From the moment of birth, a mother's love given to her child is significantly important. No one can possibly love this child more than the infant's mother. Daddy's love comes very close, but is of a different kind. Vital, but different. Mothers have nurtured their little one for nine months, causing her to love her child even before birth. We've seen pregnant mothers tenderly patting their tummies and whispering sweet words of love to their unborn babes. The bond is already there, and the only thing that can break it is the absence of that love after the birth.

We saw how important this maternal love is to a newborn infant when we adopted our first daughter. She was a beautiful little curly haired girl who stole our hearts right from the beginning. A beginning that had a rocky start. We were living in Germany at the time and a law had been passed forbidding a child to enter an adoptive home until she was three months old.

Can you even imagine the love that is missed during those formative three months? Consider the uncertainty, the loss of loving arms around the child when entering a strange new frightening world away from the mother's womb. Babies need the comfort, reassurance and security of their mother's arms and tender words. The lullaby that helps them fall asleep. The loving eyes that look into theirs. When this is missing it takes a serious toll.

Our precious little daughter suffered from this loss more than we could have imagined. We adored her, snuggled her, comforted her the best we knew how. She resisted it all. There was a barrier between us that seemed impenetrable. Was it the lying in a crib all that time, receiving only the basic care an orphanage can give, that caused her to doubt or receive love? It took us a long time to win her over. Even as an adult, we're aware of that initial loss in her life.

Mothers, you are so very important to the well-being of your child. You matter. Your baby's future stability and happiness is closely linked to being loved and nurtured by you. Mostly, this is a happy, rewarding task. In some cases, when you have a cranky, crying baby it's a little more difficult, but still so vital.

We're remembering a sister-in-law whose first child cried incessantly. We marveled at this mother's determination to love and nurture this little one through this difficult period. It was not easy. Eventually her baby grew out of it. She grew to become a loving, successful woman, who is now a mother herself, and enjoys a close and loving bond with her own mother. It reminds us of the wisdom we heard years ago: The most unlovable child is the child that needs love the most. Enduring with patient love pays off.

Science confirms

In a scientific report, Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D., tells us, "Human infants that are touched not only develop more intellectually, but also grow faster. Touch is absolutely imperative to our proper developmental growth. In fact, when mothers stop touching their infants, DNA synthesis stops, and growth hormone diminishes. Physiologically speaking, the baby goes into survival mode... When a mother soothes a baby that cries, she is lessening the destruction of DNA since crying destroys fragile, developing DNA."

Interesting ideas to contemplate.

When your patience and energy are spent, remember these two things

1. My child is worth it. I'm tired and weary right now, but this is only temporary. My efforts to be patient and loving will bless my child forever. Then enlist a little help so you can take a nap and be reinforced within.

2. This child may be the one who will someday take care of me in my old age. That's a sobering thought, and a likely reality. Creating a loving bond now will make all the days to come more rewarding.

All the world is better because we have mothers giving love and care to their children. What a gift to a child. What a gift to the world. Keep it up, moms, you matter.

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