When you have kids, some days are just plain hard, but the unconditional love that you have for your kids will get you all through… no matter what.
This is the story of a really hard day, and really big love.
As quiet finally descends over our house after a long and difficult day, I take a moment to reconnect with one of my girls.
“I love you mum” she says and I know that she also means she is sorry, and I am sorry too.
There has been too many slammed doors and harsh words today. Today there has been arguments, and rushing and unscheduled hair cutting. Today my girl has been defiant, and frustrated and unthinking.
Today the parent I want to be has gone missing and has left an impatient, angry, and stressed person in her place. I am not proud of my actions today, and neither is my girl. We are both tired and sad and in need of reassurance.
“I love you too” I tell her, “I will always love you.”
“Even if I do something really, really bad?” she asks, looking me in the eye, searching for any signs of a fib or fob off.
“Even if you do something really, really, really bad.” I tell her, returning the stare with a steady gaze.
“Even if I cut my hair again? Even if I say mean things? Even if I hit Morgan?”
I smile at the things she thinks are ‘really really bad’ and reassure her.
“Yes, even then. I will always love you, no matter what you do.”
I mean every word I say, and as crazy scenarios run through my head I realise how big and scary and wonderful that love is.
I may not like that she cut her own hair. I may not enjoy the door slamming or melt downs. I may not like that she lashes out in frustration or that she teases her brother or yells at her father. And I know that she is only eight and that one day, these things I don’t much like could be much bigger, and darker, and even, ‘really really bad’.
Maybe one day she will make a big, adult, mistake. Perhaps she will wreck more than just her hair. Perhaps she will hurt more than just her brother’s feelings. It is a sobering thought, and one I don’t much like contemplating but one thing reassures me…
I may not always like the things she she does, she may frustrate me and even make me angry, but I will always love her.
I must love her.
I have no choice, she is my child.
She is my beautiful, complicated, crazily wonderful, child and no matter what may happen in the future, nothing can ever change that.
I sweep her wonky, ‘self-cut’ fringe out of her eyes and kiss her forehead. She wraps her arms around me and says it again,
“I love you Mum”
I push the scariness of how entirely I love her aside for a moment, I swallow the lump in my throat and I tell her again…
“I will love you forever and ever.
For always and always.
No matter what.”
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Oh SO True
I have tried to make sure that my children know that I love them JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE YOU. I have a perfectionist daughter and I was scared that she would think we would only love her if she was perfect and was achieving. No child needs that pressure.
I love that you remind us that we might not always like their behaviour or the choices our children make, but we always love them. In fact, its becuase we love them that their behaviour and choices cause us so much grief.
I think we also need to remember to love OURSELVES JUST THE WAY WE ARE. We all have terrible, stressful, regrettable days. BUt we are doing and best.
Thankyou for this post.
You are so right. I often give myself a hard time for the mistakes I have made… I forget to look at the big picture and to love myself.
Such a sweet post Kate!
So very true, very very true. Only really understood this now that I have a child of my own.
Oh my gosh, Kate, I totally missed that yesterday. You are so right. I think about this kind of thing more and more, now that the boys are 11 and 14, and we’re progressing into those years in which really scary and really bad things can happen, and I try to remind myself often, that no matter what’s going on, no matter what they’ve done, or what I’m miffed or cranky about, that each day is a gift, and that those boys are the biggest blessing in my life. You words ring true, and just drive that home even more. xo
helen @mostly monsters says
Thanks for sharing this and being totally honest!..as usual!!Nice to know I am not the only one who has days like this ;D
I am sure all parents have days like this…. don’t they??
Oh Kate, you have made me cry yet again! This really hits home with me. When I have those horrible days, when I am not being the mother I would like to be, I too eventually calm down and tell my little girl how much I love her. She is so little and so undeserving of this stupid anger that spews forth, I just hope and pray that she is not too little to understand that I love her to the moon and back, “no matter what”
Clare Kirkpatrick says
Wonderful! So eloquently put :)
:::: I love you to infinity and beyond … forever and ever … no matter what — I am going to always love you. ::::
This is what I try to tell each one each day. Thank you for sharing. This was beautiful as was the story.
Thank you for your beautiful post! My son has just turned two and we have many of those moments, but he doesn’t yet say “I love you,” and most times I still have to remind (nag) him to say sorry. Your post reminds me that just because he doesn’t say it yet doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t. Even though I know my hugs and kisses tell him “I’m sorry” and “I love you”, I should practice the words, too. And maybe someday he’ll pick it up, too.
Anna Kanook says
It’s a beautiful post Kate and it’s always good to have the affirmation that you’re not the only one yelling while you’re thinking “I don’t want to be doing this… I want to be dealing with this calmly and educationally, bestowing life skills and monk like serenity to all…” That love has no boundaries but you, as a person do.
It’s hard to accept that someone you love so much and was literally a part of you, can take you so far away from the person you have worked so hard to become. It’s no wonder that people get defensive and angry, it’s real primal essence stuff, self preservation.
It’s so lucky we have love though isn’t it? I think you need something that powerful to keep the whole thing running otherwise the whole shebang would just grind to a halt.
Wow. So powerful Kate and so true. Thanks for putting into words, exactly how I have been feeling about my eldest lately.