Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I need my child more than she needs me, and I'm okay with that.

With the recent loss of his son, this quote from Joe Biden has been all over the internet.  And those words and his loss have me thinking so much lately: what would I do if I lost Natalie?  It's truly unfathomable.  No parent should ever have to bury their child.  

I know if something happened to me, Natalie would be okay. She has a wonderful father and a solid support system who would make sure she was raised how I would want and she would absolutely be okay. If something happened to my baby though, I am not so sure I could say the same thing. I need that little girl more than she needs me.

At this point in my life, so much of who I am is being that little girl's mom. It's not something I planned and I don't, by any means, feel like I have lost any of my own identity.  In fact, it's just the opposite.  I feel like I have found my place and found who I was always supposed to be. And I know that as she grows up and as we have more children, that part of me will be forever changing, but I feel like I am finally who I was meant to be.

When I was younger, I never let my relationships define me.  My mother had been in an abusive marriage before she married my father and she encouraged my sisters and me to never lose ourselves and to always protect ourselves and who we were as people.  I was never just so and so's girlfriend and when I met Brandon, I maintained that.  And more importantly, he respected that.  And when we got married, I knew that I was more than just Brandon's wife.  I was Tori.  I was a college graduate with a career and a car payment who just so happened to be married to someone pretty kick ass.  

I am incredibly lucky because Brandon has always encouraged me to keep my identity and be Tori.  He encourages me to do things I enjoyed doing before he came along and to continue to have the occasional girl's night.  But something changed for me when Natalie was born.  I needed those things less. Don't get me wrong, I still love having margs with the girls from time to time, but I don't feel I need it the way that I once did. I am happy with a juice box, pre-bedtime snuggles and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse reruns with Natalie.

Since the birth of our daughter, I have felt whole. Like part of me had been missing and I never even knew it.  Natalie completed me in such a real way and I live and breathe for that little girl.  I know that I have to go to work every day because, right now, it is what is best for our family but it breaks my heart to be away from her.  I hate that I don't get to see her in the morning, but I am so thankful that I am the one who gets to pick her up from daycare.  The way those little arms wrap themselves around my neck when I pick her up - it fills my heart with so much happiness, some days I think I might actually explode with joy.  I don't know what I would do without those hugs.  The idea of not being able to kiss her goodnight every night makes me physically ill.  That little girl is my life.  She is the sun and the moon.

Joe Biden's words resonate with me so much lately.  While I never liked to idea of belonging to someone in a possessive sense, I am so happy and so incredibly lucky to be Natalie's mom.  I truly need that little girl more than she needs me and I'm okay with that.

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