Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Today I loved my daughter

I know that sounds weird, because you are supposed to love your children all the time, but today I really loved her.  What they don't tell you about this parenting thing is that sometimes unconditional love is hard.  Maybe I'm the only one who feels that, and maybe I'm a bad parent for saying that out loud, but when your days are filled with non-stop screaming, and sleepless nights, you still love your kid but it's not easy.  It's a struggle, and you find that you remind yourself a lot that this is temporary, and that something will be better at some point.  You find yourself frustrated, and you remind yourself that you love your kid.  You force yourself out of bed when she cries in the middle of the night because you don't want to get up and handle things.  You grit your teeth when you put her in the swing and she immediately starts to scream.  You sometimes force yourself through the responsibilities of the day because you don't want to do them all the time.  You don't always want to walk and bounce for another hour.  You want to love her, but it doesn't come easy.  You hold her close as you walk and bounce and try to soothe her, you hug her, but at the back of your mind you think "I don't want to do this".  The love is still there, but you have to reach for it.

That being said, today I loved my daughter.  I loved her without effort.  For the first day in a while, I loved her without reaching for it.  We had a day of coos and smiles, a day of snuggling close together, of feedings that happened without struggle.  There were no screams.  There were no meltdowns.  Today I loved my daughter, and it was easy.  It felt like relief.  It felt like recapturing that first day when she was born, where I looked at her and thought about how beautiful she was.  I didn't have to remind myself that there was love behind the frustration.  I was able to just stare at her and think about how sweet she could be, and how nice she is to hold and cuddle up to.  I didn't watch her start to wake up after a nap with trepidation, wondering how long it would be before she started to melt down.  I got to watch her wake up and smile into her face and see her stretch out and make silly faces and in those moments I just.....loved her.  I enjoyed my moments with her.  I sat and talked to her, I read her a book, and I was able to just love her the way I wish I'd been able to do all along.

Some days it's easier to love your children.  Some days all of the pieces fall into place and everything works out and you go through your day feeling like this is how you would love for every day to be.  Sure, not every day will be like this.  We'll go back to the days when I have to remind myself that I love her because loving her will be hard, but I'd love to have more days like these, where everything comes easy.  I'm hoping we're coming up on more of those days, because I really enjoy just being able to love her.


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