Some days it’s hard. It’s hard to feel appreciated. It’s hard to feel seen. It’s hard to feel included. Those are the days I have to stop and remember: I am loved.
I am loved by my nuclear family. My son might say no to everything I say all day and resist my attempts to appease him, but tomorrow he will greet me with a smile and enthusiasm to show me his toys and books. My husband may get home late or spend evenings answering emails, but he’s working to provide us with the life we want. The love is there, I have to be willing to see it.
I am loved by my extended family. Their love manifests in many ways. It’s in their home cooked meals that I don’t have to prepare or clean up. It’s behind offers to bathe my son and entertain him so I can check out for a while. It’s reflected in holiday cards, my favorite candy just because, and texts to see how I am when my husband is traveling. It’s easy to take these things for granted or think they are done out of obligation, but that would be unfair. They are showing love in its many languages.
I am loved by my friends. They invite me for dinner. They loan me clothes for my son and myself. They call when they know I am sad. They let me talk for hours about things I am afraid of or in love with (aka the child). They help me raise my son to be social and polite and respectful. They are consistent and reliable faces in his life. They chose to make time for me in busy their lives, that in itself is love.
I am loved by my tribe. Some of these women I have not even met in person, but we share common goals, hopes and attitudes toward life. They are the wonderful kind of people who offer their support, prayers, and hugs when I have no idea where to turn. They are in my corner, though they owe me nothing. They trust that I am a good person and trying to make the best life I can for myself and my family and the world we live in. They offer smiles when I am in tears. I may not see them in the flesh that often, if at all, but that does not change the love they have shown me.