Love is really hard to write about because it is so complex. How do you put into words what love is. It is a feeling, one I’m not sure how to accurately describe. I tend to be an overthinker and in deciding how I would approach this topic I wanted to think about what love really means to me. The best description of love I have come across is from Brené Brown. I first read it in her book Daring Greatly (which is was one of my bookclub’s reads and a future book review post).
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.– Brené Brown
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”
Her definition of love really resonated with me. I can’t honestly say what I would have thought about it before I became a mom but I didn’t give love too much thought. I’m
not was not a very emotional person. Since having my daughter now I basically emotionally vomit every other day and it started in pregnancy. My attitude has changed so much about it though. I used to hate the idea of anyone seeing me cry and it made me angry when it happened. Now I enjoy a good cry and feel no shame in saying that I started crying over a commercial or a news article.
What I really want to talk about in love and motherhood is that for many women it is not this blissful and immediate connection with your new baby. I had no idea how hard becoming a mom would be. The toll it takes on you mentally, emotionally, and physically isn’t something you can prepare for.
We planned our pregnancy, I was excited about it, I thought I loved my little girl before she was born but something seemed missing when I finally brought her home and a few weeks had passed. I was finding it strange that I was supposed to be head over heels in love with this little being that I didn’t know and relied on me to do everything for.
I needed to hear or read that “…Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves…” The reason this stands out to me is because it goes against what we are taught to expect. We expect an abundance of immediate love and I did feel that love, at first, but it was more of a euphoric love those first few weeks. A short honeymoon period that waned with the lack of sleep, piles of diapers, and never ending hunger, hers and mine.
My love has grown beyond anything imaginable. Maybe it is survival instinct but I feel that babies are born with an innate sense of love for their mothers. They just want to be fed, held, warm, and clean. That sounds like love to me. My little has nurtured my capacity for love as I have hers and by becoming a mom I have learned to love myself and forgive myself better than I could ever have before.
On this Mother’s Day I hope you feel the love but if you are not that’s ok too because momming is super hard. May your Mother’s Day be whatever you need it to be.