Unconditional Love & Parenting
As I drive in the car, on the rare occasion when I have no children in the car, I find myself listening to the song Unconditional by Clay Davidson. As I listen to the words in this song, tears spring up as soon as it hits, “You can’t stop my love for you“. Is this the message I am sending my children? Will they know and feel my unconditional love above all else?
You can’t stop my love for you
It will be there that’s a given
As long as I am living on this earth
One thing is true
You can turn away – forget me
Curse my name
But love won’t let me let you go
You need to know
My love is unconditional
My Way or the Highway
This is a phrase I hear echo in my head from my childhood. As I am a parent myself now, and the parent of a teen, I find myself using this sentiment with my children. “My house, my rules. When you are an adult and move out then you get to decide.”
Funny thing? I am not sure that is the overriding message I am looking to send to my children. Yes, we have basic rules in our home that need to be followed, but one of my big claim to fames so to speak is that people need to do what is right for them and what works for them. What works for me, may not work for you and that doesn’t make either of us right or wrong. While there are rules to be followed, I also want to leave room for their choices, their mistakes, and their growth….and above all the knowledge that my love for them is unconditional.
Unconditional love surpasses the differences and disagreements, it surpasses the daily grind and dirty laundry, but does it surpass all of that in their heart of hearts? That is where this mama’s heart is right now.
Common decency is a term that is being tossed around right now in our house.
My teenager recently recounted a story and her upset with someone not even showing “common decency” to an authority figure in their lives whom she felt deserved respect even beyond, but at least common decency was warranted in her opinion.
Now I find myself using that term with her. She is having trouble showing the tiniest glimpse of that with her siblings. Showing “common decency“, in my opinion, is warranted for the people living in your home and sharing your life with you. That I can’t give on.
My point in all of this? As hear the words, “You can’t stop my love for you,” I feel a pull on my heart. Not only because I worry about failing my children in this manner, but because even as an adult I realize how important this sentiment is to me, and my sense of worth and well being.
While I feel we need structure and boundaries for our children, my heart keeps telling me to be sure they know – without a doubt – that my love is unconditional – “You can’t stop my love for you.”
I guess I should start by saying that I wish I had all the answers, instead I have the daily grind of trying, and sometimes falling short. How do we take that daily stress of life, and balance that with on overriding sense of love, security and acceptance for our children? My thought is to ever make it a priority and primary thought in my mind as I go about my daily life with my children. Beyond this I am working to make our lives run more smoothly in general.
I have been doing a ton of reading and soul searching when it comes to parenting my children, not only emotional parenting, but the nuts and bolts of running our daily lives more smoothly to leave more time and room for that grace, love and patience.
Here are a few of the books that have really helped me:
- No More Perfect Kids
- Just 18 Summers
- The Secrets of Happy Families
- 8 simple tools for raising great kids
Hopefully when my kids look back and reflect on their relationship with me, their mother, one of the utmost sentiments they will remember and feel from me is, “You can’t stop my love for you,” because that unconditional love is what I am striving for.
September 21, 2014 @ 8:44 am
Haven’t seen a good “Heidi” post in a bit. Great post.
September 23, 2014 @ 11:52 am
I am actually scared to death of my children entering the teen years, and I can only hope to let my kids know that my love for them will always be there. #laughlearnlinkup
September 23, 2014 @ 11:57 am
Great post, Heidi! It’s always good to inspect our hearts, intentions and words, isn’t it? You’re a very thoughtful person. I like that. 😀
Thanks for joining the #laughlearnlinkup!
September 23, 2014 @ 12:20 pm
Susan, I am still terrified! It was so much easier when you could contain them in a car seat or pack n play! Now I do my best, hold my breath, and pray they turn out alright! But above all I want them to know in their heart of hearts that they are loved by me, more than the fights, rules, and sometimes yelling, I want them to feel loved.
September 23, 2014 @ 12:22 pm
Michelle, thank you for your kind words. While I am kind of rigid and hot headed at times, I am also (or at least I try to be) intentional with my thoughts, actions, and words. I know that I have to be the parent first, and sometimes that isn’t always pretty or easy, but I hope to be a loving parent overall. <3
Adrienne Bolton (@TheMommyMess)
September 26, 2014 @ 8:01 am
Oh I hear that same phrase from my childhood and I don’t want to be that parent. It’s so hard to break away from what we learned and give our kids what they need. Parenting is no joke! I’m learning a few tough parenting lessons this week myself. You are not alone!
September 26, 2014 @ 8:51 am
Yes Adrienne, I think wanting to be “better” than our parents is a natural human instinct. We are all different and even with the best parents have things we want to do differently. It is tough “in the heat of the moment” sometimes to keep my head and stay the course with the things I WANT to portray and do vs. what seems to happen.