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Can you love your child too much? January 23, 2011

Posted by Shonnie in Community, Life with Baby, Parenting.
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Can you love your child too much? Personally, there’s one unequivocal answer to this question: no. However, I’ve noticed lately that I sometimes “worry” that friends on facebook will be irritated that nearly all my comments, photos, and posts are about Gracelyn. “Is that all Shonnie cares about?” they might say to themselves. Or, “She really needs to get some other interests,” or “She sure is boring me with everything baby,” might be their secret judgments.

Getting sleepy with mama in the baby sling

Well, as much as I want to please others (yep, still a preference of mine), I’m delighted with my deep and abiding focus on my daughter and my experience as her mama. Here’s why I’m so committed:

  1. I love her and want her to know this in her bones without a shadow of doubt. I believe that she will “know” my love based in part on my intentional commitment of time and attention.
  2. This stage in Gracelyn’s life is profoundly formative in so many ways. Her sense of trust is being built along with her self-esteem. Her neurological system is making connections that will serve her over her entire life. The foundations of her physical, emotional, and mental well-being are being laid, ready to support her in all the years to come.
  3. I have the time to be with her with very few other competing responsibilities. While my intention is to craft a life that continues to allow such devotion, an abundance of undistracted time may not always be our norm, so I want to give her all of me that I possibly can now.
  4. Lack of love is permanently damaging and, in my opinion, a significant factor in much of what ails our world today. I want to help create a brighter future for Gracelyn AND all others who call our planet home, so I’m focused on providing love in abundance for my child.
  5. It’s deeply rewarding — for me and for her. I know it is for me and I’m confident that it is for her based on how I see her growing and interacting with the world. I wake up every day completely inspired by the “work” that’s before me.
  6. There’s no downside. While some people think you can “spoil” a child, there’s not one shred of evidence for this belief. Loving one’s child devotedly, faithfully, and unconditionally is one of the most important endeavors we’re ever given the opportunity to undertake. I’m grateful and honored that it’s an endeavor that connected with my life path. (By the way, even if you don’t have children, being with other’s offspring in a loving, honoring, and respectful way is so important AND truly valued by parents everywhere.)

Getting ready to head outside for a winter walk

“Parents and children also constantly influence each other’s resonances. Our lives orbit within each other’s force fields, physically, emotionally, and psychically, and we are continually interacting and influencing each other in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, sometimes known, sometimes wholly unconscious.”
~Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Comments»

1. robin sierra - January 23, 2011

shonnie, gracelyn is one blessed baby. lovingly, robin

Shonnie - January 23, 2011

Thank you, Robin. That blessing runs both ways. 🙂

2. bjbillinger - January 23, 2011

I’m of the same mindset. You can’t love a baby to much. Sounds like Gracelyn has a great mother.

Shonnie - January 24, 2011

Thanks for your visit and comments, Brandon. From your site it looks like you too are enjoying your rookie parenting and learning a lot in the process. Let’s keep on learning and loving our little ones with all we’ve got!

3. Jenny Meadows - January 23, 2011

Sounds like you have some unverified mindtalk there … and even if all your MT were true, what difference does it make between you and your darling G-girl?
And I agree that you’re on a lovely path that won’t stay this way forever. Enjoy it while you can so you’ll have no regrets later.

Shonnie - January 24, 2011

Had I verified, it, Jen. They would have been DK and DC (Don’t know. Don’t care.). As another friend wrote regarding her “gushing” about her children: “if people are really annoyed by it, they don’t understand me & aren’t really my friends.” Amen and ditto that!

4. Abby Bates - January 23, 2011

Gracelyn is truly blessed to have you as her momma and Bruce as her daddy !!! I love hearing via FB and your blog about your thoughts and experiences parenting Gracelyn !!!

Shonnie - January 24, 2011

Thank you, Abby. I say let’s all share the things that are most joyful and life-affirming. I enjoy reading about what’s delightful in others lives.

5. Wendy - May 23, 2011

Love it, love every reason you listed above, I too love my daughter with all my heart.

Shonnie - December 7, 2012

Thank you, Wendy. Let’s keep that love to our children flowing freely!

6. Alison - July 6, 2011

Wow grateful and heartfelt thanks. I keep getting told I tell my 2 year old daughter I love her, and that I think she is beautiful and smart, too much. I found your post by accident, or fate. Your words echoed my core intentions for daughter, mirrors my approach to this wonderful task of being “mummy”. Thank you for giving me strength.

Shonnie - December 7, 2012

Bravo for you for persisting in voicing your love for your daughter, Alison. I think that deep down others may say we say “I love you” too much because they’re missing love in their own lives and have a hard time seeing others receiving it so fully.

7. Kerry Ibell - November 23, 2012

I absolutely admire you as a mother.I don’t have enough praise to give you ,because there are so many people out there who have kids who shouldn’t be .I was adopted at 6 months and i often worry that I love my son too much.He is my only known blood,and sometimes I feel so connected with him I don’t know the difference between him and I.The bond,connection ,whatever you want to call it is so completely understated that I can’t even fathom.Dont ever feel guilty for the love and utter adoration you feel for your child,for we as parents are directly responsible for another human beings influence on this world.Love your child,be proud to be a mummy and be proud of your amazing ability to always put someone else before you.My outlook as a new mother has been improved due to this post from you.And to be honest my Facebook page is much the same,my sons photos are everywhere ,and honestly,I don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.Love,live and enrich your gorgeous offspring because they are ultimately all that matters in this life.Much love Kerry,Christchurch NZ

Shonnie - December 7, 2012

Wow, Kerry! Thanks for such an affirming comment! It warms my heart when I read of other mamas and daddys who give their unconditional and full love to their child rather than “toughening them up” for the “real world.” Blessings to you and your son!


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