The love of your life ~ My IdeaLife

Wednesday 6 April 2011

The love of your life

Mark Latham is not a man I ever, ever thought I would agree with on anything. For those reading who aren’t Australian he was our opposition leader for a short time until his various public meltdowns and alleged king hit saw him unceremoniously dumped from his role. 

Like another ousted leader, he keeps popping up in the media and is likewise usually ranting some sort of subjective, under-researched nonsense. But this week he said something on radio^ that I have to admit I related to; ‘...having children is the great loving experience of any lifetime’. This was shocking to me as not only did I agree with him, it now seemed we may have somehow been cosmically linked *horror!* because the day before I had started a post called ‘The love of your life’, of course about my boys.

Luckily Mark Latham wasn’t my inspiration, it was my eldest son, a mere 22 months on this earth, looking up at me and saying for the first time ‘whove you’ as I kissed him nigh-night on Sunday. Shocked and emotional I responded ‘Love you too’ while trying to hold back tears.

I felt my heart in my throat as I closed his door - I wanted to run back in and explain to him in vivid and intense detail how much I loved him, how even when I was tired and grumpy I loved him, even when I had to say no to him I loved him, even when I was away from him he’s always on my mind. But I exercised some self-control and instead started typing, sparing him but not you - sorry!

It got me thinking...despite my normal sleep-deprived tendency to have a good old complain, my boys are the loves of my life. In the many years prior to motherhood I spent an inordinate amount of time analysing, speculating and bumbling about looking for the ‘love of my life’. I also bored quite a few people senseless with endless ramblings that could have as easily been solved by pulling the petals off a daisy. And I mistakenly thought that my wedding was the final chapter in that quest.

I had no idea that there was a love in existence that so dwarfed the love between two adults. (I would have achieved a lot more if I had - damn you ignorance!) A love so huge it throws the whole equilibrium of your existence into turmoil. You start having wierd visions during everyday events. Crossing the road becomes a mini horror movie in your mind as you play out what an out of control car could do to the pram. When you see amazement, joy or fear in your childrens eyes you find yourself wiping tears from your face. You start putting yourself so badly last you sometimes forget to eat and your husband is lucky to get a sideways glance let alone some affection (don't even start me on intimacy!). It is literally mental, well initially anyway, and it’s as beautiful as it is torturous.

This unique and huge love has made me realise that there is so much in the world we don’t understand when we think we do. Mr Latham has copped a lot of flack for his comments about people who have chosen not to have kids. Someone saying publicly that they think child-free people struggle with empathy probably does deserve most of it. But as I read one emotionally-charged critique from a non-parent* it took me back to when I hadn’t had children and I remember thinking that all this hype surrounding the love you feel for your children was definitely over-rated and I honestly thought I would prefer a puppy. I was ignorant, not in a general sense I was just ignorant of what it felt like to be a parent and worse still, I didn’t know it. This didn’t make me any less valid, triumphant, empathetic or human, it just made me ignorant of what it was like to be a parent.

The simple fact is parenthood is inexplicable to non-parents. Parents don’t rave on about their kids to be hurtful or exclusive or to make people who haven’t had kids feel bad, we just say this stuff because we are so overwhelmed and amazed we can’t help gushing and carrying on about it from sunrise to sunset. It is an all-consuming, life changing experience. You want to tell the world. Unfortunately parents forget that there are a lot of people out there who just think we are mad, smug, stupid (see Baby Brain) and intentionally trying to make child-free people envy us. We get so wrapped up in our whirlwind we almost expect that everyone will understand and not only that, we want everyone we love to experience it too. *Squirm*

So If you’re not pregnant and sick of people raving on about the greatness of parenthood, be happy that you will do and experience things that parents will have to forgo because of kids. Like me now dreaming about one day resuming regular ablution habits, let alone the round the world trips I wish I could take#.

But if you are pregnant with your first now, just know you're about to be swept off your feet in every which way that is possible. And despite maybe missing out on a promotion at work or a trip to an amazing travel destination, you won’t regret a second of it once you’ve met ‘the one’.

Can you believe this is a viral promo for maternity bras?
I don't care I love it and invite you to write what you would tell your pre-baby self.

*One response to Mark Latham's comments by Janine Toms on
^The full transcript of Mark Latham’s interview at ABC Radio National
#I’m turning down free travel as we speak because caring for two under two in a hotel room would likely see me stabbing myself with a pen and certainly see me so exhausted it simply wouldn’t be worth it.


  1. Wow! could not have said it better myself! The funny thing is that even though we know that we once felt that way, post motherhood, it's hard to truly understand why people just don't get how special it is to have the love of a child in your life. The most amazing thing is that even with all of the challenges that come along with having a baby, here we are having more than one...(As I'm writing this, I'm feeling tiny movements in my belly). Love it!

  2. Beautiful post! Our children just wrap us around their little fingers, don't they? Every day I'm in total awe at how much I love my girls and I honestly don't remember life without them.


  3. Thanks so much Mina & Rosann, I was inspired because they just keep doing things everyday that you just marvel at and I am prone to whinging rather than celebrating. Kids are definitely better than puppies! And yes I am tightly wound around their little fingers... Good luck Mina with your new little one, you must share how it goes..


  4. Children - by far the best thing I have ever done in my life, bar none.

    LCM x

  5. I loved it! I also adored the youtube video.... I think I would have told future me (if that makes sense at all)

    It's not going to be what you thought at all.... But that's still okay.

  6. I love this post! Children really are a blessing! I never knew how much I could love until I had my own.

    I'm new to this blog mom thing and found you on Please add me! Thank you!

    Lyn (username: Karlyn)

  7. LCM - Thanks for commenting will be sure to keep hubby on choccie alert for when you visit Aus!

    Robyn - Thanks for your generous feedback and great advice to your pre-baby self!

    Lyn - Thanks very much, have connected on voiceboks, will check out your new blog too.

  8. Hi! Beautiful blog you have here. Coming here thru VoiceBoks

    Have a wonderful weekend! :D

  9. I'm reading your posts backwards (just imagine what this must look like) and I just adore this one too. You're not as irreverent as you think you big melted-heart softie!! xVic


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