Do you always love me?

Last week while tucking my 11-year old into bed, he asked me: “mom, do you always love me?”

I was taken aback. “What do you mean, ‘do I always love you?'” I asked.

“I mean, when I do something bad or when you’re really, really mad at me, do you still love me then? I mean, are there ever times when you don’t love me?” he asked.

I couldn’t even believe my ears.

“There has never been a time when I haven’t loved you—nor will there ever be,” I said.

“Okay, what if I go to jail one day… even then?” he asked.

“Even then!” I answered. “I will love you no matter what you do or where you end up. Even if it’s jail—which, by the way, I’m confident will not be the case. But that doesn’t mean I’ll always love your actions. There’s a big difference,” I explained.

“Okay, cause you were pretty mad at me before. I thought maybe you stopped loving me for a minute,” he said.

In that moment, it occurred to me that even though I’m usually pretty overt about my love for my kids, they may need additional reinforcement during those times when we’re arguing. Especially during those times when we’re arguing.

“Don’t be cray cray,” I said. “I love you and your brother more than life itself. Yes, I was pretty angry before; I wasn’t in love with your actions— but I am in love with you, always. [silent pause] Okay?”

“Okay.”

We kissed goodnight. He went to sleep and I went into reflection. And from that moment on, I vowed to end every argument with my children with the following words: “Remember, no matter how angry I get, I will always love you. Got it?”

Our kids may act tough, sometimes—but inside, they just want to know that they are loved. We all do.

Do you always love me
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Comments

  1. Beautiful and wise…that’s my girl, whom I have never stopped loving and whom I will always love.

  2. This is so true, Steph. Every time I am really, really mad at one of my boys, I make sure to tell them (later when I have calmed down) that I was mad at their choice, but that I still love them and always will. There’s a big difference between anger and indifference.

    • It can be so hard to tell them how much we love them when we’re so damn angry at them. But it is just so important. And like you said, it’s all about their actions, not them as people.

  3. When I go back to work after a vacation, my 3-year-old often has a couple of difficult days. It seems to help him to talk about how I always love him, even when I can’t see him. Even when I’m mad. No matter what. He repeats “no matter what.” However, I avoid “I love you, but…”

  4. If I was angry with my son earlier in the day, he will ask me the same thing when I tuck him in bed later that night. I always reply the same as you.

  5. That’s awesome. I’ve always tried hard, after I scold my 3 year old daughter, to say “mommy still loves you no matter what.” Now, when she gets in trouble and I chastise her, before I can even say it, she’ll say (usually in tears), “mommy still loves me.”

    I hate making her cry, but hopefully she takes it to heart that I’ve her no matter what.

  6. This one tugged at my heart so much…yes, kids need reassurance like we do. What a sweet moment with your son –thanks for sharing

  7. Let Me Start… led me to you. And this is so spot on.

    My 6 y.o. son told me recently, “I’ll never not love you.” – Possibly the sweetest thing he could ever say. I told him, along with his sister and brother, that’s it’s really me who will never not love them.

  8. So sweet. I think you make a very important point here. Thanks for sharing.

  9. funnyisfamily says:

    I haven’t heard this question, yet. You handled it perfectly, and I hope I do one day, too.

  10. So true. I say this all the time. “Even when I’m angry, I still love you.”

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