FINDING LOVE...IN THE EVERYDAY
With Valentine's Day today, the shops are full of cards and presents and restaurants are gearing up for a big night of 3-course special champagne menus. Big gestures are dreamed of and often expected as we declare our love for the special people in our lives.
And yet while romantic gestures are wonderful and can take our breath away, it struck me that our every day lives can be littered with beautiful declarations of love which we often don't see. The little things. They're everywhere if we just take time to look and acknowledge. And do you know what? They can be infinitely more wonderful than those big gestures.
I threw this open to our Shepherds & Shakers and their response was lovely: the very matter of getting us to think about the little things made us all teary when we realised just how wonderful our partners and children are, right there, every day, under our very eyes. So, with absolutely no apology for sentimentality, here are some beautiful everyday moments in our lives which show us the love our children and partners have for us. I hope you enjoy seeing the moments in your everydays too.
The Shepherds (Father guards the sheep...)
Aki & Minna: We are a very kissy-huggy family and remember to tell each other every day how much we love them. I really appreciate the little gestures and moments like when we all take a pause from our daily chores to have a spontaneous dance together. Or have picnics and tea in bed to celebrate the ordinary day.
The Shakers (Mother shakes the dreamland tree...)
Chrisy: Having a child has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and changed me so much as a person and partner. No matter how in love you are, how long you’ve been together, and how much you wanted kids they do change your relationship....good and well not so good. As my boyfriend and I slogged through the first few years overwhelmed and sleep deprived we switched into survival mode often forgetting to invest in our relationship. As we climb out of the early parenthood trenches we are now making more of an effort to show one another kindness and love. Although we don’t have much time to go for dinner (my bf is working full time and finishing off an MBA) we are now trying our best to make time in the evening to just talk or play board games (something we really enjoyed before our daughter was born). I find that when we do make the time for each other even if it’s only thirty minutes to an hour it makes such a difference the following days. Additionally, we both have very different ideas about how to show love. He would like me to be more affectionate while I would like him to be more considerate. So while it doesn’t seem very romantic, when he cleans up after himself in the morning and wipes the breadcrumbs off the counter (and not onto the floor) I get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside because I know he’s made a conscious effort. Vice versa, when I stay up later than I should and cuddle on the sofa with him watching tv makes him feel loved. It really is the little things in life that make all the difference.
Em: Love in my everyday:
When my littlest small kisses my cheek when getting him out of his cot and asks to make breakfast together;
When my biggest small tells me I’m his favourite stinky poo today (highly prized favour in his book!);
When they both want to sit on my lap together to share a story, smothering me equally in headlock cuddles and the endless snot bubbles;
When the bigger one helps the small with his coat zip or shoes, or tries to calm him with a cheek stroke when he falls and a kind word. And I realise despite his endless hooliganism he is learning from the love we are showing him and that’s shaping him too, despite feeling I’m nagging him all the hours of the day;
In all, knowing they truly know our love and will walk out of home one day with this as the most important lesson we’ve given them. To know love and how to love; what better armour to face life with.
Jessica: I think kids sometimes just know when you’ve had a bad day. Not so long ago after a rubbish day, my 4 year old came over to where I was sitting to see, asked if was ok then gave me a big smile and hug. So lovely. My husband let me stay in bed (after a late night with out friends) by sneaking out to get the kids before they came charging in. So amazing!
Katharine: Bad health has become part of my everyday at the moment, unfortunately but within this I noticed the incredible love my family have been showing me. And this is what gave me the idea for this blog. So my love in the everyday is:
My little girls so eager to bring me something to eat in bed the moment they’d got up - peeling a clementine all by themselves ( a very big deal when you're only 3 & 6) and bringing it up to me in a bowl. Heart melting moments right there in front of me in my ordinary everyday life,
And my boyfriend sitting with me the whole night in A&E (I’ve not been very well recently) holding my hand when needed, and he had to go to work the next day on no sleep.
Marysia: Love in the everyday: When I wake up to my oldest son’s face right next to mine, stroking my hair gently, and when he says ”I love you Mummy“ with a huge grin; When my youngest stretches out his little arms towards me because all he wants is a mummy-cuddle; When my oldest and my youngest peacefully hold hands while sitting side by side in their buggy; When my husband makes me coffee exactly the way I like it and brings it to bed so I can have a few moments to myself before the lovely craziness of everyday begins.
Rachel: My daughter just spent half an hour up in her room choreographing what I can only describe as an ‘interpretative dance piece’ which she then performed to the words ‘I love mummy more than the whole world, space and infinity’.
(The funniest thing was that my husband then looked a bit upset so she then did an impromptu one for him to the words ‘I love you too Daddy but not your hairy face’.)
Wendy: My 4yo daughter giving me a bit of a “glue-ish” cardboard house because I was away with work for a few days so I could look at it and feel as if I was at home.
And my husband responding to the 5am “Mummy please can you come with us downstairs” and letting me sleep til 8am.