Other Great Loves

It was well passed my bedtime. Well, ok, it was 8pm. But I was eyeball-sore tired and I was drinking wine on the couch.

I’ve become addicted to watching those how-to-be-a-good-mother themed parenting documentaries. They don’t make me into a better mother. They just make me realise all the things that I’m doing wrong and subsequently my wine slightly salty because of all the tears.

And yet I just can’t look away.

One day there’ll be the little nugget of gold that makes me into the queen of the parents. Well, this show had a nugget alright but it sure wasn’t golden.

A very shiny looking lady said: Until you have a child of your own, you don’t really know what love means.  “Say what!?” The wine sprayed from my mouth. Actually, that reminds me, I better clean that up.

Before I had Pickles and Pords my life wasn’t a barren, loveless wasteland. To suggest as much not only diminishes the lives and loves of those who are childless or childfree, but also any other great loves in a parent’s life. It limits the selfhood of the parent to simply being a mother or a father, disregarding all of the other incarnations of self that they had prior to children, and continue to have for their whole lives.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that you might never love any children at all, or even like the little buggers very much, and still know deep, soaring, eternal love. Love that consumes you and changes you and crushes you while making you feel whole.

Or you might not have children of your own, but love nieces or nephews, or the children of a close friend. I’ll always remember where I was when my brother called me to tell me his baby girl had been born. I’ve loved her and my nephew right from the start. Babysitting is not seen as a favour for my brother and sister-in-law because spending time with them is happiness.

I didn’t have my own children and think ah well, that wasn’t really love at all. I didn’t suddenly see my husband as a mere passing fancy. The feelings I had for other family and friends did not cease their importance.

Being a mum has been a remarkably wonderful experience so far. My love for my children is immense. But I’m not mother-nothing-more. And my friends who are not parents are not incapable of knowing love.

What do you think? Was the lady on my tv crazy, or am I crazy?

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16 thoughts on “Other Great Loves

  1. Of course I loved before I was a mother, I love my nephews so so much and of course the man I wanted to make babies with. I think for me though when I had Aspen I found it was a different love, it’s not that it was more real or that I discovered what love was, it was just different. Just as I clearly love my hubby differently to how I love my parents, or friends. For me it was more of a primal instinct, over protective insane love. Does that make sense? Any way that was just me #abitofeverything
    mackenzie glanville recently posted…keeping up with your tween #mgMy Profile

    1. It definitely makes sense. Every love is different. I think this silly woman on tv was just being particularly insulting and patronising in assuming that people who don’t have children can’t understand that. They know what love is. They know that having children would be a different kind of love. Their lives and hearts might be full in a different way, but they can still be full nonetheless. It is an insane kind of love though, I agree! 🙂

  2. It’s her not you!! I’m really not a big fan of the “you don’t know what x, y and z is like until you have kids” brigade. I had it said to me before I had my daughter with reference to several things that I couldn’t possibly be experiencing and I hear it said to childless people all the time and I just want to cringe. Like childlessness is an illness. Of course, we all joke about it as parents – the life we once had but of course we are more than just mothers. I suggest you scoop the spat out wine up and stick it back in your glass. Cheers! Nicky x #abitofeverything
    Nicky Kentisbeer recently posted…Poppies For Our ChildrenMy Profile

  3. I’d say the love I have for my children is unconditional whereas, for instance, the love I have for my husband is not. If he was abusive or unfaithful or something I could fall out of love with him/leave him, but – right now at least – there’s nothing my children could do that would stop me loving them.

    *However*, that doesn’t mean I don’t love my husband!! Just because it’s a completely different kind of love based on mutual attraction, shared interests, similar sense of humour, memories together etc. rather than that more basic instinct of maternal love doesn’t mean it’s lesser.

    And the love I have for my parents and siblings is totally different again…but still definitely love!

    What a load of nonsense.

    Lady Nym recently posted…Me, My Mental Health and IMy Profile

    1. Yes! This is a great comment. It’s funny how that one little word can have so many different applications. A rich tapestry of love 🙂

  4. You are right. There are great loves a person can have, other than his/her children. It’s just a different type of love and the different loves make a whole person. It’s actually quite presumptuous and rude to say that you don’t know what love is until you have a child. I know of great inspirational people who are childless but whose love is boundless and more inspiring, all the more so because their love is directed towards others who are NOT their children or even related to them. Hope to see you again at #abitofeverything.
    El recently posted…A bit of Everything Linky Week 5My Profile

  5. I used to watch those shows before I had children, mainly to laugh at the frazzled parents with the hilariously out of control children. Karmas a bitch. I don’t watch those shows anymore, because those people do not know what they are talking about!! And this proves it. The aching, butterflies in stomach, ferocious love I have for my husband, is definitely equal to what I feel for my children. There you go, she was wrong!!
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…Who The Hell Is Raisins?My Profile

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