Needy vs. Needed

Mommmmmy! It’s the first thing I hear in the morning and probably hear at least 50 times throughout the day. My children need me. I am their mother. Having these two incredible little people depend on me can be one of the great joys of motherhood as well as a great curse. Being needed can be exhausting and leave a mom feeling drained, depleted, craving an existence where no one needs her.

Yesterday after returning from a preschool function for parents and children, my 5-year old Elan told me he did not like going to events where there were so many people. I was surprised to hear this. He looked like he was having so much fun playing with his friends while I relished the time sitting on the sidelines chatting with the other moms. I asked him why he didn’t enjoy himself. He said he doesn’t like when I talk to the other moms and he doesn’t know where I am. I reassured him that I would never leave him alone or leave him behind.  I was still confused as to why he felt so insecure when he was in the familiar environment of his school playground and I was clearly in his line of vision at all times. I told him when he was busy playing with his friends and having fun, Mommy was there to watch over him and make sure he stayed safe but that he didn’t REALLY need me. He was silent for a minute while he contemplated.  Then he looked at me in the eyes with the most tender, loving look you can imagine.  He placed his little hand on my cheek and said “Oh but I DO need you mommy.” My heart melted. I wanted to squeeze him forever and never let him go.

I try to nurture independence in my children. Some day they will grow up and not need me as much and I will miss the moments when they turned to me for everything. I know I will continue to complain for years to come when I have to be on beck and call. But I secretly confess that I hope I will always feel as loved and needed as I felt in that moment.

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