What have I taught my children of love?

by Tera Bryant
LGBTQ+ Parenting Columnist

In February my thoughts always tend to drift toward love and relationships. Today is no different. I have been mulling over some very personal questions in my mommy brain.

What have I taught my children of love? How can I love my children better? Will my legacy be a loving and accepting one in their memories?

Honestly, I never asked myself those questions until recently, and boy did it resonate with me. I had to explore it further. I knew I needed those answers. It felt very necessary in my heart if you will.

I have never asked myself what I taught my children of love. I constantly monitor a thousand tiny and big influences a day to measure their impact, both positive and negative, upon my children. But not once did I ask myself what is the impact of my expression of love upon my children?

Often, LGBTQ+ parents carry a lot of guilt and stigma over their choices to love. We know that our love carries a cost to our little ones, even now. Sometimes, unfortunately, the fear of perceived harm forces us to keep our true selves hidden.

As parents, we want to shelter our children from any outer negative experiences they might face because of our choices. If given a chance we would bear that burden for our little ones, but we can't. We can't be there when someone makes an off-hand disrespectful comment, or a fellow friend asks them questions that they simply can't answer.

By exploring within ourselves the answers to these key questions, we can be assured that our love is having the best impact upon our children.

Love isn’t perfect. It’s messy and fragile, and yet simplistic and enduring in the same breath. Take some time this Valentine’s among the frenzy of classroom parties and forcing kiddos to address a never-ending list of cards and goodies, to ask yourself some tough questions about how you express your love to your children.

Are there areas in which you know you can improve? Do you still carry any personal pain from your childhood into your relationship with your children? Therapy and self-care can give you a stronger base from within to express your love in all your relationships. Whether your family has been created through IVF, adoption, surrogacy or any other methods, children all need the same things when it comes to love.

I hope what I have taught my children of love will outlast this fragile human shell I wear and endure within their hearts forever.

And I truly hope the same for you my wonderful rainbow families. May you enjoy all the chocolate this Valentine’s has to offer my “lovies.”

If you would like to share stories and experiences from your rainbow family to be explored in future columns, please write me. I love to have feedback from our Gayly readers, and I know there are some beautiful stories within our community to share.

A very special thank you to my Meow for teaching me to love myself and allowing me to be forever smitten with you, Meow. Truly you are my beloved.

Copyright The Gayly – February 14, 2019 @ 7:20 a.m. CST.