As parents we hear so much talk about how our children need us. We are their safety net, their home base, the loving arms in which they find great comfort. There are countless studies on various ideas of what children “need”. As a society, we have created names for different parenting styles- attachment, helicopter, free range, and many others. When you break it all down the bottom line is that children need to feel loved and secure. We work tirelessly to make sure our little ones are happy and healthy.
However, there is something missing. I have read dozens of articles about living in the moment and the age old reminder that children are only little for a short period of time. Essentially pointing out that we, as parents, are only needed for a short time. In the midst of all these reminders something has been lost.
Parents need to be needed.
This was one of those raw, emotional moments for me as a mother. It did not come right away. After I emerged from the fog of the newborn months (aka the fourth trimester) and adjusted to my working mom role this revelation hit me like a ton of bricks.
I needed her as much as she needed me.
This was an all-encompassing feeling. It came over me as slowly throughout the months of adjusting to new motherhood. I can remember rocking my sweet baby to sleep and thinking that I needed this time as much as she did. Yes, our babies need to form a secure attachment to us but mothers crave that attachment as well.
That attachment is the only thing that lets me walk out the door to work each morning without crumbling into pieces. That attachment has become such a part of my life that I hardly remember how I lived without it.
There are already times when, in typical toddler fashion, my little one wriggles her way out of my hugs and kisses. And that is to be expected. It is a privilege to be able to watch her discover her place in this big, wonderful world. But I am also enjoying the fact that, to her, I am the biggest, most important part of that world.
The good news is that our babies will never stop needing us. The way they need us evolves and changes but the need is always there. But for tonight I am going to go snuggle my toddler because that is what she needs right now.
And so do I.