It’s Uncool To Be Obsessed With Your Kids

Jul 20, 2018 | Mental Health, Motherhood

It’s uncool to be obsessed with your kids.

obsessed with your kids

But sometimes (ok, most of the time) I am.

Sometimes Motherhood totally sucks and makes me feel like a failure in all kinds of ways. I try to be honest about it, try to blow up the myth of Motherly perfection at any chance I get.

Motherhood can go suck eggs…if it weren’t for the kids.

I’m obsessed with ‘em.

I don’t want to love my kids more than anything else in life, that’s not very productive. I preach about self-care, me-time, investing in other relationships, identity and future. Who am I trying to convince if not myself?

When I kiss their little foreheads, sometimes I smoosh a little too long. It’s like I want our skin to feel combined again.

Today I caught myself looking longingly at a pregnant woman (how quickly we forget!) My last pregnancy was nausea for the first three months and back-pain for the following six. Then I had a traumatic, emergency Caesarian, and a newborn with reflux. I was so tired for the first four months of her life that I couldn’t tell time after 3:00PM.

You hear about this movement, a rumbling of honest Mums who want to contribute other things to this world. Careers, hobbies, relationships…ect. More than just babies. I want to be, and am, part of it- most of the time.

But what more IS there? (I can’t believe I’m saying this).

I’ve never been more passionate about anything else in my entire life. That’s saying a lot because most people would describe me as passionate to the point of intense (or even abrasive).

If you were to ask me what my greatest accomplishment in life was, without hesitation it would be my daughters. If I die tomorrow my only regret would be not seeing them grow. I’m totally okay with all other decisions I’ve made in my life (even the wrong ones).

The most visceral, surreal, moments of my life were their births- for a multitude of reasons. In comparison, I was lightyears calmer and collected even on my wedding day. Falling in love is an incredible feeling, it’s a huge hit that eventually settles-in but with children, it’s the opposite. The love starts small and as you get to know them, and watch them become little people, your love grows. It grows so big that sometimes thinking about it is hard to handle without getting anxious. Or maybe it’s just me.

I know I will fail so hard at this, many times (I already have), and I accept that. Even now, I don’t live up to their standards “grandma is nicer than you, Mom.” Still, I vow to keep doing my best.

My confession here is that sometimes I am loving it more than I let on. I am secretly enjoying rocking my baby to sleep, vice-hugging my four-year-old until she wiggles away, imagining crawling under their perfect skin or even better, them crawling back into mine. It’s creepy, I know.

Creep as I may be, they chose me to be their Mother and every day I am grateful for it.

My children stole my soul so I must fight, daily, to get a small piece of it back. I need to keep some for myself so I can maintain a bit of self-respect and at least a shadow of my identity for when the day comes when the girls leave me. They will think they no longer need me. 

Even as a 37-year-old Mother of two, I still need nurturing. I’ve learned to provide it to myself so I don’t have to rely on others (or so I won’t get let down because of my impossibly high standards). If I can do this, remain whole, un-needy, I can demonstrate that to my daughters that they are okay, with or without me. That way they won’t have to learn this skill so late in life. I should probably start by not letting on just how obsessed I am with them. But probably they already know.

4 Comments

  1. Carolyn

    It’s okay to let them know you’re obsessed with them as long as you’re self aware. Mine are adults (nearly 22 and 19) and they know I could still eat them up just as I wanted to when they were little – as you said, their skin becoming yours again! But we laugh and roll eyes about it! I compare my love for them to how they love their dog! And I THINK they still see me as having my own life even though I’ve been a home my all their lives. There’s enough I have of my own but ultimately, whether rightly or wrongly, I would drop everything for them if they truly need me. And that has happened. It’s taken me to the other side of the world when my son fell ill. But there is space to be YOURSELF as a parent, even if that time does seem elusive in those early years. And I think we have to recognise that whilst we are obsessed with them, they are not so obsessed with us. They love us and need us, and depending on the child, separation anxiety may or may not be an issue for a period, but they grow, and we build them to move away from us, so it’s okay to show that you have your own life. Maybe that’s a ramble but don’t be afraid of loving them too much and drinking in their gorgeousness!

    Reply
    • dawnrieniets

      This is very solid advice! I love “they are not so obsessed with us,” ironically enough the only way they will ever know how much we love them is when (if) they become parents themselves. Ah, it’s just the rabbit hole. <3

      Reply
  2. kate c.

    There is a woman here at work, pregnant with her first child, and I watch her and envy her, thinking I wish I could go back and snuggle that little baby again, hear his first words, watch him walk away from me the first time on his own two wobbly feet. That’s what it’s about–raising them to walk away from you. The past year, I was alternately relieved that E. was away at college his first year but missing him so much I could hardly breathe some days. You have so well documented your life with and love for (including the honesty of your struggles) your children and that will be a treasured gift when they are grown. I wish I had a record like you do. Now that E. is home for the summer, every day I hug him like he’s a little boy, feel his fine, silky hair, hold his incredibly smooth hands (untouched by wrinkles and age spots like my own), enjoy his noodling on the piano, breathe in his essence, knowing that soon he will be going away again. You’re not obsessed–you’re a loving mother who understands that we imprint our children in our hearts each day to shore up the reserves when they “think” they don’t need us anymore. They do…

    Reply
    • dawnrieniets

      Exquisitely painful, Motherhood is. Such a strange and wonderful thing. I’m glad I’m getting to experience it. ?

      Reply

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