When my son got married to the loveliest of girls, I felt some new insecurity that I hadn’t experienced before. Mallory, my new daughter-in-law, has a very close relationship with her parents. They are wonderful and I am so glad they have each other. But in the beginning, I worried about what that would mean for us.
My insecurity stemmed from thoughts like these:
-I’m afraid they are going to love them more than they love us. What if they want to spend all their time with Mallory’s family?
-What if we aren’t exciting enough for them?
These fears led me to get nervous about having them come. How could we possibly be exciting enough, fun enough or interesting enough to capture their hearts? When this was my line of thinking I was less excited about having them come visit. It seemed like too much work. I felt like we had to be some alternate version of ourselves to capture their love and attention.
Once I recognized what my thinking was creating for me, I realized I was the one creating a barrier to enjoying my son and daughter-in-law. Not them.
You may have felt this way yourself. What do you do when you have thoughts that are creating insecurity? What do you do when your kids aren’t coming around as much as you would like them to?
Some people try for bigger and better: bigger parties, exciting trips, more gifts at Christmas. The problem with that option is that you never reach the destination of Enough. You are always thinking about how the next thing will need to be even better than the last one. This way of living is exhausting.
I decided to consider what I truly wanted for them.
- I want my son and daughter-in-law to have as much family support as they could possibly have. I want them to have many people in their lives that they can turn to with their questions. I want them to see well functioning families that are trying to live Christian lives.
- I want my grandchildren to have two sets of loving, supportive grandparents where they can find love and acceptance. I want them to know that lots of people are here to help them and cheer them on.
- I want my kids to enjoy their relationships with all these people.
- I want to love having them come and be content and happy when they go.
- I want to be myself with them and allow them to be themselves.
These hopes for my kids created “abundance” within me. This thought is now my mantra:
There is enough love to go around.
Just because they love other people doesn’t diminish their ability to love me. This abundance in my thinking has allowed me to enjoy my children and not feel threatened by the love they have for Mallory’s family.
It’s a powerful belief.
There is enough love to go around!