out the one thing about motherhood that nobody tells you.
What About A Mother’s Love Could Possibly Not Be Enough?
My mother was a very private person. Her life was painful – with abuse as a child and loss throughout. As a young girl, she cared for her father as he slowly deteriorated and ultimately past away from cancer. Her sister died far too young, leaving behind four young children. She didn’t share herself easily, it was just too painful.
But I wanted her; I wanted to know her – warts and all. Even if it wasn’t all pretty – which it wasn’t. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I knew her very well.
Maybe she felt that, emotionally, she had nothing left to give?
Or that she didn’t want her sweet baby touched by all that left stains on her?
I can’t ever be certain. But more than any gymnastics, ballet, or horseback riding lessons, I wish she could have shared herself so that I could have known her.
We All Love Our Children In The Best Way That We Know How
Just like all of us, she loved me fiercely with the tools that she had. Everyone has a different set of tools available to them. She did not come from a family where she felt safe and loved.
Based on her childhood, parents who were dutiful, serious, and had a sense of obligation to give her a good life must have been the pinnacle of parenting.
That was what she missed out on. And so it became her vision of the ultimate parent.
She gifted me with all that she missed. For me, she became her own vision of the ultimate parent.
The truth is that virtually all of us were wounded as children, and if we don’t heal those wounds, they prevent us from parenting our children optimally. If there’s an area where you were scarred as a child, you can count on that area causing you grief as a parent — and wounding your child.Healing Yourself So You Can Be a More Peaceful Parent
More About Motherhood
Motherhood is one of our most cherished gifts in life. Check out more about motherhood, mothers love, and nourishing your heart so that you can bring all of you to your kids!
The Secret About A Mothers Love
So, just as my mother did before me, I try to pass on to my boys what I feel I missed.
I want to give them joy; laughter; spontaneity (although I’m pretty bad at that one); respect for who they are; a commitment to knowing who they are: warts and all; sharing deeply of myself and showing them who I am: including the not so pretty parts.
I want to give them an appreciation for their uniqueness and individuality – different from mine though it may be. And most importantly, I want to give them love that truly flows to them without expectation of anything in return – unconditionally. Unconditional, unwavering presence and love – joyfully expressed and shared. Before anything else.
Ready for the secret of a mothers love?
Each mother’s “vision” of a mother’s perfect love is delivered through her personal pair of tinted glasses. Tinted glasses contain history, experiences, and emotional baggage.
But, as mothers, we strive to pass on to our children, as best we can, our “vision” of the perfect parent. We each parent in a way that delivers what we feel we missed.
Now, you want to know why that misses the mark?
Here’s Why The Secret of Motherhood Misses the Mark
So here’s the thing, the reason that we might sometimes get it wrong.
What I feel I missed may not be what my boys need. It’s what I needed.
They may need something completely different. The secret of motherhood is that we instinctually pass on what we missed.
But, here’s the thing: we need a unique and individual connection with each of our children to discern what they need, not what we needed as children.
So I’m going to try to take of my glasses that are tinted with my upbringing and what I missed. And I’m going to try to be finely tuned in to and connected with what each of my boys uniquely needs of me as a parent. And then I’ll try to deliver the best I can.
We need to deliver ourselves to our children. Even the hard, ugly parts of ourselves that we are not fond of. They need to see us in all our glory and in all our imperfections.
There will always be times that we aren’t AT our best, but we are still DOING our best.
So I might still loose my temper. I’ll still yell from time to time. I’ll still get so engrossed in something else that I won’t listen. And I’m sure I’ll still ramble and nag from time to time.
But as long as we have connected with our children and figured out what they each individually need from us, we’ll go a long way toward being the parents that they need.
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