During a recent holiday visit with, my now young adult girls, I found myself falling into a very old mothering behavior. I was trying to please everyone around me and not speaking up to ask for what I was in need of. As I tried to be all things to all in my company, I could feel the mounting frustration building up inside myself. Hoping the tasks before me would be completed before I blew a gasket; I continued on until I could no longer contain my frustration. The result was not pretty, I lashed out and to my amazement my family stood their in stunned surprize, not knowing where all my rage was coming from. Old habits die hard and it was my 23 year old that called me out on my behavior; telling me that she would no longer stand for such assaults. In that sobering moment I realized that the better majority of my parenting had been spent at the expense of my own needs. My verbal flare ups have always been the result of not expressing my own needs, wants or desires and expecting all others to know them without me communicating them. The final result; fireworks without oohs and ahhs.
Why share this unpleasant story with you?
More recently I found myself sitting in self pity reflecting on a relationship that I had hopes and expectations around that failed to deliver. Once again I felt betrayed by the others lack of insight into my needs, wants and desires. I called upon one of my daughters for counsel and what came back to me was the same lesson that I thought I had learned in the previous story. I had simply failed to ask for what I had hoped for or needed. The aha moment, this time, stuck.
Here’s the two fold take away that I offer; lessons in life will show up again and again until we truly learn them & asking for what we need is all that we need to ensure that others understand what we hope for. Mothers and fathers have needs too and honoring those needs is critical in keeping effective communication going within relationships. I think I finally have gotten the message and am grateful not to have to go through it’s learning again. So parents/caregivers, ask for what you are truly needing. Listen deeply to yourself and don’t be afraid to share with others around you. Not only is greater communication skills developed for yourself, but your children will learn from your example and offer the same in return.