Friday, April 26, 2013

When You Have A Child You Give Your Heart Away

To love a child is to give your heart away.  To have a child love YOU is to get it back.

I was talking to a young father in the produce section once.  He shared that he loved his little daughter so much that he couldn't bear to have another child.  He said that he worried so much about her that he just didn't want to have any more.

It wasn't because he didn't want any more children, and it wasn't because he felt like he couldn't afford any more children.  He was just afraid to open his heart again.  "I don't want to be vulnerable," he said.

I looked at this sweet man and said "You're already vulnerable! You already have one child in this world so whether you have one child or ten, you are going to be just as vulnerable."

He thought by limiting his children he could limit his fears for his child.  He thought that he would double or triple his fears if he added more children, because he would have more children to worry about.

It has been my experience that worrying about your children is the same, whether it was worrying about my one child when I had only one, or my two children now that I have two. I have not now cornered the worry market just because I have two children.

I have several friends who have had only one child, and they don't seem to have limited their source of worry by limiting their children.

They worry if their child will be spoiled or selfish by being an only child.  They worry about their only child "missing out" on the give and take and fights and fun of siblings.  They worry if their child will resent them for not giving them siblings.  They worry about what will happen to their child and who will give them love and support when they're gone.

Then I have lots of friends who have more than one child, like me!  Whether they have two children or ten children  they have worries as well.

They worry that their child will feel invisible because of so many siblings.  They worry that their older children will feel resentful for having to help with the littles, and that the littles won't be as close to their oldest siblings because of the age difference.  They worry that their children will feel the negative responses that some people give them for having a big family.

If you have children you are going to be vulnerable. But is that really so bad?

It just means that your heart is open to love.  Lots and lots of love.  And your heart is open to joy, lots and lots of joy.  The opposite of vulnerable would be closed, guarded, shielded, protected.  Is that the kind of heart we want to have?  A closed, shielded heart?

 We had two children.  We did not want to close ourselves off from such joy because we were afraid of being more vulnerable.  Can you even BE more vulnerable?

Yes, you are vulnerable when you have children.

Your heart is going to forever leave your body and go walking out that door right along with them whenever that child crosses the threshold.

But it will come back to you again every time that child returns home.  It will come back to you every time that child gives you a hug, smiles at you, says "I love you" or says "Mom?" when you answer the phone.

It will come back to you in moments of joy and moments of tears. In moments of faith and moments of fears.

Yes, children make you vulnerable.  But they also make you a mother, and what a blessing from God that is!

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Missional Women
The Life Of FaithTheBetterMom.comWhat Joy Is MinePhotobucketHappy Wives ClubExceptionalisticCovered in GraceRaising Imperfection
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  1. So true! I really feel vulnerable! Three teen boys is making me raw! LOL

    oh but it sure is beautiful when they stop to give me a hug and say "I love you, Mom" Or do things just because!

    Beautiful Post!


    1. Like reach something from the top shelf. Just recently I had to call my youngest son to get something down for me because I was on my tiptoes but still couldn't reach it!

  2. This was beautiful. Yes, I have worried about all those things. We had a full house with 6 kids, now we're down to 2. Too much attention, not enough attention? We've learned we have to reinvent our parenting with each growth stage and as kids come and go from the house. But, yea, the love is always the cohesive factor, isn't it?

    1. Yup, love holds it all together! Wow, from six to two. I am the youngest of 6 and remember when our big ole' Victorian home was FULL of people, and then later we just seemed to rattle around in it, lol!

  3. I love them until there seems like there is nothing more to give and then more love wells up. It brings joy that balances out those days when it hurts so. The other day my daughter was telling me about her dreams and adventures she plans which means she has grown up totally. She told me not to cry before the tears were in my eyes, LOL!! Our children know us well.

    1. Yes, they do! I was talking to my son about his upcoming wedding and my voice started to shake and tears started to well up and he was like "Mom, don't cry or you'll make ME cry!"

  4. Amen!!!
    What a blessing from God it is and I'm so thankful that I don't have to go it alone, He is always with me.

    1. Amen, girl! I can't even imagine parenting or anything without Him!

  5. What a great post and VERY true! I am a mom of only one and I worry a ton! I think it just goes with the territory! I'm learning to worry without panicking myself which is quite the challenge at times! I do worry that I am spoiling and babying her too much. I worry she is missing out on the wonderful things that go along with having a sibling. I worry that if something ever happened to her, how I'd go on another day. All normal worries I think, but it seems like the worries keep multiplying! It's crazy really and exhausting also. It's also amazing having a child (as I'm sure you know) and I wouldn't trade my job for anything :o)

    1. Yes, I think it does go with the territory, lol!

      As they grow your worries become different worries, "Are they safe? Who is driving? Are they a good driver? Is MY child a good driver? Shouldn't they be home soon? Is it raining outside and do they have good tires on their car??"

      But, you've also grown in your relationship with the Lord and so you continue to turn those concerns over to Him and rest in Him with them. And maybe check your clock every five minutes, lol!

  6. This is absolutely true ... It's so hard to not worry when you are a parent. But there are those moments when your child looks at you and says "Mom, I love you so much," like she did this morning and it melts my heart!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    1. Yes, they are little heart melters, aren't they? Lol! Thanks so much for hosting!

  7. I have met parents like you mention, who are afraid of extending their hearts beyond one child. I have also met parents who are afraid they only have enough love for one. We can certainly have some different opinions and thoughts on raising children!

    Yes-we are so vulnerable when we have children. But as Garth Brooks said in his song The Dance, "I could have missed the pain but I'd have had to miss the dance."

    1. Yes we can, and that's why our friends can drive us crazy and vice versa until we accept that we're all going to parent differently, lol!

      Oh I love that line. I don't think I've ever heard that song. I'll have to look it up on you-tube.

  8. This was beautiful!! Thank you.

    1. Awwww, thank you for your sweet comment, my friend! ;)

  9. lovely......Thank you for sharing at the hop my sweet bloggy friend xo

    1. As always it is a super pleasure to link up with YOU, my dear! :)


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