Un-Utterly Loved

The question is not whether our children are loved, it’s whether they FEEL loved by us.
“But I tell my children I love them and everything I do is for them. Of course, they know I love them.”
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Perhaps… but in order to feel loved by us, our children need two things. Two things which don’t cost any money, yet, in the busyness of life as we know it, they are two of the most valuable, two of the most emotionally expensive, and two of the hardest resources to give…. uncontaminated time…and a lengthy yard of patience….
No gifts, no matter how elaborate or desired, no uttered words, no amount of exhaustive parental duties…. can communicate our love to our children in the same depth and honesty as TIME…(without devices in hand) and PATIENCE… (even when we feel like our innards could erupt against the ceiling)… If we are able to give our children nothing else but these, they will know, without any shadow of a doubt, they are truly loved by us.
Yesterday afternoon, my buttons were being pushed. Things in the parenting realm seemed to have dominoed into a cascade of catastrophe….It was one of those days (we all have them) when I certainly didn’t feel like I was getting near a “Mother of the Year” award.
I wanted to erupt… I admit… but then my mind was drawn to a saying I hold near, and because I need to read the words so often it’s even stuck on my fridge door… a Swedish proverb… “Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I most need it”…
I took a deep breath, and realized afresh that what my kids needed, was patience and time, because when children FEEL loved, really deeply feel it through our whole way of being- that’s when changes happen.
I committed to playing a game of Stacking Chairs after dinner (a simple yet hilarious game where mini plastic chairs are piled on top of one another until one causes the entire tower to splatter to the ground inevitably creating shrieks of delight), even though I was so exhausted I felt I could quite easily have kissed them goodnight a few minutes early and flopped into bed myself. But I gathered my ‘mommy strength’ and determined to give them what they needed to feel loved… and actually, just what my soul needed too… uncontaminated time, patience, and eruptions of giggles as ‘Stacking Chair’ towers collapsed onto the floor time and time again.
I often need reminding, and at times it takes me a while to mentally ‘cycle back’ to where my priorities should be… but the answer is always the same…. children don’t only need to be told they are loved, and they certainly won’t be assured of our love through all the ‘at times laborious’ parenting duties we do for them daily….they need to FEEL loved. And when they do, joy spreads into every crevice, every corner, every moment of both our beings and theirs.
Commit to giving your children two of the hardest gifts to part with, two that will test you, two that you will at times have to reach deep into your soul to find….uncontaminated time and a lengthy yard of patience…. THAT is how our children feel deeply loved.

With heartfelt love.
Naomi ❤️

#educationalpsychology
#family
#parenting
#resilience
#mindful

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