In my house, I come last. My husband has needs for time with me and time alone and money to spend on things he wants and things to do and clothes to wear and things he wants to eat. My daughter has needs for time with me, and special food, and clothes, and toys, and educational play, and time outside, and time with other children, and some days the list of their needs and what I need to do seem endless.
I’ve found this incredibly frustrating. Mostly because the biggest need on both of their lists is time with me. I keep trying to force them to spend time together, because I feel like that should meet that need. It should fill them both up the same way.
It doesn’t. They’re great together. They love each other; they play; they are so very much alike that it just makes me want to dance and laugh to watch them together, but they can’t be for each other what I am for them.
I get really mad some days because I want to be left alone. I want to have free time. I want new toys and clothes and good nights sleep. And I don’t always get what I need. In fact, I rarely get what I need.
I want to scream, “I’m important, too!”
And I am. I’m important. I matter. My needs matter. But I can’t just step out of the picture and get my needs met. They both are going to keep needing me just as much. They can’t fill each other up on their need for me, because I am the one source of me-ness. But they can fill other needs for each other. They can be the shiny new fun and play mate and romp and so very many things. They need each other too.
None of that gives me the time and space to fill my needs though. So, I’m trying to learn, to discover through trial and error, when I can meet my own needs. Trying to find the time to just be me. Because I need my own me-ness, too.