My son slipped into my bedroom at 6am one morning. I was sleepy, so I decided not to move. There was plenty of room for him to just get under the covers next to me. We did not have to speak. I did not have to welcome him as I usually do, by raising the cover and saying something sweet. I knew he knew he was welcome. I just could not speak or move – I was sleepy.
He slipped under the covers without a word. Just when I thought I was off the hook and we would go back to sleep, he said, “Mommy, please turn around to face me.” I obliged without saying a word. Then he said, “You are the best mom in the world.” Now that’s something to wake up to, isn’t it?
It was not the first time he said that to me. He says it to me a lot in different settings and at different hours of the day.
Here he was, in the wee hours of the morning, looking for maternal presence, wanting to go back to sleep next to the heartbeat he heard for the first nine months of his life. Expressing his love, too. Happy with me in general, but, probably, happy with me also because he asked me to do something and I did it (turn around to face him).
It’s such a temptation to give in to our children’s requests so that they will love us and declare us champion parents. No parenting book out there will give you the perfect knowledge of when to give in and when to refuse your children’s requests. I’m afraid you only have your own maternal instinct to go by. If you are a believer, you know there’s the Holy Spirit, too, guiding if you are listening.
So ignore the critics and the unsolicited advice givers and do your mommy thing. Give in when you know it’s right, set boundaries other times. Only you know what is best for your child. And only you can be “the best mom in the world” to your child.