I’m not one of those women that goes around quoting Whitney Houston. But if I was I would say my life has been more “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” than “Greatest Love of All.” If I am to be totally honest there is a dash of “So Emotional” in there, too. But for the most part I would rather skip around in neon eye shadow and a jean jacket dancing “with somebody that loves me” than contemplating life’s tougher questions.
Eme from California asks:
Do you ever wonder how you love children that have different dads? How it’s different, how it’s not…
The short answer – I love them. Because I am Mom. And moms just love, they don’t discriminate or ask questions.
As tempting as it is to say that I love them both the same I can’t. Because I don’t. My own mother always told us that no two kids have the same parents. As we grow and change through our lives so does our parenting. The choices I make as a new mother might be very different from the choices I make as a seasoned pro. (Does anyone ever actually feel like a professional parent? Or do you always carry that feeling of wondering if everyone can tell you have no idea what you’re doing?)
I love my oldest, my daughter from my first marriage, like I love my girlfriends. I work hard not to lean on her for emotional support but she makes me laugh like only a woman’s friends can. We spent a lot of time just the two of us during a time in my life that I was lonely. When she was three years old we would watch “Dancing with the Stars” and have pizza parties on the floor in the living room. Big sippy of water for her, big glass of wine for me. She was my heart and soul and my sidekick. She was the reason I had to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward with my broken heart.
I love my little one because she makes me feel like I am 100%, no looking back a real, live mom. When you have one kid in tow you can fake it like you are not consumed with motherhood. But the second one? I knew what I was in for and I dove in eyes wide open. I loved being a mother and I wanted to do it again. I love her because she gave my husband a baby (he had previously only had a little girl) and my daughter a sister. She completed our family.
The different ways I love these two little people may very well be attributed to their birth order as well as their different fathers. I don’t know. I have nothing to compare it to.
When I look at my oldest’s face and I see her father, my ex-husband, I see a part of my own life. I no longer feel the sadness I once felt. I don’t know if I’d have made peace with my divorce and with that decade of my life if not for having to look her in the face every day. I look at my youngest and she looks just like her father already. In her face I see my future.
Perhaps that is the greatest difference in my love for them. In my oldest I see the journey that brought me to here. In my youngest I see just how much farther I have to go.
Maybe I am one of those women that quotes “The Greatest Love of All” after all. Because in loving my girls I am reminded every day that the greatest gift I can give them is to love myself. I can love them and hug them and hold them tight but that won’t teach them to be strong and proud and love themselves. I have to show them. Every day.