I was talking with a new mommy friend recently and after reflecting on our conversation, I realized that I have new needs now that I’m in a new role in my life. I had never thought of it this way. I just thought my needs have always been the same pre-baby and now I have a little more, such as me time and date night, etc. However, what I discovered is that since I am a stay-at-home mom, I have new needs from myself, Daniel, and my friends. How interesting! So for example, to myself- I need to be more forgiving if I make a childrearing mistake and resting when I have opportunities. From my husband, I need him to take Zane for a couple of hours here and there so that I can have time to myself. Also, I need him to affirm and share his appreciation for my hard work. Lastly, from my friends, I need their sympathy or empathy, and support and encouragement as I have my ups and downs with motherhood. I share all this because these are new needs. In the past I didn’t need as much affirmations from Daniel. We both worked and did well in our jobs. Here and there we needed support and encouragement when we didn’t feel appreciated at work, but I never needed to hear him say, “You are a great worker!” Now I need him to say now and then, “Thanks for taking such good care of Zane! We love you!” And from my friends, more than ever, I realized I need them to be my cheerleaders and shoulders to cry on when I just want to quit or had a rough day. Their words of: “I totally hear ya! I didn’t eat a proper meal today,” remind me that I am not alone. Whereas in the past I didn’t need my friends in this way. So learning this about myself and assessing what my new needs are has been an eye opener. I’m becoming a different woman and need to share my new needs with myself and my loved ones. I cannot expect them to meet my needs if they are not knowledgeable about them.
Have you thought about your needs? Have you shared them with loved ones?
Life with Zane has been really nice and smooth lately. However, today was a little off with him being fussy. Then on top of it, it seemed as though everything went wrong. It got to the point of me wondering if I should stay indoors in case anything else would go array while I was out. Luckily, being out helped and I met up with a new mommy friend. Coming back home, it was back to fussy Zane. Also, since Daniel has worked later the last three nights, I have had to bathe and feed him. On a day like today, I felt defeated, tired, and stressed. I was quick to be impatient, wanted to yell at Zane, throw up my arms and call it a day, and be mad at Daniel for working late. However, I knew none of these responses would get me anywhere so I think I’m growing by learning to self-regulate my emotions. As I could feel my stress level rise because I have so much other tasks I want to get done, I embraced what I could. So when I bathed Zane, I sat on the bathroom floor with Christian music blaring and my glass of wine. I watched Zane as he played in the tub and breathed. I watched lovingly at our child smile and have a blast taking a bath and was reminded of how precious he is to us. And how he lives in the moment and shows me how much he loves me and appreciates my presence. As I sat there, I found the zen in my day. Instead of easily displacing my frustrations on Daniel when he walked through the door, I tamed my emotions so that we could support one another because we both work hard. On a side note, displacement is a type of defense mechanism. It is when you redirect your thoughts, feelings, and impulses directed at one person or object, and take it out upon another person or object. So in my case, I could have easily taken out my hard day on Daniel. I could have vented and even yelled when he walked through the door. Interestingly, since I had my self-created zen moment, I was able to acknowledge that we both needed to soldier on until Zane went to bed and pat each other on the back afterwards.
Do you subscribe to displacement? How can you prevent yourself from doing it?
I will admit it, I am judgmental. I don’t like this characteristic about myself and want to change it. Lately I am noticing how much my conversations and thoughts are filled with judging others. I am embarrassed to share this about myself, but thought I might as well come public with this sinful behavior and in doing so, maybe can encourage you. I admire people I come across who have such a judgment-free spirit. I want to be that person who does not jump to conclusions about someone or a scenario I heard or observed. In order to fix this area within me, I’ve done the a) notice the judgment, b) let it go, c) get to know the person or d) ask further questions approach. Although this has worked out for me in some cases, I am still dismayed at how I judge the ones I love and the frequency in which judgment in my heart occurs! I hope to accept lovingly how others live, act, and say things differently than I do. Further, it’s interesting that I am willing to continue this bad behavior when I know how much I am hurt when I feel judged by others. In those moments, I feel as though the judgments were based on misinformation, lack of the full picture, misunderstanding, life experience differences, etc. Yet I should know that the same applies to those I judge- I do not know their full story. In order to change, I think the first step is to catch myself the minute my mind or voice starts to judge. I also have to remember to be graceful, forgiving, and loving towards others and myself because it is human nature to judge. Lastly, I need to notice the log that is in my own eye!! (Read the below Scripture verses). Oh, what a journey ahead! How do you encourage yourself to be less judgmental?
(Matthew 7:1-5)“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”