It was my birthday at the weekend and as part of that did exactly what I wanted to do. Hmm not unusual you say, but the thing is I realised that it was. I realised that I spend most of my time saying, “What do you think? What do you
want to do? What would work best for the group / family?”
None of this is bad of course, making other people happy brings me immense joy and I am a pretty laid back, I genuinely don’t mind doing most things.
However, I do wonder whether with women in particular we do this a bit too much? I couldn’t remember the last time I did EXACTLY what I wanted to do. I
had 2 hours in the hairdressers, played games with the littles and all had lunch together. Went away with my husband overnight to a hotel I chose, we ate where I wanted and rather than do what we ‘thought’ we should do with 3 hours together (as on previous dates where we tried to cram in shopping / museum and lunch…I kid you not) we just hung out in the room reading the papers!
As Mothers our existence can become so tied up in helping others to achieve what they want that you lose track of yourself and what you want.
There is just this slightly annoying need to please that I’m just not sure men have in the same way.
My husband does what he wants a lot, he is not remotely selfish or uncaring, in fact he is one of the most thoughtful people I know. Yet he is also sure of what he wants and isn’t afraid to explain that clearly and with conviction. Sometimes since becoming a parent I lose track of what it is that I actually want anymore. Obviously a bit more sleep, an adult version of the full exceptionally warm snow suit that my toddler is sporting and no judgement for wearing it. All the time. With a onesie underneath. You see it’s still there, just a little deeper down so that I have to think a bit harder to find it.
It comes up in all areas of life too and with much bigger issues. What do you really want with your career for example? Not what your employer wants, or what you wanted pre children or what you think you should want (this comes back to the judgement I think women feel regardless of what they say, bad mother for saying they want to work or poor role model if they stay at home).
So I’ve written one thing at the top of my journal page for this week. I know the deeper complex social conditioning that has gone into me finding this tough but the statement is in itself really simple –
“Know what you want”
Once I’ve figured that out I just need to make sure I then ask for it!