The love between a mom and her baby is pure and unconditional. It is without limitations or requirements. Even when children do things that push the limits of patience and logic, mothers still love them with all their hearts.
Unconditional love is more of an “action” than a feeling and is totally focused on the well-being and happiness of another human being. The beauty is that as you give that unconditional love to a child, you find it easier to accept yourself and others and to be more tolerant in general. Motherhood has that power to stimulate a contagious kindness, deep understanding and nurturing. There have been many stories told about situations where mothers helped each other in a totally unselfish way, simply because they understand that level of unconditional love.
Unconditional Love Withstands All Challenges
When we celebrate Valentine’s Day the concept of romantic and relationship “love” comes into focus. We hear many wonderful and beautifully loving stories that demonstrate kindness, passion and sacrifice. But no matter how many hearts and flowers we see and “I love you’s” we hear, it could be said that most of what we call love is not unconditional. Children know what unconditional love is as demonstrated in this sweet article of young children explaining the meaning of the word “love.” However, most mothers would agree that kids often test the strength of their unconditional love by doing totally irrational and often downright annoying things that push every maternal button!
What Our Medela Moms Call Unconditional Love
In order to understand how unconditional love survives in the real world, we asked our Medela Canada moms what their kids do to test that love, and the answers were funny, real and heartwarming.
Here’s what they said. I love my child unconditionally, even when they…
- “When they make messes, pull my hair, fling food across the room, wake up for feedings for two seconds, scream at the top of their lungs and then giggle”. (Bonnie)
- “When they refuse to take a nap during the day!” (Megan)
- “When they think my walls are a big coloring book.” (Mandy)
- “When they throw more food on the floor than they eat.” (Samantha)
- “When they poop on me, pee on me, spit up on me, vomit on me or claw with their little raptor talons.” (Jennifer)
- “When they wake up cranky from a nap.” (Paige)
- “When they are screaming, and running around like animals!!” (Ashley)
- “When they purposely throw things on the floor just to watch you pick them up so that they can do it again.” (Felisia)
- “When they throw food and then make a “I dunno” sign.” (Abeer)
- “When they make me question my sanity on a regular basis.” (Alison)
Finally, one mom, Danielle really summed it up beautifully when she said “I love my child even when she tells me she hates me. She’s two, but even when she says it, I love her even more because she’s mine.”
I Don’t Love What You DID but Still Love YOU
Of course it is important to teach a child right from wrong and that can still be done with the power of unconditional love. All mothers know that kids will push the boundaries for any number of reasons, and it is always appropriate to ask them not to do that thing but following the ‘no” with, “I don’t love what you just said or did but I still love YOU.”
Have Unconditional Love for Yourself Too!
These kind of challenging conditions make a mother stronger. Unconditional love starts by loving yourself in that same way. You know your own flaws and weaknesses better than anyone else. Being able to love yourself despite an awareness of your own faults puts you in the position to be able to offer the same to others. Forgive your own imperfections – don’t try to be flawless. The truth is really that a mother, or any person for that matter, can’t offer unconditional love without being able to give it to themselves.
As children get older, their life challenges become more complex. But showing them what unconditional love looks like as a young child gives them a perspective on diversity and challenges in the world. It teaches them how to treat others with love and respect …. even when.