You don’t have to be a hopeless romantic to believe in love at first sight; you just need to be a parent! From the very first moment we meet them, it’s like we’ve known them our whole lives. There really is no truer love.
There’s No Truer Love Than That We Feel for Our Kids
Scientists have spent decades trying to explain “love at first sight” in a romantic sense. They’ve hypothesized, analyzed, and whatever “-ized” thing they do when they publish their results. Their conclusion? It’s not real.
I beg to differ. While romantic love at first sight may be a myth that’s easily explained away by our poor memories and weird brains, there’s one type that I absolutely believe in: the love we feel for our kids. Whether it’s through childbirth, surrogacy, or adoption, from the moment our eyes fall upon their sweet little faces, we’re goners.
Our children are our truest soulmates.
It sounds weird to say that our kids are our soulmates, because like love at first sight, we often think of the phrase in romantic terms. However, while I was trying to think of a way to explain what I mean by that, I came across a quote from a clinical psychologist that says it all.
Suzana E. Flores told Women’s Health Magazine, that a soulmate is someone who teaches you an important lesson. As she explains, “They can shake up your soul by providing experiences that change the way you perceive yourself and the world. Soulmates challenge you to transcend into a higher state of consciousness.”
No one and nothing can challenge us, transcend us, and completely change how we see the world more than our children. Parenting changes us on a deep level that even our truest romantic love can’t reach. It alters us down to the core and teaches us what pure unconditional love really means. Let’s talk about that last statement a bit more.
Parenting teaches us what pure unconditional love really means
Unconditional love, in the simplest terms, means love that we give freely without any strings. As much as we want to feel that for others in our lives – our spouses, our parents, our even our best friends-let’s be honest; there are always strings attached to those relationships. We my not even realize it until those strings are tugged, but they exist.
With our kids, though, there’s absolutely nothing they can do that will make us stop loving them. Nothing. Yes, we can get angry with them. Sometimes, we may even be so angry that we can’t even look at or speak to them. We still love them, though, no matter what. We’re still there for them when they need us.
Did you know that this deep unconditional love we have for our kids actually has scientifically studied benefits for both parents and children? In a 2009 study, researchers discovered that feeling unconditional love for another activates the brain’s “reward system” and creates positive feelings.
Then, a 2010 and a 2013 study found that kids who receive such love are more resilient and healthy (both mentally and physically) throughout their entire lives. Pretty neat, right?
You can love your child at first sight without even knowing it!
While researching studies about the unconditional love at first sight that we feel for our kids, I came across a post that basically said we need to stop that “myth,” implying that it was harmful, especially to those who experience post-partum depression. I think that’s important to address, because I never want to make anyone feel bad about themselves or their parenting.
For some, the intense bond and feeling of unconditional love kicks in the moment we lay eyes on our kids. Like I said earlier, we see them, and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this little being is exactly what we’ve waited for our entire lives.
For others, though, there isn’t that “click.” I want to tell you that it’s okay to feel that way. That it doesn’t make you a bad parent. It doesn’t mean that you don’t unconditionally love your child just as much as others love theirs. It just means that the hormones and your exhaustion are blocking you from feeling that true and deep love right away.
Maybe it’ll take a few hours. Maybe it’ll take days. Weeks, even. But one day soon, you’ll look at your child and it’ll come flooding in. You’ll not only feel it in the moment, but you’ll know that it’s been there from the start.
Love comes in so many forms. Romantic, friendship, familial (for our parents and siblings). But there really is no truer love than that we feel for our kids. Don’t you agree?
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