May 242016



How many of us approached parenting with all the love in a plan like this?

We know for sure that OUR children will never feel “apart” from other family members. They will always understand how very wanted they are and this will create a closeness unlike  other families we know. They will be happy because we understand them so well.  Their basic needs will be so well-provided for that they’ll be able to direct their energies toward passions like sports, the arts and, of course, their educations.  They will excel. And, of course, this overflow of love will inspire them so much they will gladly share their prized possessions with their siblings….

That optimism is a wonderful thing and reflects the almost overpowering unconditional love that parents can feel.  It’s a love that motivates us in ways that are hard to understand. It makes us want to do the impossible. It can also be a little scary and make any one of us a touch crazy.

[Tweet “Love can also be a little scary and make us a touch crazy.”]

We hover and helicopter and try to control every interaction in our children’s days.  It’s almost as if we have come to  believe that discomfort equals disability and that letting our kids learn from trial and error (their own — NOT ours) will bring about permanent injury or harm. Fantasy and reality don’t quite match up.

This morning I heard a woman speaking about one of her most embarrassing moments. Unfortunately for her? It was televised. (Yes, fellow introverts, my skin is crawling and I’ve got giant butterflies in my gut just from imagining typing that.) The speaker was one of those remarkable, outgoing, super sales-y direct sales people who used the story to explain the role of failure in her life. Her embarrassing, unprepared-for-TV-moment never, ever came around again. In fact, it taught her to treat many other moments as if she were about to be beamed onto millions of screens all around the world. Good lesson, no?

[Tweet “Reality isn’t always pretty; it’s probably pretty darned close to perfect”]


crying baby


What does this have to do with loving your kids? Reality isn’t always pretty and it’s probably pretty darned close to perfect. Relax.

Think about the things you know for sure.  How easily did your own big lessons come to you? If you’re anything like me (and this morning’s speaker), I’ll guess at least a few of those important life lessons came as a result of a big belly flop off of life’s high diving board. Splat! Unfortunately, lots of life’s best lessons come to us that way.

To grow as parents we are required to grow as people —  the lessons we model through the way we live our lives carry much more weight than the ones we try to create with rules, words or even our well-intended fantasies.

[Tweet “Can we trust that our love — in all of its’ messy imperfection — is perfect enough?”]

It’s painful to watch kids struggle, but let’s be realistic.  Can we love them enough to put our own feelings aside? To let our kids be kids? Can we trust that our love — in all of its’ messy imperfection — is perfect enough?




Today I am a “Love Ambassador” for my online friend, Intuitive Psychologist, Dr. Debra Reble and her newest book. We’re celebrating the release of Being Love: How Loving Yourself Creates Ripples of Transformation in Your Relationships and the World just released by Inspired Living Publishing.  Order your copy today and receive over 50 gifts from Debra and her community.


  10 Responses to “What’s LOVE Got To Do With It”

  1. I believe that love and some guidance is the best combination for our children. Going through not so pleasant experiences is what makes us clarify our desires and grow spiritually… and for some reason we parents want to prevent children from having those wonderful experiences. I mean, who doesn’t want their children to grow spiritually? We have to be willing to let go enough so they can have their own experiences and grow, and not think so much in whether WE get hurt or not.

  2. In hindsight I wish it were that simple to give unconditional love. I didn’t have it, didn’t know what it was or felt like until age 60 when I met my 2nd husband. Did I give my kids all I had- I think so but I was not aware of doing conscious parenting & was often in my own struggle for survival. As adults, one has serious health issues that we know is connected to mind/body. The other raises a family where the parents are not always on the same page. I never buried my head in the sand & spent years & still do on my own growth and development. No regrets other than to look back to understand what happened. I prefer to look to today.

  3. I am not a parent, but I really love this. I think you have touched on the heart of mindful parenting, kudos to you.

  4. My daughter is an only child and an only grandchild, and although she has turned out to be an incredible being, she was never really faced with the kind of struggles most children face at a young age, Andrea. She was protected and had a “charmed” childhood, partly because of the TV series she was a co-star of. Everything was done for her and I am not sure what lessons of struggle we “allowed” her to have. Those challenges came from the outside world though. She is continuing to learn that life isn’t as charmed as she thought it was during her younger years, and she is still learning about life being messy even in her 30’s. Wonderful perspective you share in this post!

  5. I always say that I am special enough to be blessed not once, but twice with two children on the autistic spectrum. Now, that they are both adults and I reflect back on those moments of being in the single mama trenches of all that they needed, and wouldn’t trade it away. Thanks for bringing up loving memeories.

  6. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that perfect love needn’t look perfect – just what I needed to hear as a parent! xo, Reba

  7. Can we love them enough to put our own feelings aside? To let our kids be kids? Can we trust that our love — in all of its’ messy imperfection — is perfect enough? this is so important in the days of helicopter parenting. xx

    • Exactly. I spent part of my life working hand-in-hand with the child protection system. I’m passionate about kids being safe and loved. And you’re right: the helicopter thing is not good for them. It meets parents’ need to feel comfortable and/or in control.

  8. This made me travel back in time to when my girls were little and I was that mama who wanted to do better than my own parents. As a classic overachiever I know I went to extremes sometimes, thinking I could do more than Wonder Woman. When I learned to relax, so did my kiddos. Now, one is married with a new baby and one just got engaged and my 3 of my four bonus kids are married with kids of their own. I am that grandma who allows her grands to walk in my home and simply be.

  9. Thank you Andrea for getting to the heart of conscious loving parenting. Parenting with heart means being vulnerable with your children and letting them be vulnerable too! To make mistakes and grow from them just like we had to is a great reminder for everyone. What a blessing you are to us who want to be perfect parents so that we can release the pressure and just love our children up in a way that is often messy and imperfect. Whew…much love

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