Easy to Love

This afternoon S-Boogie had a dress rehearsal for her dance class. Waiting the hour for her class to finish has become increasingly difficult as P.Bibby has gotten older, and I knew that today would be especially torturous for both the baby and Little Dude because we were in the Senior Center and there was nothing to do (plus the heat was on high and it was exceptionally stuffy). Today's weather was somewhat moderate for December so I decided to take the kids over to the park next door for a little bit of playground time.

When I got there I realized that P. Bibby was probably big enough to try out one of the swings for babies. I was right; when I put her in the swing and started gently pushing it, her face lit up in a big grin and she began giggling. I love her giggling; she is my first child to giggle so freely and so often at such a young age. She really is a delightful baby and nearly every day I think about how much fun she is and what a joy it is to be her mom.

And every time I think this I feel a little guilty, because I haven't always enjoyed being a mom with my other kids (it wasn't always their fault, a lot of it was me and my crazy stress/PPD). I don't know if P. Bibby will always be this easy-going; I'm sure she'll develop some opinions of her own some day. I think I feel guilty because loving her is easy because she is so compliant. She sleeps well, eats well, and likes to play when I put her down on the floor. When we come in the room she lights up and reaches for us. I feel like I love her more than my other kids simply because I can spend more time loving her and less time stressing about trying to 'fix' her because she generally behaves in ways that make my life easier.

In saying this, I don't mean to imply that I love my other kids less than I love my baby. I'm pretty sure that I do, but sometimes I'm not so sure. I'm realizing that it is easier to feel like I love the people who are like me or who behave like I want them to. That's normal, but it's also something we as human beings should be striving to overcome. It's funny that I've come this far in life without really internalizing this lesson; love is a verb and sometimes it can be harder to do than at other times. Love isn't just for the people that do what I want them to do or who share my opinions or who look like the way I think people should look. Love is for everyone, even my other children who complain about what I serve them for dinner, get upset when I try to help them do things, stay up two hours past their bedtimes bothering me with the reasons why they can't sleep, and other such 'hard' things. True love is really caring about people who are inconvenient, annoying, and incomprehensible. I need to work on remembering that.


AmyJane said…
I have these same conflicted emotions over how peacefully simple it is to love my current baby. I constantly remind myself that it's not that I love HER more, it's that she's the easiest to take care of right now. She will undoubtably bring her own challenges at a later time, but I want to enjoy it while it lasts!
Julie said…
My favorite child is always my current baby. They are much easier to like thanks to their sweetness and innocence and inability to disobey!
Julie P said…
This was so right on for me. #4 has thrown my world in a bit of a spin and the past few days I've been praying I can fully love and appreciate her ALL the time - not just when she's easy. With spending so much time with her, the older ones have become a bit...unruly... and ditto. It's been too easy for me to spend time thinking "being a mom is HARD" and not enjoying the little things. That probably made no sense. Bottom line: good post.
skyeJ said…
Ha! In thirty years she will turn into the exact opposite of everything you ever wanted for her, and she will drive you nuts. j/k.

I'm glad you're willing to write about the REAL life of moms. There isn't magical fairy dust that keeps you going and makes it all about feeling love and the treasure of your posterity, etc. There are real feelings and struggles, it is worthy work, but WORK nonetheless. Keep it up!
Kristeee said…
I think the PPD has a lot to do with it. I didn't like Kate until she was at least 2 months old, but I was completely smitten with Megan by day 2. And even though she's rather difficult and doesn't let me sleep and fusses a lot, it's hard not to feel like I love her more, because I spend my day yelling at Kate in her I-want-to-do-everything-I-am-physically-capable-of-whether-I-should-or-not-ness. I feel kind of guilty for feeling this way, but there it is. We decided that I need to take Kate on more dates to make up for it.

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