As an editor at NetMoms, Pia Kotzur was able to gather a lot of experience about what moves mothers in everyday life. After her studies in gender studies and cultural sciences she dived into the cosmos of parenting and family topics with joy and today she is the head of the NetMoms editorial office. Part of a great (and sometimes challenging) patchwork family herself, she’s especially interested in unconventional family models. Their credo here is that if it feels right, then it is good.
Motherly love can be expressed in many different ways, and in the search for the "right" way, parenting couples like to get confused. Trust in your own feelings and abilities is often the best advisor. From us you get a few additional tips on how you can show motherly love in everyday life.
In this article
Motherly love makes strong and happy children
They cause chaos, yell at the supermarket and get petulant about homework – even though it’s hard sometimes, most parents love their kids. Showing this also presents you as a parent with a completely different challenge and is often accompanied by a guilty conscience. Do I have too little time for my child? Was I too strict today? Stress and arguments are just part of everyday life and don’t make for a messed up childhood. Motherly love conveys a basic feeling of love, security and trust. This makes children strong and lets them grow up self-confidently.
Motherly love in everyday life – does my child feel that I love him or her??
Every child is different, and while one can’t get enough of cuddling, another fidgets after just a few minutes and would rather romp around. You know your child and his peculiarities and will certainly find out what he wants from you and what he needs. In addition, we give you a few tips that can help you:
- Rituals: Rituals may only take a few minutes of your time, but they give your child a lot of security. Breakfast together or a story in the evening, for example, are simple rituals. Or maybe you prefer to play a very specific game on the way to the supermarket, which is only for supermarket visits. What new rituals can you imagine in your family??
Notice: Remember that a ritual thrives on its consistency. Don’t plan for anything that won’t work most days. You can read more about this topic in our article "Rituals make everyday life easier for children".
- Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle: Children enjoy physical closeness and the feeling of security, but the hours of cuddling together sometimes come too short in the stressful everyday life. Consciously take time for cuddles. Try to get up a little earlier, then you can cuddle your little one in the morning in peace before the daily madness breaks out.
- Undivided attention: Of course, your child can’t and shouldn’t always be the center of attention. But children also want to be taken seriously and listened to. A good opportunity is, for example, to have meals together. What did your child experience today? What did it get angry or happy about? You will be surprised what you can find out about your offspring by listening with interest.
- Crazy surprises: Imagine a normal day, but suddenly someone picks you up for a spontaneous getaway. Surprises are exciting, fun, and don’t have to cost much. Instead of lunch at the kitchen table, have a picnic in the park. Instead of a playtime in the children’s room, you can have a scavenger hunt through the apartment. Or in the evening the TV stays off and everyone just plays the favorite show themselves. You’re bound to think of something fun to surprise your child with.
- "I love you": It sounds so simple that parents sometimes forget it – a little praise or loving words make children happy. Pay attention to how often you say something nice to your child. It’s happy to hear a simple "I love you" or "I think it’s great that you cleaned up today". You are working and hardly see your child on some days? Write little messages and put them on his pillow or in his lunch box.
- Be good to yourself: If you always fall short with your own wants and needs, it’s no wonder you go through the day stressed and in a bad mood. Children have fine antennae and sense your dissatisfaction. Take regular small time-outs and do something just for you. Family, friends or a reliable babysitter will certainly take good care of your little one during this time.
Motherly love put to the test
When anger, disappointment, and rejection override your motherly love, you should take time to think about the reasons:
- Children sometimes drive us up the wall. In these moments, psychologists recommend linking negative feelings to the action and not the person. By realizing that you are not rejecting your child, but what he or she is doing, you will find it easier to deal with the situation. Of course you are allowed to let off steam, but without hurting your child physically or verbally. Tell your children what is annoying you in clear "I-messages": "I’m annoyed that you didn’t come home on time."I’m so angry right now because you don’t want to help with the dishes."If you are really angry, it can help if you briefly withdraw from the situation in order to calm down again.
- It is often mothers who torture themselves with self-doubt and high expectations. Job, child, household, partner – everything should work perfectly. But children often don’t want it the way we imagine it. Frustration spreads and shakes the ideal of the always patient and loving mother. What do you expect from yourself as a parent?? Are your demands on yourself perhaps too strict?? Always remember: the perfect parents – fortunately – do not exist. Your mistakes and quirks are part of who you are, and children who experience their parents as authentic people will later be able to deal with their own mistakes with confidence.
- If your mother’s love is permanently absent, you should seek help. Maybe just a frank conversation with a trusted person will help. You can also get support from public counseling centers in your city, such as Caritas or Diakonie. The supply is usually free.
Here’s the expression of love from the other direction for once. The German Huffington Post published a letter from a two-year-old to his parents. Simply cute! Click here for the article