The pregnancy test is positive and your world changes. Everything you do now revolves around the creature that is growing in your womb. Your body changes in ways you never imagined and your heart enlarges in a way you never thought would be possible. Each week brings a world of wonder and discoveries about this new being that you’re hosting, nurturing, and preparing the world for.
With arms wide open, you welcome this precious baby into the world. Everyone is in awe. You must fulfill each and every of the baby’s needs – all day long, all week round. You’re acutely aware that in wonderful ways and in ways that terrify you, life will simply never be the same.
And the more children you have, the more you understand all you’re capable of doing and all you’re capable of loving. This is what God must be like – loving children that are so differently with the very same endless love.
With the belief that being a good mom means to compromise, sacrifice, accommodate, and set aside your needs, you forget yourself, get lost in motherhood, and make it your life’s mission to make your child happy – saying YES to everything and everyone, all while trying to satisfy all the demands you had before motherhood, and at the same level of excellence.
All of a sudden, you start wrestling with depression, disappointment, and depletion. You feel like a failure because you can’t make anyone happy and you feel frustrated, alone, and very very very very very tired.
Besides forsaking the lie of super-motherhood that sets you up to feel like you’re not enough, you must learn to meet your needs and understand that your job as a mom is not to make your family or your kids happy, but to create an environment that allows them to be happy. In other words, your child’s happiness is not your creation, but a byproduct of who you are.
Now for the hard truth, if who you are is cranky, down on yourself, and exhausted, you won’t have much success in facilitating a fun, nurturing, and empowering environment for them.
In addition, any relationship is only going to be healthy to the extent that the people involved are getting what they need.
But what does a mom need from her family?
Do you get what you need?
Do you know what you need?
It’s paramount that you know what you need in all areas of your life. This is when self-discovery is essential. And I know we’ve been taught to believe that having needs is a synonym of weakness, and that getting your needs met is a sign of selfishness.
This mindset almost cost me my life, because I was so afraid I was going to be perceived or to feel like a bad mom, like a selfish mom, that I neglected my wellbeing and treated myself poorly.
Changing your beliefs about needs and upgrading our mindset to feel that they are natural and healthy, rather than wrong and selfish, may be a daunting task, but it is possible, and you will love the results.
I believe there are three steps that can truly empower you to succeed once you realize your needs are important:
- Spend some time in self-reflection to discover your deepest needs
- Make your needs known and understood
- Take responsibility for getting your needs met
What Every Mom Needs From Her Family
There are needs that are common to every human, to every woman, to every mom. They are broken into five categories: emotional needs, physical needs, spiritual needs, social needs, and needs of security.
Mom’s Emotional Needs
- As a mom you need to feel and to hear that you are loved
- As a mom you need to feel, and be told, that you are valued for who you are
- As a mom you need to to feel respected as an individual
- As a mom you need to feel needed for other than what you do for your family
- As a mom you need to feel that your dreams and goals are a priority
- As a mom you need to feel your kids and partner are proud of you
- As a mom you need to need to feel accepted and forgiven
- As a mom you need to appreciated for who and what you are and do
Mom’s Physical Needs
- As a mom you need to be hugged, held, and kissed
- As a mom you need to to be treated with tenderness
- As a mom you need the opportunity to nourish, groom, and move your body
Mom’s Spiritual Needs
- As a mom you need to know and feel that your individual spiritual beliefs are respected and supported without judgment.
- As a mom you need freedom to express and exercise your spiritual values.
- As a mom you need time to connect with yourself and your Creator so you can feel grounded and alive.
Mom’s Social Needs
- As a mom you need acknowledgment and the feeling that you are special among others
- As a mom you need to feel included, and a sense of belonging to a group
- As a mom you need to feel encouraged, supported, and treated with regard in social situations
- As a mom you need to experience joy, fun, and laughter in a social setting
- As a mom you need to feel understood, connected, and validated by people other than your kids and partner
Mom’s Security Needs
- As a mom you need to feel supported you in times of distress, hardship, or conflict
- As a mom you need to know someone is willing to provide physical or financial aid
- As a mom you need to know your boundaries will be respected
- As a mom you need to feel you have someone with loyalty and commitment to be there for you
- As a mom you need to feel you are safe from danger or harm
Going through this list is a good place to start consulting your intuition about which of these are the most meaningful to you, how they show up in your own life, and specifics about how much, when, how often you require these things.
Are most or many of your needs unmet? I assure you you’re not alone. I know the feeling so well and I still don’t think I’ve felt like all my needs are being met – and I think that’s how life works. It’s all a balancing act: when you have it all together in one area, you feel like you’re sorely lacking in the other.
Perfection is not the goal. Perfection is unattainable and progress is success. The goal is that you feel supported, that you feel at peace, that you know you matter. It’s time to take yourself off the bottom of your to-do list – share with us how you will do it in the comments below!