I Thought I Knew What Love Was

I always wanted to be a mom. I distinctly remember thinking around age 13, “I want to have a daughter that loves me the way I love my mom.”

…because that’s not at all self-serving…

What I didn’t understand before becoming a mom was that real love is sacrifice. Yes, I loved my mom growing up, and we are still very close. I love her dearly. [Insert “awwwww” here].

Still, up until a certain age (definitely older than 13), I wasn’t making regular, deliberate sacrifices for my mom’s wellbeing. She was making sacrifices for MY wellbeing. I felt love towards her because of the love she showed me through her actions. I loved being loved.

As I’ve grown older (Am I even allowed to say “grown older” at age 29??), I’ve made more regular, deliberate sacrifices for my mom. Although, I wouldn’t always call my actions “sacrifices.” Sometimes it’s as simple as showing her around a new function on her iPhone. Seriously, I love that all generations are now using emojis.

Anyway, I’m reciprocating love by choosing actions that show my mom love. And because she has shown me unconditional love for all these years, I am even more eager to return that love.

I want to raise children who respect and love their parents the way I do mine. (Hey, Dad!!). It’s no accident that I feel towards my parents the way I do. That I treat them the way I do. They worked their tails off for many years (and still do). They taught me the importance of showing love and respect towards others.

While it certainly is challenging to put so much time and effort into raising my children, it has been much less daunting than it would have been had I not had my parents’ love and direction for all these years.

So, here’s my question to you—

How will you teach your children to show love?

This isn’t something to start thinking about once your kids are a little older, because “a little older” will be here in a hot second. Start thinking today how you will consistently show love to your children and teach them to show love. Consider how you want your children to show love to you and others 5…10…20 years down the road.

What is one thing you can do that will make deposits into your child’s character so they may grow to be an example of love and sacrifice for others? Share your thoughts in a comment below.

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