Friday, January 21, 2011

A Mother's Needs

I've never been big on taking care of myself. I mean, I don't go all out to pamper myself or to think about what *I* need. Being a mom now, I have even less time to myself than I ever had before and I never thought it would bother me because, as I said, I didn't think I needed to think about 'me' much. But things have been difficult lately and I've been out of sorts, and unable to really put into words what it is that I'm feeling or experiencing.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon The Happiest Mom's blog post on a 'Mother's Hierarchy of Needs.' I remember when I first heard about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Or at least, when I first heard about it in my professional life. I was working for an early literacy home visit program and we were having our weekly meeting with the director of the program. It was the beginning of a new year with new families and she was reminding us to be sensitive to the families lives and needs, and understand that if some of the parents seemed not to care about whether their children were able to read or do crafts, that they might perhaps be caught up worrying about elemental needs a bit lower on the pyramid - things like food, shelter, or even safety. I have carried that reminder with me ever since.

Seeing one person's version of a Mother's Hierarchy of Needs reminds me that there are those different levels of needs. I long for moments when I can curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and read a good book for a long time, maybe until I finish it; or a day when I can sew or knit or spin or felt to my heart's content; without having to respond to fussing or diapering or make sure everyone is fed. It's not that I don't love my family, not at all. Or even that I want to spend a day without them. It's just hard to respond to everyone's needs all the time. And worries about things like jobs and money and other such mundane things (or a fire destroying the inside of our townhouse), make it even more stressful, because they are closer to the base of that pyramid. I guess it doesn't give me any answers but at least it is a reminder that a) I'm not alone in this mommy-predicament and b) I'm not feeling out of sorts because I haven't been able to complete a knitting project in ages, but more likely because of those lower level elements (let's talk about sleep!).

I'd love to have this on a t-shirt, or maybe a diaper bag. Then instead of talking to people when they ask how things are, I can just point to whatever level I have an issue with at the time!

Note: I promise I'll post something more cheerful soon. On a happier note for the time being, we changed our sleeping arrangements once again and put all the mattresses on the floor. I think this will be a good short-term solution for us all.


  1. Wow--this is great! Thanks for posting about it, I love to see things that we feel illustrated and validated this way.

  2. I am one of your newest followers, I am a mother of a 12-year old disabled daughter and even though she more work than there are hours in the day, she gives life a purpose, as I am sure your little ones do, please if you have time check out my blog it is out about my journey.


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