Love in Motherhood

Jenna from A Mama Collective invited me to join their “Love in Motherhood” link-up. I needed inspiration for today, and boy, did she deliver some inspiration. The posts in their link-up are beautiful. I could sit all day in my yoga pants, with a cup of tea to sip, and just read all the posts…

But I can’t, because I have 5 beauties at home who need me every 5.2 minutes (or more often, depending).

I could also write gazillions of posts about love in motherhood. Where to begin? I could begin with the conversations Fence (my husband) and I had before we even conceived our first, or I could begin with the unexpected surprise of our second pregnancy. There’s also learning to love children through the tumultuous three’s, or through hard changes in life. There’s learning what it means to be the best mom to your kids, in spite of what others think or choose for their family.

Maybe I will write about those things…another day.

Today, I think I will write about fighting for my children, with love.

My oldest, Chickadee, is 9 years old. She is sweet as can be, full of energy and spice (you know, she’s dynamic and has a spunky personality). Her God-given talents are still coming to the surface, and I hope and pray that I can help her learn to nurture them into beautiful gifts she can share with the world. She’s a happy, funny, sarcastic and literal person (she gets those traits from her Daddy and Mama).

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This past year, she also experienced a move, sickness, new school, and depression.

It was a rough year. The depression was harder than going to the ER when she was severely dehydrated from Hepatitis A, and having to choose whether or not to admit her overnight.

Depression is ugly, mean, non-discriminating. I know now how it can creep up unnoticed, and totally rob a soul of all joy and hope for feeling happy again. My sweet girl, who was daily running and bouncing around the house and yard, reading books like there was no tomorrow because she loved the stories, and making jokes at dinner, stopped doing those things as readily. She started writing me notes about how sad she felt, like nothing–even her favorite things–would ever make her happy again. She confided in me that she just felt sad, tired, and that nothing was ever going to change.

Fence and I had no idea what was going on, what caused this change, what we were going to do. We were scared.

For the first time, I had no idea what to do to help my girl. My love wasn’t enough anymore, it felt like. I couldn’t fail her, though. She was reaching out to me, begging for help.

I decided right away to do whatever I could to help her. I prayed, I reached out to people for advice and prayers. I asked Chickadee what she wanted. I listened, and loved her through her pain. During those months, (just last fall), I learned that I needed to balance quiet listening with intense loving and action. How does a mother patiently and quietly listen to her daughter, while at the same time taking steps to help her find healing? It was, and is, hard. Only by the grace of God have we moved beyond her hurt into greater joy again.

My husband and I spent long hours talking about what we could do. I spent time talking to teachers and counselors at school. I spent long nights talking to Chickadee after her sister and brothers had gone to bed, trying to find a cause for her hurting. We went on dates, to reconnect and just be together, outside of the craziness of homework and sibling rivalries.

Not only have I learned to love my daughter through these trying times (which I am sure will not be the last!), but I starting learning to love her as a growing-up, maturing girl. She and I have found things we can enjoy together, which no one else in our family shares with us. I have learned to see her personality as even more unique and special, her needs worth figuring out and worth fighting for, her place in our family valued and appreciated. I have learned that my daughter needs more than just hearing “I love you” to know she is loved. She needs to connect. She needs to feel and know she is unique and a special child of God, and in our family. She needs me, to just be there and share her interests. She also needs to know that she is worth fighting for, because I love her.

She is worth fighting for. Each of my children is worth fighting for, and it is my love which gives me strength to do so.

 

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{post number 2 in the 7×7 challenge}

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2 thoughts on “Love in Motherhood

  1. This is SO beautiful. What an incredible testament to a mother’s love… and how the Father’s love is the same for us! Thank you so much for sharing a piece of Chickadee’s story. I know that her story and yours will remind others and me that we are not alone when life throws us curveballs. Thank you for your honesty and your love for your daughter that is so incredibly evident and pure in this post. ~Jenna

    • Thank you for your kind words on this post! It can be hard to tell the story, but when I do, I feel more strongly how important it is to love our children greatly. So true about God’s love for us, too!

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