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What Our Babies Need from Us the Most

I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I can honestly say that was the only thing I ever felt certain about when I was younger. I wasn’t certain I would meet the right guy. I wasn’t certain what career path I would take. But I can honestly say I was always certain I would be a mom.

Now that I have two kids, and hope to have a third one day, I feel like raising these kids is like a dream come true. They are so young and have so much to learn, but when I look at them, all I see are two incredible human beings. They amaze me in countless ways, and I have no doubt their contributions to the world will be extraordinary.

As a mom, I have realized that I go out of my way to give my kids my all in an effort to make them happy and to also help shape them into great people. Whatever they need, I am there to provide it. And I do so with ease because I believe that is what a good mom does. But recently, I have been thinking about what I do for them and I wonder if I am truly giving them what they need from me.

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Sure, they have shelter and clothing and nutritious food to eat, so I know I have their basic needs covered. We also read a lot, talk about our days, and have tons of fun together. But it’s not uncommon for me to be completely exhausted once the day is done. Admittedly, sometimes the exhaustion sets in before they are even in bed. In those moments I realize that maybe—just maybe—I am not giving them what they really need. I realize that I am giving them my all, but not always my best.

As moms, we tend to give our all to anything that matters in our lives, but doing so can set us up for burnout. Our kids don’t need us to give them everything we have, leaving us depleted and stressed out. Our kids actually just want our best. That’s all. They want to feel like we are fully present when we are with them. They want to feel like we are engaged and alert. They want to feel like their time with Mommy is time they look forward to because Mommy isn’t tired and stressed out.

So how do we do this? How do we give our children our best instead of giving them our all? We put ourselves first. We let go of this notion that taking time to rest or pamper ourselves should result in guilt. I think we also have to realize that putting our lives on hold to raise our kids isn’t necessary. Our babies deserve us to be the best version of ourselves, and giving every drop of yourself, without ever taking time to replenish, simply won’t lead to that.

I know it’s not always easy. I struggle with this myself. But ever since I realized that I was giving them all of me, instead of giving them the best of me, things have changed for the better. It’s a wonderful feeling because nothing makes me feel better than knowing I am giving my kids what they really need from me.

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