Dear Parents: What Matters Most Is Your Presence, NOT YOUR PRESENTS

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“If you ask any of my kids when they feel the most loved, they won’t rattle off to you about when I take ’em to a play place or Disney or on some grandiose vacation.

If you ask any of my kids when they feel the most loved, they won’t say it’s when I buy them something costly or give them ‘yes days.’

If you ask any of my kids when they feel the most loved, they’ll talk about

today,

the present,

maybe even this morning

or about our time together yesterday afternoon.

Because what children remember about feeling loved is the presence of the person who loves them

…day in and day out.

Imperfect she may be, but loves them hard, she sure does.

And they feel it.

They drape themselves in it and wear it around like the prize it is–a prize more impressive than any brand named anything that can be bought for them.

Often, we, parents, look back on this time with our kids and only see all we’re doing wrong.

But when our kids see us,

being an active participant in their lives,

every single day,

they see that all is right because of us and that their world is

alright

and safe

and exciting

BECAUSE of us.

It doesn’t matter if you yelled this morning.

It doesn’t matter if you forgot to wash your daughter’s favorite shirt.

It doesn’t matter if you burnt the toast or forgot to sign their homework folder.

What matters is that you will be at school pickup or there when they get home.

What matters is that you will greet them with a hug and smile.

What matters is that you care enough to ask about their day and share with them about yours.

What matters is not what you make for dinner but that you’re feeding them.

What matters is your presence, NOT YOUR PRESENTS.

And I have to remind myself of that.

That ‘everyday me’ is good enough for my child and that it’s in her presence when my children feel most loved

…no matter what it is we’re doing

…no matter where it is we are

…no matter my flaws.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme. You can follow her on Facebook, her website, or podcast. Get her new book, Musings for Mom, hereSubmit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Nicole here:

‘I expected him to tell me, ‘Yeah, I’ve noticed. You’ve got to do something about that anxiety.’ He didn’t though.’: Mom grateful for husband’s love when sharing insecurities

‘Do I send my child to their brick and mortar campus and worry about their physical health EVERY SINGLE DAY?’: Mom shares frustrations for fall school re-openings

‘You’ll never remember these nights. When I lie in bed, listening to you breathe, and question if someone, anyone, could do this better.’: Mom says ‘you’ll never remember these nights, but I will’

‘I send them to school with stains. We eat dinner in front of the TV. We make noise, a lot of it, and we like our pasta best slurped.’: Mom urges ‘dance to the beat of your own family’s drum’

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