Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Just Love.

“I just don’t know what to do.” was the very frustrated text I’d sent my husband one afternoon a couple of weeks ago.  Baby Z was wide awake…again, after trying to get her to sleep for the umpteenth time.  It was clear that my ordinarily fairly predictable little sleeper was having a series of off days.  I’d remembered Big C having plenty of days like this (call them growth spurts, developmental spurts, or just the age-old infant constant of “change.”), but knowing it was just a phase didn’t help get my day under control, hence the text of desperation.  I’m not sure what I was expecting him to say.   Maybe I just wanted some empathy, just something that let me know he knew how I felt and was praying for me.  


But his answer surprised me.  

“Love her.”  

That’s all.  No fresh ideas that I hadn’t heard yet, because let’s face it, by this point, we are all well aware of what we’ve each got in our bag of baby whisperer tricks.  No sympathetic “I’m sorry,” or encouraging “I’ll be home soon,” or even a sad face emoticon.  Just a simple two-word command that changed my perspective in an instant.  

I am far from a perfect parent, and some days I feel like  I do more wrong than right.  I often find myself praying that my children will turn out okay in spite of the things I do rather than because of them.  But one thing I can do for them better than anyone else in this world is give them unconditional love from their mama.  Right now that means reading books to a 4 year old while nursing a baby to sleep on my lap.  It means trying my best to comfort a very little girl who is adjusting to living in a very big world, and trying my best to carve out some one on one time with a still little boy who some days has a hard time adjusting to that very little girl’s arrival.  

As the days, months, and years go by, the specifics of what I’m supposed to do as a mama are sure to change.  Soon enough I’ll be playing the role of chauffeur, guidance counselor, and heaven knows what else.  But the overarching theme of it all will remain the same.  Love her.  Love him.  

It may not solve all of our problems (Baby Z still took another hour that afternoon before finally giving in to exhaustion.)  But it changed the way I saw my problem, which made all the difference in my day.  So the next time your life gets out of hand and you throw your hands up in sheer desperation, don’t let your frustrations get the better of you…Just love.   (Now cue Beatles album…;))



5 Responses to “Just Love.”

  1. Good golly, I feel ya! SO freeing when my husband encourages me to do the same thing….and not worry about all the rest! 🙂


  2. oh.. yes. this is just beautiful..and so good to hear for me, too – though my littlest just turned 6 yesterday.. but there are still days (and will always be – they say) of wondering in my head what i’m supposed to do with whatever is going on in all my kids’ growing minds/bodies..and that is just the perfect phrase… thankyou. lovetoyour beautiful family.xoxox


  3. KMET

    I love this piece – it is beautiful and so true. I just recently found your blog. I am on maternity leave with my third child and so many of your posts ring so true to me. Thanks.


  4. Susan

    Love this – this is so perfect. We have a 16 month old, are in the middle of a move, a huge work project and a vacation to see family. And I’ve been frustrated by his 2 hours he wants to take at night to play, bounce, read, just about anything but go to sleep. So, this is perfect…just love him, the rest can wait, I can sleep later, loving him now is what’s important, thanks so much for the great post!


  5. Erica

    Thanks all, glad you enjoyed it. And Leilani, I dont’ think it matters how old your kiddos are, the message applies! 🙂


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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN