Monday, 28 May 2012

I can't protect you {not from everything, not forever}

I thought I'd always be able to protect my babies. Because that was my role, as their mother. To protect them.

How silly of me. To think I could protect them. Forever. From everything.  From mean words. From broken hearts. From rejection, fear and disappointment. From scrapes, bruises and scars.

I don't want them to feel any of that. It hurts just thinking about it. About them hurting. And if life would let me protect them forever, I would. But of course, that's not how it goes...

I can guide them, share with them, listen to them, love them. God I love them. But I can't protect them, not from everything {and not forever}.

I should have worked this out ages ago {but really it's only just dawning on me}.

I saw a first glimpse of this realisation in a matter of moments a few weeks ago...

My little miss two and a half was playing happily with a six year old. And then miss six got sick of playing the same game a hundred times over, and told her so. And walked away.

My little girl begged her to play again, pleaded "one more". {She even said please}. But no her big friend wouldn't budge, telling her she didn't want to play with her at all anymore. She may be just two and a half, but she understood that. {And in her big brown eyes I saw reflections of hurt}.

I wondered what I was to do. I didn't blame miss six for getting sick of the game - sometimes I get over playing the same game again and again too. But my little girl was distraught, in tears, and calling out "Play with me". She felt the rejection, but she couldn't understand it.

My mind didn't know what to do, so I let my heart do what felt right. I held my baby close, told her it would be okay, told her I loved her. And {with a lump in my throat} explained that sometimes our friends don't feel like playing with us, and that's okay.

But the whole thing has left me a little confused, a little overwhelmed.

I'm wondering how I teach my little girl resilience, how I teach her courage, how I teach her strength and determination, and understanding and tolerance. How I teach her to be mindful of others' feelings, and to use her intuition {and follow it too}.

How I teach her everything I think she needs to know to protect herself, but mainly to stay true to herself.

I'm a little daunted here. And I'm a little scared too. I thought showering her in love alone would be enough. Perhaps not?

I've thought about this on and off for weeks now. And I'm still not sure what the answer is.

But for now, I'm going to keep pouring on that love, and try to be the best version of myself possible {for her and for me}. I hope {and I pray} that a little {and a lot} of that is what she sees, what she needs to learn and helps her to grow. And I hope that is enough. 

Elisa xx

{image by Sam Natoli Photography}

What qualities do you hope to teach the little one in your life? {Whoever that little one may be - your child, sister, brother, niece, cousin, neighbour...}


  1. When you find the answers please let me know! I wrote a post a little similar to this a little while ago, my fears and worries about Evelyn growing up in a world of bullying etc. Its a terrifying thing, being a Mother and watching my babies discover hurt.

    Good luck x

    1. @mummadrogi it sure is terrifying. Because we love them so very much! Hoping I'm on the right track! x

  2. I am so with you on this one, it is so difficult to watch them hurt. I think you are on the right track, it is all we can do - love them, hold them, set a good example and be there when they need us.

  3. Elisa it is so very hard knowing what to do, it's horrible seeing your little ones sad you just want to keep them safe and happy. I think showering her with love and being a good role model is all that we can do. Talk to them always and just let them know that no matter what happens you will always love them. xx

  4. Oh Elisa - I struggle with this one all the time too. I cannnot stand the thought of my children feeling pain in any way shape or other. Just this morning one of my boys told me he feels lonely at school because everyone plays handball and he want to do something else for once so he has just been going to the library. Oh my God the thought of my little guy sitting all by himself just hurts so much that I want to go to school, to the library at lunchtime to be there for him.
    I know they need these experiences as it is only through hurting themselves that they learn empathy for others, but heaven forbid I actually catch someone hurting my child! ;) xx

  5. I totally hear you. I think that is one of the tough challenges we have to bare as a mother & I'm not sure it ever gets easier. It breaks your heart hearing your kids have hurt feelings, bullied or excluded, all we can do is love them let them know what wonderful, special, strong & beautiful people they are:) Nx

  6. @Catherine @Kim @Nicole @Sonia Thank you that's so comforting to read your words, and that we're all together in feeling this way. And thank you for the beautiful advice. I will be taking this on. Elisa x


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