Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Love is ALL You Need

{Remember how I mentioned my hus was out of town? The midge ended up coming down with bronchitis & I've been out of work + home without internet. I've been writing in the wee hours as I wake to care for my lil' one. Here's what I would have posted on Monday night.}

This morning started as a mothering disaster. Perhaps disaster is too strong a word but you couldn’t tell my heart that I was being irrational.

Mothering, parenting, selflessness--none of that has come easily to me. I didn’t find pregnancy to be this beautiful process and the miracle of life. I found it daunting, all consuming, and discouraging. While I believed having the excuse to “get fat” would be nice, finding my face reflection most often in the porcelain that was my various apartment toilets was not. While some people choose pregnancy, I was surprised by it. I of course know how it happened, I was just not sure why.

During the first year of my son’s life, I was in a war that I will always remember. I battled this ideal scenario I had in my head, but the problem was, the scenario constantly varied. One day, my ideal could be being a stay at home mom and the next I was glad I worked. I spent the first 365 days of motherhood in an infinite state of self division and I hated how I felt in it.

It was never about my son. My son has always been amazing. It has always been about ME. I look at some women in my life who have raised their children and are now in their next phase of life and I fear becoming them. For these reasons, and so many other deep rooted ones, I am determined to both love my son obsessively and release him willingly. I am determined to raise my son but maintain who I am. I am determined to nourish my son’s make-up with encouragement but return to my marriage and it’s freedom when he is grown. This seems to be task that requires daunting amounts of balance and relatively constant confusion.

Today, I dropped my son off at day care and as I listened to another little girl his age speak so clearly to her Mom, my heart broke as I rendered myself incapable of raising an advanced, intelligent, capable child. I walked away feeling--less than, parentally impotent, & crushed in my spirit of mothering. I asked myself, what have I done wrong? And the comparison game began: he doesn’t eat like so and so, he doesn’t know how to work an iphone like so and so, he doesn’t speak like so and so.

Tonight, I came home from work to a little boy who ran at me with open arms. He grabbed my hand and told me to “deh-dow” (get down). He put his little hands on my face and kissed me on the lips and just looked in my eyes and then began to giggle. And then I stopped. I stopped questioning if I was good enough. I stopped wondering if I let him watch too many movies. I stopped telling myself that I have done him wrong. I knew above all else that I can teach him, he needs to know that he is loved and my little boys KNOWS he is loved.

In the past several weeks my bond with my baby boy has changed infinitely. I know the reasons why. I know that every moment I learn to balance both setting myself aside and making room for who I am, that my baby boy receives the best of me. I know that I make mistakes that cause me to constantly evaluate how I can be a better mom. I know that while once I could handle the “cry it out” method there is something deep seeded in me that chooses to have him kick me off of my side of the bed just so I can hold him a little longer. One day I will have to let go, but that day is not today.

While today started like a dagger through the chest (and I mean that quite literally) it has ended by proving, not to be trite, that Love is, in fact, all you need.


  1. Wow Allegra,
    I love this post, You are a great mother! Every kid speaks in their own time and I am told that boys learn to speak later then girls. At daycare while Zoe never shuts up (and I mean that in the most lovine way of course) a little boy only 2 months younger then her just started to speak enough that you can kind of understand what he is saying.
    I am reading a book right now called the Myth of the Perfect Mother. Such a great book, one of those chew the meat throw the bones books but as I have been reading it, I have thought of you. Have you seen this one?

    Have a great day, you are absolutly right, Love is all he needs!

  2. Wonderful post, thank you for being so honest about all the imperfections of being a mother. If you touch one person today with your "real" words it will be a gift. The realization that motherhood can be draining, a disappointment and on the other hand wonderful is liberating and you capture it beautifully in your posts.

  3. SO beautifully written. I too struggle with comparing my toddler to others but at the end of the day, she is mine and she is perfect. I love your honesty about becoming a mother. It is refreshing. I think so many mom's try to fake their way through motherhood and that gets old to me. Love love love your blog and hope you little midge is feeling all better!

  4. Beautiful post, I think we all struggle with this. I know I do. I also struggle with my identity, feeling like I have lost myself. My 19 month old is practically attached (still sleeps with us, still nurses, etc.) and I feel like I don't even know myself anymore most of the time. At the end of the day, I have to reming myself that I am so blessed and that this is really fleeting and one day she will not need me so much. That day will come too soon and I will miss it.

  5. this post spoke staight to me... finding myself filled with doubt/worries regarding my children. thank you for all you share!!!!

  6. I love that you are an aware parent and want nothing but to love your child unconditionally. You are so in tune to your thoughts and feelings. I wish there were more parents like you...Thank you for being honest and sharing so much of you.

  7. Yes, yes, yes, - you've got it! I, too, am in constant limbo not wanting to loose 'me' in mamahood.

    If it makes you feel any better my first born did everything 'on time' my 2nd born is most def. on his own time frame - chatter included. I've done most everything the same with them, he's just not as interested. Your little dumpling sounds so sweet!

  8. I'm so sorry Midge ended up getting sick!! I love hearing your heart as always. Miss you! xoxo

  9. I really, really love and admire your honesty and your heart.

  10. Beautiful heart felt post! Love is all you need... the rest is gravy! ;) and he will talk... in his own time... they are all so different... ;)
    love your blog name!
    Just Jenn~ Seizing My Day . com

  11. Definitely crying...This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart. Miss you!

  12. Thank you for voicing what so many of us moms out there are thinking and feeling. I have been struggling since my son was born with feelings of inadequacy and guilt over wanting an identity separate from that of "mom". You putting words to what I have been feeling and going through has helped immensely. thank you. I am very glad I discovered your blog..