Unconditional Love Makes No Sense

Unconditional Love Makes No Sense

Mother’s Day this year has brought something quite important to light: unconditional love is the most irrational and illogical thing in the world. Yet, it is still one of the most beautiful things we humans have.

Biologically, evolutionarily, psychologically, economically speaking, the very premise of something like unconditional love is impractical. It makes no sense for a person to give their entire lives to someone, to love them and be with them despite everything. In a relationship founded on pure unconditional love, you stay with that person and continue to love them no matter what happens. Even if this person hurts you, even if you’re giving way more to the relationship than they are, you love them and you stay with them. That’s insane.

There’s no better example of this bond than the one between a mother and her child. If you think about it, children are essentially parasites. First, they feed off of your body and wreck your internal system for nine months. Then, they leech off of you for the next 18 years, draining you of your money and time. Your life as a parent becomes inherently centered around “the children.”

“Oh, sorry, I won’t be able to go out tonight, the kids have a dance recital/soccer game/band concert.”

“Oh, I’ll definitely try to make it next weekend, but the kids want to make Halloween costumes this year.”

“Shoot, I can’t have coffee with you; I have to pick up the kids from school and take them to piano and karate and a class board meeting and…”

And there’s no guarantee that you’ll have a payout. It’s like the world’s worst government bond. Having children is a high-risk investment. There’s no guarantee that your children will turn around and pay you back when you’re old and in need of them. At the very least, there isn’t an immediate payout for all that you invest in a child.

Yes, we can argue that parents do get emotional payouts for watching their children grow, and they get happiness and that weird bubbly feeling of pride as they watch their kid succeed in life. That’s very valid, but that again speaks to this idea of unconditional love. It’s not their accomplishment, but they’re still so happy for their children. That’s love. Even when the child doesn’t succeed, even when they mess something up, a mother still loves her children. That’s unconditional love.

A parent isn’t getting some evolutionary, survivalist, or economic gain from sacrificing so much for their children. They aren’t helping themselves survive by giving up so much for their kids. But they do it anyway. They undertake the selfless act of raising a child, and it’s all driven by this unconditional love that says, “No matter what you do, I’ll always love you.” Love is an enigma by itself, but unconditional love is truly something else. It is beautiful. Think about how much a mother sacrifices for her child, without any logical or rational reason except for love. That is incredible. I had the privilege to witness this love just a few days ago, and when I stopped to appreciate what I was seeing, it truly moved me.

Last weekend was my senior prom. Now, my mother and I are not incredibly fashionable people. We don’t spend too much time fussing over hair and makeup and dresses. We get what we need to look decent enough, and then we move on. Besides, we have more important stuff to worry about, like careers and education and physical health and the next episode of Law and Order or The Office. But just one time, at my senior prom, we both decided that I would go through the whole nine yards to look as much like a princess as possible. As I sat getting the hair ripped off of my arms and legs and the tears stabbed out of my eyes by a makeup brush, as I tried on dress after dress, and twisted my ankle on heels too tall for me, my mom stood by me faithfully, fussing over me and making sure everything was perfect. She would come home after a full day of work, barely even able to keep walking, but she would still go out to brave the stores with me and help me get ready for prom night. Even when she wanted nothing more than to go home and finish up her work so she could relax for the night, she sacrificed all of her time for me, making sure that my dress fit properly, that my shoes wouldn’t crush my feet, that my hair wouldn’t fall out, or my makeup wasn’t a shade too dark. It wasn’t her prom. It wasn’t something that she had to do. But she did it all anyways. All because of that unconditional love. No matter what happened, she never lost patience. She stood by me through it all.

That’s a mother. That’s what they do, whether they have to or not. That’s amazing. That’s unconditional love.

That love is what keeps us alive. We know that psychologically, a child’s early years are critical to development, and a parent’s support and role in that development greatly influences the child. The nature vs. nurture debate has been going on forever, but there’s no question that both have a huge effect on children. A mother’s ability to nurture is what keeps a child alive and what assimilates them into life. Biologically, humans always nurture their young, but this isn’t always the case in nature. Skunk mothers, for example, devour their eggs if they think there are predators nearby, while harp seal mothers care for their babies for the first twelve days and then bolt outta there. For species like them, you could say the whole unconditional love thing doesn’t ring very true, because these animals are rational beings and do what it takes to keep themselves alive, even if it means giving up their young.

In humans, there is no rationale for our emotions. This bond of unconditional love, when formed well, lasts for a lifetime, even when the mom is done raising her child. It’s amazing how human mothers do what they do.

Unconditional love is truly a beautiful phenomenon. So, I say to my mom, I love you and I always will, and thank you for always loving me, too.

Cover Image Credit: Vipul Gupta

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.

Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.

Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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To The Single Mom Who Raised Me, I Am Strong Because Of You

She brought me into this world and has definitely threatened to take me out.


Without my mom, I don't know who I would be today. She has taught me many lessons but I believe the most important was to create my own independence and never depend on a spouse to take care of me. My mother went back to school when I was a young girl and thankfully we had my grandparents to help my mom raise me while she did school full time and worked two jobs.

My mom left a situation that she knew was not safe nor healthy for either of us and even though I did not understand why until I was older, I'm thankful that she did. I used to resent her for what she did but it wasn't until I was old enough to know and understand that I saw why and I felt terrible for blaming everything on her for years and years.

Even though we have our differences, my mom will always be my best friend and number one fan. We have differing views and opinions but that is because she taught me to be a free thinker and have an independent mindset. She taught me how to cook more homemade dishes than one could dream of and was proof that God works miracles. My mom is my best friend and without her, I don't know how I could ever make it through this life. There are many things we don't agree upon but in the end, we put that aside and love each other anyway.

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