mother and child hugging

I was heading out the door to work, as I do three times a week with my updated hybrid schedule. The return to the office in person is a change neither my daughter nor I have adjusted to. We went through our usual morning routine — the sitter arrived and checked in with me as I prepped to walk out the door. Then, as I announced to my daughter that I loved her and would be back later, she uttered the words I’ve become accustomed to hearing each time I move toward the front door:

“But I need you.”

Those were her words as she reached her little hand toward me, pleading with her eyes for me to stay. I bent down and said, “Come, give me a hug. I’m right here. I’m always here, but I have a few things to do, too.” I squeezed her tight, appeasing her for the moment. Appeasing myself for the moment, knowing we would be together later, to hang and have fun.

After a full day of work (and then errands after work!) I returned home, and within hours she spiked a fever of 103. She ended up being OK, thankfully, and although it was an eventful evening — and overnight — part of me wondered if she knew an illness was coming on. If that’s why she seemingly ‘”needed” me more that day.

I wonder if she knew she needed to be with her first home — me — as much as she could in that moment. To curl up, cuddle in my warmth, and find healing. Don’t we all call for our moms in some form, any form, when something’s wrong? That longing for comfort, uttered in the words “I need you.”

My daughter is 3 years old now. But that night, as she lay curled up on me, breathing quickly and heavily, her temperature still above 100 degrees, I opted to do skin to skin. Like I did when she was a tiny infant. Her breathing slowed. My concerns eased. Her temperature was down by morning. 

I barely passed biology, so this isn’t about science. This isn’t skin-to-skin medical advice or about age restrictions and limitations. We could talk for days about “wives tales,” but this isn’t that either.

It’s about answering a call as a mom — a mom in any form. It’s about understanding the need for comfort — for her and, simultaneously, for me. That we can take care of our children’s needs while taking care of our own. Understanding a child’s need for their mom and understanding our own needs aren’t that different. We are still children, too. It’s about giving your child a voice to say, “But I need you.” And responding to the call as you see fit, in time, and safely, while comforting your own needs as well.

Amber Michele
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Amber has lived in the Greater Boston area for double digits now. In previous years she spent her time commuting for auditions and SAG-AFTRA work between New York City and Boston. In May 2020, she became a mom to her daughter, who has kept her on her toes - and brings her joy ever since. Constantly on the lookout for "ways to elevate her every day," and yours too, she completed her yoga teacher training in 2021. An important reminder to find and create movement each and every day. Which is easy enough, with her love for - and a household full of music. From Biggie to Beethoven, to Billie Holiday and beyond, there's always sounds and dance parties to be had. Always keeping an eye out for creative adventures in and around New England, Amber will jump at any chance to visit the local farms to see the goats and simply be outdoors. Otherwise, she's often found by the window, calligraphy pen in hand, practicing her favorite craft. After enjoying a hiatus from the restaurant & hospitality industry while being a SAHM mom, Amber is currently working — and learning — in the world of tech. Amber will always hype: brunch and simply ALL food, dancing — even in the grocery store, travel and any chance to be at the beach. You can miss her with: cold wet weather (even though she was born in January?!) and horror movies. Look for more thoughts and musings from Amber at