I think that’s my biggest question as a mom. Do they know? Do they really know how much I love them? Do they know that I would give my life for them? That I lie awake at night, thinking and worrying about them?
Do they know that every moment of my day is filled with wonder about them? Do they know that I am completely and utterly amazed by them?
Last night I was lying in bed and, as I often do, thinking about my day and my children. I rehashed the good moments, and the bad. I smiled about the laughs we had and the silliness we shared, and I winced at the moments I raised my voice and scolded them. I started to feel sad, and drifting to that place in my head where I wonder every day, “Do they know?”… and then I realized something.
My oldest daughter knows because after she had a tough day, I left the little ones with daddy and took her out for dinner. At Dairy Queen. We had huge Blizzards and a really great, candid conversation. At one point she thanked me for being so easy to talk to, and so open. We hugged each other tight with tears in our eyes because it was such a special moment in our relationship.
My son knows because yesterday I had the rare opportunity to pick him up from school by myself, without his little sister in tow. We took our time wandering to the car, stopping to examine bugs and puddles and chat about our day. When we got home, we didn’t go inside right away, but instead sat on our front step to chat some more and enjoy the sunshine. He kissed me on my cheek and told me I was his favourite mom.
My little girl knows because I spend all day, every day with her. She is my tiny shadow and my little pal. She helps me shop, clean, bake and more. She can’t ever get close enough to me, and no matter what I’m doing when she asks me to hold her, I stop, and I give her my love. Last night at bedtime she asked me to sing Twinkle Twinkle to her, and she fell asleep with her head on my shoulder, playing with my hair as I sang.
I have moments every single day where I question myself as a mother. I’m pretty sure we all do. I lose my patience, I yell, I discipline and sometimes I have to go stand on the front porch to count to ten. I have three children, and it’s not ever going to be easy. But I realized last night that I AM doing a good job, because my kids know without a shadow of a doubt that I love them. I love them so much that they have to squirm out of my hugs and wipe my kisses off their cheeks. I take the time, every day, to remind that I love them more than anything in this entire world.
When I am angry, I always tell them that I still love them, no matter how upset I might be.
When they are frustrated, I remind them that I am here to help them, that that’s why they have a mom.
When they are sad, I tell them that I am right here and always will be.
I hug them and kiss them and hold their hands and cuddle them and wipe their tears. Between me and their dad they have more affection than they even know what to do with – lol – and I know that they know that they are loved. As a mother I have a lot of goals. I want to raise intelligent, kind, generous, respectful, hard working, honest children. It’s a tall order. I work hard every day to make it happen. But my personal goal as a mom is to simply make sure that my kids know that I LOVE THEM. That’s pretty much it.
When you are expecting your first child, everyone tells you about the sleepless nights and exploding diapers. They talk about colic, first poops, first smiles and postpartum bellies. What no one mentions, however, is the weight that a baby places on your heart. As a mom, you become hyper aware that there are babies and children in the world who are NOT LOVED. It’s preposterous and horrifying. You lie awake at night, thinking about kidnapped children, babies in orphanages and kids who have no one to hug them and tell them how special they are.
I know that even though there is a special place for those babies in my heart, I cannot bring them all into my home – as much as I wish I could. So I have always known that at the very least, MY children will be loved. They will be encouraged and lifted up and supported and they will be loved. It’s been the most important thing to me for as long as I can remember.
And last night, lying in bed while I listened to Ella breathing next to me, I knew that I was doing something right.
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