Needs and Love
I need you to need me…?
He can’t say “I love you” but he can come to my breast and relax.
My baby boy turned six months this week. It was also a week of great milestones for him. One of them being having milk with cereals before going to bed, so he could sleep better and longer. It worked, he had been waking up often to drink. He also wanted to drink by himself and managed to drink the whole thing holding the bottle with his tiny hands. I was proud. I also got to see him waking up and then going back to sleep by himself. It filled me with joy to see him gaining autonomy and learning new skills. He impresses me every day. Yet, there was this realisation that now he needs me a little bit less. My milk is not his only source of nourishment and he could actually spend a whole night without me. His dad or someone else could bring him a bottle and he would be able to settle and sleep again. It hurts a little.
I love this boy so much. And I wish he will always be healthy and strong and happy. And he took one more step in that direction. So, why does it hurt? I seem to wish him to need me, not just love me.
I guess, at the moment, it’s hard for him to express his love if he can feel it. So, maybe, because of that, I want these expressions of bond and connection. He can’t say “I love you” but he can come to my breast and relax.
I can’t help but wonder, though: do I also want other people to need me? My work is to help others, my mission in life is to make a home and a family, to help them be happy. Could this drive to help others include a desire for others to need me? And, if so, is that an issue?
When I met my husband and, later on, when we moved in together, it was important to feel I didn’t need him. We loved each other and we were great together. But we are together because we make each other better because our life is so much more amazing as a family. I don’t think this would have been possible if I felt either of us had to try to keep the other from sinking.
Now we rely on each other and our three lives are so intertwined that we became a unit. To me, this is a beautiful sense and expression of family. We all need each other at this point although we’d all survive otherwise. My husband and I are individuals, apart from being a couple and parents. And, it seems, our baby is also becoming more and more of a separate person, and being able to rely more on himself.
As a way to re-frame this, is to experience this change has him creating the ability to be more self-resilient. By doing this he will also be creating more space to love, simply for the sake of love. Then, he will be able to say “I love you”, one day, without thinking about milk or bottles.
Indeed, this has been a week of great milestones.