This guest post is part of our Month of Mothering. We’re featuring the words of women (and a few men!) from a variety of walks of life. In recognition that all mothers want what’s best for their baby, and knowing we all have different ways of achieving that, we welcome commentaries and experiences from mothers of all different philosophies and practices. Please note that the opinions expressed and baby care techniques used are reflective of the individual posters only, and do not imply endorsement or recommendation of the Other Baby Book.
Welcome, mama Bekki Grim!
Me: “I love you!”
My mom: “I love you more!”
Me: “I know.”
The moment you hold your child in your arms for the first time, you realize you never really knew what it meant to love. Sure, you love your own parents, siblings, spouse, friends, but the unconditional love of a parent for a child is something entirely different. The above conversation takes place every time I speak to my mother on the phone (which is at least once a day), but it used to go a little bit differently. In the past, the “I love you more!” would go back and forth until finally my mom would say, “Just wait until you have kids.” I would roll my eyes and say “Whatever, Mom!”
Now that I am a mother, I can fully grasp just how much my mom loves me. Elizabeth Stone is quoted as saying, “Making the decision to have a child – It’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” This has to be my all-time favorite description of motherhood. I don’t spend very much time away from my daughter, but when we are apart I feel like a piece of me is missing.
Experiencing the unconditional love of a parent has given me a whole new appreciation not only for my mom and dad, but also for God. I have found that my faith has been greatly strengthened knowing that as much as I completely adore my daughter (and son, whom I love even though he hasn’t been born yet), God loves me more. To think that a greater love is even possible just blows my mind.
I am so incredibly grateful for the gift of motherhood and the perspective it has given me on love. While in no way do I want to rush through the childhood years, I look forward to the day when I say to my children, “I love you more,” and they simply smile and respond “I know.”
Bekki lives in upstate NY with her husband and their 23 month old daughter, “Ellie bells,” and is expecting a baby boy in October. She works part time at the Y as a preschool teacher, but don’t tell Ellie – she thinks they go to the Y just so she can play with her friends!