Honor yourself as you honor others.
The old adage says that people will treat you the way you teach them to treat you. This goes for partners, relatives, friends, and it goes for older children. Babies, of course, are pure need in the beginning, and don’t yet understand anything of this. However, if you feel that others put too many demands on you, ask yourself: How am I putting too many demands on myself? If you feel others take you for granted, ask yourself: How do I take myself for granted? If you feel that no one considers your needs, ask yourself, In what ways do I not consider my own needs.
This way of thinking puts a spin on things.
It does seem that the world holds up a mirror to us, and treats us as we treat ourselves. You will find, if you start honoring yourself, if you are intentional about having reasonable expectations of yourself, if you appreciate yourself and your own efforts, that others in your life (partners, friends, older children, other relatives) tend to follow suit.
Just as you meet the needs of others, you may give yourself permission to ask that some of your needs be met, as well. Your partner can hold baby while you shower, or take a little time to do whatever you need to do to re-energize. What other examples do you have of needs of yours that are not being met? How can you get those needs met? Who could help? How will you ask?
I think of all the moments that I have had with my babies, and later children, teens, young adults. There has been sweetness and sadness, pain, confusion, laughter and healing. Our lives have not been perfect. I have not been perfect. Far from it! And honestly, that is okay. I forgive myself for my own imperfections, and I am on friendly terms with life. How lucky, how blessed I have been and continue to be to have my children in my arms and in my life. What a privilege it truly is to be “MOM!!”
Contributing author – Joy Davy offers counseling in Hinsdale IL.