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The Clashing Needs of Motherhood

Needs of Motherhood - City Moms Blog Network

I woke up this morning with a plan.

I need to work out today.

Note to Self: Go to the gym at 9am

I need to run to the bookstore today.

Note to Self: Go to the bookstore after the gym

I need to run to Target for allthethings.

Note to Self: Go to Target after the bookstore.

I need the girls to nap today.

Note to Self: Gym, Bookstore and Target must be completed before pre-lunch meltdown in an effort to feed the girls before putting them down for naps promptly at 1pm. Afterwhich I’ll dive into a couple hours of work that I need to get done today.

Are you seeing a pattern? I need. I need. I need. While my plans were not bad in and of themselves what I wasn’t considering in making my plans were my two “helpers” who escort me to and fro these days.

You see, before I had kids my plans were very rarely thwarted. I could wake up in the morning, make a plan and nearly will it into existence. My needs were nearly always the greatest director of my days. Now post kids, plans look a bit different these days.

The Reality

So this is what actually happened today.

I need to work out today.

I got dressed in my athleisure wear with every intention of hitting the gym at 9am, according to plan. As I started to rally the troops to head out the door, it was apparent that my youngest (4) wasn’t feeling my plans today. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to go to the gym and was being defiant, it was that she was sad and ultimately was feeling unseen. Now because she’s 4, she couldn’t articulate these feelings very well and so all of those big feelings came out in tears, upon tears, upon tears.

But I need to run to the bookstore today.

I’ll be honest in saying that my daughter’s unwillingness to let my needs lead our day frustrated me at first, so I gave her a quick hug followed by a word of encouragement and was ready to get moving on our to-do list.

But she wasn’t having it. More tears, upon tears, upon tears. My needs were obviously not her needs at that moment and something was bothering her.

But I need to run to Target for allthethings.

As the morning minutes ticked away, my plans were ticking away with them. I tried to cheer her up, distract her, encourage her and let’s be real, I even tried to bribe her to go along with the plan. But she just wasn’t having it.

My needs were not her needs today.

And then in a tender moment as I was snuggling and soothing her for what felt like the 24th hour, a thought popped into my head….

She needs me.

And whether I liked it or not, ultimately she had her own needs and her needs at that moment needed to be a higher priority than my needs.

You see, before I had kids my plans were very rarely thwarted.  I could wake up in the morning, make a plan and nearly will it into existence.  My needs were nearly always the greatest director of my days.  Now post kids, plans look a bit different these days.  

Clashing Needs

BUT I need the girls to nap today.

Motherhood has a funny way of teaching you to dance each and every day.  And I don’t mean to actually dance (although I do love me a good dance party with my kids), I mean to “dance” with the unexpected twists and turns of life.

I could have easily put my foot down and forced my kids to go forward with my plans today. However I’m afraid in doing that I would have missed the greatest need today – they just needed me.

Now there are days when my needs trump whatever my kids needs are that day (within reason of course), but I pray that I will never be so determined to meet my own needs that I miss when their needs are truly greater than mine.

She needed me today so we played, we laughed, we snuggled and in the end, we skipped naps too.

From The Director...

About {Steph}

Steph is the Founder & Director of City Moms Blog Network; growing the network after founding its original site, Scottsdale Moms Blog, in 2009. Now living in the greater Minneapolis area, she oversees the national network by spearheading growth strategies, sales initiatives and shepherding and encouraging an ever-increasing number of moms managing individual local parenting websites. She is married to Alan and is mom to three little girls, Nora, Elsie and Audrey. She loves throwing a great party, connecting people and cooking with a glass of red wine in hand. 

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