I'm worried. I'm nervous each and every day that today will be the day that my kids see me for what I really am, and not this super-hero that they think they see.
I'm serious. I have what you might call some negative self-image issues and so, for me, it's a constant worry that one day my kids will see the real me which, in my mind, they won't possibly be able to like. At least not in the way that they absolutely adore me now.
I feel like I'm flying under the radar. Babies are easy to fool. They love you no matter what, or at least as long as you feed them. I'm good at that. I can feed my babies.
They also need love. And I'm great at loving them. No problem there.
But soon they are going to want more than love and food. I honestly fear the day when a lightbulb goes off in their little minds and they take off their I-am-unconditionally-head-over-heels-in-love-with-my-mommy goggles.
I know this probably sounds foolish. But it's a real issue for me. I worry if today is the day. Will they see me differently? I just want them to look at me like this forever. That look.
I'm trying to see the lesson in this. Maybe it's that I need to see myself through their eyes. That I'm not as bad as I think I am. Does God love me like they do? That's a powerful thought. I mean, I know the answer is "yes" or even "WAAAAAAAY more," but I've never really thought, seriously, about how much God actually loves me, at least from this very real perspective. And, when I do, it bowls me over.
My husband would say that he loves me like they do. But for some reason I have trouble really believing that it's truly unconditional when it comes from adults (nothing against my wonderful, devoted, loving husband, whatsoever, or anyone else. It's just my own inadequacies that cause me to feel that way and I'm working on it). But my babies... I can't deny their love for me even if I wanted to.
So maybe for the first time, through my kids, I am letting myself experience a real glimpse of God's love. He loves me no matter what I do, or don't do, or look like, or accomplish. It's like an innocent love, not marred by the world, with no room for my self-doubt. And while I'm scared to death to lose the adoring love of my babies when they are old enough to see that I'm not perfect, God's love for me is unwavering. He already sees me for what I am - exactly, transparently - and still loves me. He doesn't even wear love goggles.
As someone once told me, His love for me could fill an ocean, although one drop would be enough to fulfill me. I wonder if, comparatively, the love I currently feel from my babies is that one drop. If so, I can't even begin to comprehend the whole amount. How does one even survive that?! I guess it's just one of Heaven's mysteries.
All that is good, but it still doesn't help me to keep my babies' love goggles firmly in place. Unless the lesson is that I'm not supposed to. Of course, I want them to love me and hopefully that will fall into place naturally if I am a good, loving mother. But if I worry about it too much it will become my driving force. And making sure they love me shouldn't be my ultimate goal as a parent. It should be shaping them to know, love and serve God, and getting them into Heaven. I think putting "making sure they love me" higher on my priority list than it should be could definitely get in the way of that.
It sounds difficult and scary to just let that go, worries and all, but my motivation to do so will have to be Clara and Luke and their best interests.
And, to bring it full circle, that probably means that I need to put aside my negative views of myself. There are many, many reasons to do that which involve my children, and this is one of them. But how? I guess through prayer, of course. Lots of prayer. And trusting that God knows better than me. If I'm good enough for him, I shouldn't have higher standards for myself.
Thanks for letting me work this out :)