He Loves Me, He Loves Me not
A Mother’s Love Story
-Cheryl Marks-Young, mylifecompass.com
What would you do if your usually affectionate child suddenly preferred Daddy over you? How would you feel about yourself if your child ran past you to Daddy when you both picked him up at school? What thoughts might you be having about no longer being needed or perhaps wanted by your child? If you are like most mothers you will have some real thoughts, feelings and body sensations about this situation. The last six months in our household have been very interesting as our son has suddenly become Daddy’s boy instead of Mommy’s little helper. It happened overnight as one day we both went to pick him up at school and he ran past me and jumped on my husband with a huge hug. I laughed politely as the teacher pointed out how amusing that was. Inside I was feeling left out and wondered why my reaction felt so strong.
I have studied my reactions and our family interactions over the last six months. I have found some interesting things that I have also compared with many other working moms. While this issue impacts all moms, it seems to hit working moms the hardest. Perhaps the biggest factor is the guilt of being a working mom and the prayer that being home more often might bring back that preference to hug mom instead of dad.
There are some plusses to no longer being the parent of choice. No more sleepless nights due to being woken up for a hug in the middle of the night. Plenty of time to do chores without interruptions. No more aching back from constantly being asked to pick me up all the time. Of course, the downside includes a loss of feeling needed which for many moms translates into not being loved.
I can’t tell you how many nights I watched our son climb on daddy and I hoped he would want at least a small hug from mommy. I would sit there and remember how wonderful it felt to hold him when he was real little and how much I actually missed being able to hug my little miracle baby.
After a lot of research and comparing notes with other moms I came to understand that children go through phases where they want the attention of one parent more than the other. Once I allowed myself to not take it personally but rather to see it as a curious transition in my son’s life, I began to relax about not being the favorite parent. I actually began to enjoy having the extra gift of some free time and the fact that my back was no longer constantly aching.
Then one day it happened. Our son ran to me instead of my husband. He wanted a mommy hug and nobody prompted him to do it. I never thought I could be so happy over a little hug. Yet there I was grinning from ear to ear and so thrilled to hug my son.
I have learned many things from this simple experience:
1) We have to find worth in who we are and not how our children view us.
2) Life changes and people change and that doesn’t necessarily mean anything about us personally.
3) Use any available free time to take care of myself instead of beating myself up with my thoughts.
4) The power of a hug from a child is priceless.
Okay, I admit I am not cured and I am more willing to not take it personally the next time my son prefers my husband over me.
So, what have you learned from your children lately?
Until Next Time,