The arrival of my children into this world was shortly followed by that intense and overwhelming love that I had never experienced before, I never knew such powerful feelings were possible. I remember as time went on and my heart burst with all of this new-found love for them, that I would repeatedly think to myself that they will never begin to comprehend just how much they mean to me, not until they have children themselves at least. I had come to this conclusion because as a child growing up I had never felt like I was the recipient of this love I was now overcome with. As a child growing up whatever circumstances you are dealt is just what you believe to be the “normal” isn’t it, you know no other way, so you presume that everyone feels and thinks like you do. In my case I was raised feeling unloved, I realise now that I was “loved” one way or another, but at the time I sure didn’t feel like it and this has had a lasting effect on me.
It was only after I asked my husband just the other day if he was aware of how much he was cared for growing up, and he said yes, that I suddenly realised that maybe how I perceived childhood was not everyone’s normal. Because my family home fell apart when I was 9 years old and I was left to feel like the leftovers of a once happy and intact family, I became forgotten and alone… I have talked about this in more depth here. But back then I was too young to understand this was the result of my parents’ divorce, I just thought my relationship with my parents would remain unchanged and this was what everyone’s parent-child relationship felt like. At the time I didn’t think it was cold, or lacking affection and security, I knew no different.
So, as it hit me; the fact that my children will grow up understanding my love for them, “A Mothers Love”, something lit up inside of me for the first time, a sense of excitement, relief and contentment all rolled into one at this realisation. You may be thinking – What? Of course your children are going to know that you love them – but imagining something you haven’t personally experienced doesn’t come naturally.
There are times when I sit back and watch my children growing up before me, my eyes light up with admiration, I can’t help but let the Cheshire cat like grin spread across my face with pride as they learn something new, but for me sometimes this is accompanied by unwelcome poignant reminders of what I never had. Wondering if my own mother ever felt like that about me. It can be a challenge to not let this tarnish my view and to keep the sorrow at bay, but slowly I am getting stronger at focusing on the present moment rather than the past, and diverting any negative energy into making me more determined to ensure that my children grow up knowing full well that they are a very important and cherished part of our family unit.
Life is a lesson after all, and I am taking all that I have learned from that chapter of my life as I continue my journey to try and be the best mother I can be without having had a role model as I grew up, and to give the best mother’s love to my children that I can without ever having known what it feels like to receive it. Xo