I have a very wise friend, herself a mother of two young children, who is fond of this expression. Like most truly wise people she is not proud or boastful; she wears her wisdom lightly (and would probably deny that she is wise anyway). Like many wise or insightful expressions, it is a sentence I can return to and learn from again and again.
Some needs are obvious and obviously dissipate once met: if I am hungry and need food, I eat, my need is met, I am satisfied and I stop eating. If I am tired, I need sleep, I sleep and wake up refreshed (hopefully – sometimes my waking is caused by a small person bashing me with a book and demanding I “read it, Mummy!). Other needs are more difficult to identify. Yet others are easy to identify but feel difficult to meet.
La Leche League, an organisation about which I am very Serious, state as one of their principles:
In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with his mother, which is as basic as his need for food.
This is something which I have found to be absolutely true. The intensity of my young children’s need for their mother can feel overwhelming at times. I mean do they really have to follow me into the loo? No one can tell me, or any other mother, exactly when the need will start to lessen, to feel satisfied. It is nice to be needed though. Even if I would occasionally like to have a wee in peace…