It's easy to love a child who is listening, kind, clean, sweet, successful, warm-hearted, etc. Even when we're tired or overwhelmed, we can love them.
It isn't so easy to love a child who is yelling at or even kicking us. It may not be so easy to love a child who is defying, making a huge mess, failing a class, choosing a non-traditional educational path, supporting a presidential candidate we disagree with, etc.
The thing is, love is love. We don't need to love every choice a child makes, of course. We don't need to savor every word they say. We don't need to love every outfit they choose, every paper they write, every opinion they express. But we can love them, no matter what they think, say, feel, look like, or choose. We can love in the midst of poopy diapers, sleepless nights, and even rude language.
The poopy diapers, as unpleasant as they are, are easier to accept than the rudeness or failures. Our babies don't do it on purpose, right? But sometimes it feels like their anger, disrespect, or mistakes are more their fault. This week, I'll be writing about loving them even at their worst.
Are there times you cut yourself off from your child? Limits, conscious or unconscious, to your love?
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness helps me find peace with my imperfect journey--being with myself as I truly am, loving my family as they are, and showing up for a messy world with openness and compassion.