Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More than me

As a mother, I tend to every need of my children.  I wake in the night to feed a baby, I read books to my children as if my life depends on it, I kiss multiple skinned knees, and accept every bouquet of dandelions as if they were the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. 

And yet ... it's not enough.

Despite my best efforts, I have come to realize that my children need more than just me. 

I can't do it all. 

They need their Daddy to wrestle with them, cuddle with them, build them a swing and sing them songs from the radio.  They need their grandparents to parent them with the experience of a lifetime.  They need their aunts and uncles to show them new perspectives in the world.  They need a community that cares for their growth and development and offers experiences I can't.  They need time away from adults to learn how to work together and how to let their imaginations soar.

Daddy getting the ropes ready for a swing.

Whenever I hear my sister sing Luke a song, listen to Gwen tell me what she learned at Kinderhaus, or hear my Dad read Colin a book, I feel a weight lift off my chest.  Other people are helping my children to grow and learn. 

I don't have to do it all.

After Luke's birth I felt alone in the first few days, and even weeks.  I wondered how I was going to find time to raise Luke.  I was afraid his needs would keep me from spending time with my other children.  I figured I would be solely responsible for teaching him everything he would need to know.  Then, if something was missed, it would be my fault.  I underestimated the people who surround Luke and our family.  I'm not the only one who loves Luke, and he needs those other people in his life.

Luke is growing (14 lbs 13 oz at 4 months!), which Luke and I have achieved together.  He is also getting stronger and learning new things.  Yes, I work with him every day, but so do many other people.  Even Gwen has learned how to help Luke when he's on his tummy and knows what physical therapy skills we are working on.  Does she know that every baby doesn't have to work so hard?  I'm not sure.  What she does know is that Luke is our "special buddy angel." 

Her words, not mine.

Luke Michael, 4 months old

I don't know how to thank all the people who have taken the time to read, sing, do a puzzle, bake some cookies, draw a picture, or just have a conversation with one of my children. 

I can only say thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.


  1. Claire - Lindsay Harman passed on this great blog to me. What a great reminder that we do not need (and should not!) do it all as mothers. Beautiful post and pictures. I met you a while back when you came to get the toddler swing our kids had outgrown. -Alexandra White

  2. Stacie (Keppler) FrancoisMay 20, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Beautifully written. Looks like your three are just the age ours are and girl, boy, boy. While Luke will have challenges with his disability, he appears healthy and happy which is something we all hope our children are . . .


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