“For whom is the love?” I wonder…”for you or for your son”? When we decide to become mothers are we driven by true feelings of unconditional love and self-sacrifice for the “unkown” child-to-be?… or are we just in love with ourselves and our inner needs which wish to boost our ego one more time by ticking the motherhood box as well?
“Love is all a child needs to be happy”…I hear quite often from clients, friends and psychologists…’all the rest… parents and children figure it out along the way…you cannot plan everything ahead of time…” they say, and they go on to say ” there is no guarantee that one kind of mother does a better job than the other kind of mother, we all try somehow, nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes but we love our kids…sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!”
True indeed, but, please, allow me to respectfully disagree!
In my line of work I am faced everyday with the question of what love is all about and how we all have different perceptions of love and the way we feel it, we give it and receive it. Of course I could write a whole book on the subject, if I were to analyse it deeply and coherently. However, in this post I decided to tell you about the simplest form of love, the ‘de facto love’ that flows from a mother to a child for the benefit of the child and the child’s best interest only! It is the kind of love that tries to secure a better and safer future for our son, a smooth ride into the unknown, the kind of love our sons receive freely as a given factor and it is usually the one enough to make them happy and fulfilled human beings.
Or shall I maybe just write about our own self-love? The one that doesn’t necessarily think how can I make my child a priority in my life -so much so that I raise a healthy, happy and well-balanced human being- but is rather the kind of self -love which dictates that I will have children in order to satisfy my inner hormonal craving, my birth right as a woman or complete my social image or please my parents and relatives… or better even…just because my friends have one of those cute little babies, I should have one too!
Allow me to alert you here that you may not like what you are about to read.
If your decision to become a mother is more based on the above mentioned model of self-love, then please, don’t have them at all! If, through having a child, you only wish to fulfill personal and social aspirations, such as running against your own biological clock, pleasing your relatives and/or showing off to your friends, please, do stop now and think what kind of mother do you see yourself becoming and what kind of future are you trying to secure for your son? Other than your inflated ego, do you have the skills it takes to fit in this role that is there for a lifetime, 24/7 and there is’ no return or refund policy attached to your purchase’?
I wish to remind you all wannabe mothers out there that children are not handbags or accessories to wear them for a season and when they don’t fit us anymore to pass them onto the secondhand shop!
I would like to make clear that I do not intend to attack or insult any woman’s personal fight against her biological clock or disregard her birth right to experience motherhood or ridicule the seriousness of the peer pressure that we females are so often put under.
I only try to say that when your decision on motherhood is based on self-love issues you may be missing the real reason that you were given this heavenly gift in the first place. To create a life is a big deal, of course, and it is a journey of self-discovery for every pregnant woman in the world, no doubt! There is so much good ‘selfish’ pleasure into this process that can be addictive for all the good personal reasons; no wonder a lot of women have many pregnancies the one after the other, because they enjoy it so much and every time they learn something new about themselves. Once we are done with creating the life, the next stage comes straight away. How to make out of this new life a happy person with a positive disposition, a healthy personality who will soon be self-reliant and well equipped to carve out his own different path away from you – this, I personally find, HUGE!! This, I believe is the reason you have the ability to create life – in order to love it in its own right, for what it is, for what it can become and serve its unique needs for a better future.
For this latter part of ‘serving’ your son’s unique inner needs, a remarkable character trait is required on your part – your emotional maturity and intelligence. And this is the point that I disagree with the opinions of others I quoted above. A mature and emotionally intelligent female knows, when she does her own soul searching, if she is truly ready to be the kind of mother who will plan ahead! Yes, you heard right! Planning ahead does not only mean what kind of furniture or bedding I need for the nursery…but the thinking pattern goes something along the lines of the questions I propose you ask yourself below:
-What do I mean when I say I love my son? How do I feel this love inside me? How do I show him?
-Do I think my son receives the message of my love in a way that he makes it his own love too?
-Do I think my overall behaviour around him displays a loving attitude that makes him feel safe and secure that my love towards him is genuine?
-Does he look really truly happy?
-Do I actually know how to express and show my love and deep feelings?
-Do I truly back up my words with actions?
-Is my love unconditional or do I expect favours in return?
The reason I am proposing these questions is just to warm up your open-thinking mind for my next statement.
Just love is not enough if you wish to have happy kids, well rounded human beings who will not grow into mild-depressive adults leading a life disengaged from self-awareness and self-development and remaining distant from the common welfare.
Your son needs much more! He needs to feel special and right in the centre of your world and attention in order to receive the true love that you wish for him to have and for this you cannot operate on automatic pilot. When it comes to raising a happy and balanced child, the future does not sort itself out on its own. If you say you love your son, but you cannot really show him, then you count the hours till the babysitter shows up and calculate the times per week you could ‘park him’ at the grandparents for as long as possible in order to live your life, (and I am not referring to the working mothers who have no other choice) you better not try to figure it out as you go along. You may be better off with some kind of plan! I only try to save you the hassle of running with your son later in his life from one expert to the other in a quest to figure out what is wrong with your child’s emotional or behavioural development.
To give you an example, if your life is already too busy to accommodate a child and you live in chaos in your daily life and in your mind, you have no sense of time management or no stability- emotional or otherwise-, you have no money or no job, you are unhappy or depressed, you have serious problems in your relationships -personal or at work-, how do you think you will cope when a child comes into the picture?
Will your automatic pilot take over on fast forward to raise a man with potentially a lot of sadness, stress, insecurities, lack of self-esteem, aggression, disappointments and possible future depression? Don’t we have enough of these men already? Our planet is overpopulated with unhappy men who keep on spreading unhappiness left right and centre. Do you care to change this pattern?
My late grandmother used to say…”before you make any big decisions in life that you cannot change afterwards, you better first put your ducks on a row!”
…and I will take the liberty to add to this advice…”you better evaluate carefully your capabilities for the task in hand and listen to your true inner self and not what others say or society fads dictate! Let your true instinct guide you, and if you are up for the challenge…GO FOR IT! Then you have found the true love you will ever need 🙂