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Whatever, Mom 

Mommy's little secret


For decades, child psychologists have been analyzing the effects of parental separation—or more specifically, maternal deprivation. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll sum it up for you: Children need their mommies.

And why wouldn't they? Sure, there's the whole nine-months-of-bonding-in-the-womb factor, but it goes far beyond that... We feed and nurture them, we keep them safe, and we give them a sense of belonging. Oh, and we come fully equipped with a smorgasbord of pro bono occupational powers.

Looking for a maid? A chef? A secretary? You're in luck, kiddo! Servant just happens to be Mom's middle name!

Feeling sick? Don't worry; mothers are like the Catholic priests of pediatricians.

Seeking advice? Having a rough day? Need a friend? Come sit on Mama's therapy couch. Hugs are her specialty.

How about a teacher? A philosopher? A scientist? Yep, she's got you covered, kid... Just watch your attitude around Sergeant Mom; I hear she's a real grade-A bitch.

Seriously, we mothers are like the Jekyll and Hyde of superheroes. You name it, we can be it. It's no wonder those little critters need us. It's no wonder they miss us when we're not around. And it's no wonder they'll never find anyone quite as loving, comforting and dependable as we are (yes, I'm going to keep telling myself that).

But here's the part that moms seldom reveal: We need our children just as much as (if not more than) our children need us.

Just recently, my five-year-old son spent 16 days without me. Or perhaps I should say I spent 16 days without him. It was the longest we had ever been apart (not to mention the least amount of communication we'd ever had), and as his primary caregiver for the 1,900 days prior, I felt as though I'd been amputated.

Trust me, I know the space was necessary. And I did enjoy my free time. But that proverbial hole-in-my-heart was totally undeniable. My frustration filled his absence, my anxiety levels reached an all-time high, and I basically morphed into a giant ball of dysfunctional psychosis. Yes, it was a tad overdramatic—especially since I would soon be longing for that free time once again (and only about a week or so following his return).

But the point is that, despite our children's lack of abilities and experience, they fulfill our needs, too. And once we create those tiny creatures, we simply can't live without them. They bring us joy, they heal our pain, they show us love, and they teach us more than we ever could've imagined. They motivate us, they give us purpose, and they preserve our youthful spirits.

It's no wonder we need them. It's no wonder we miss them when they're not around. And it's no wonder we'll never find anyone quite as loving, comforting and dependable as they are.

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