The following story will inspire you to learn to love yourself and become more generous with self-nurturing.
A friend of mine, let’s call her Brenda, has a 3 months old baby and a 2.5 old toddler, needless to say her life is busy and somewhat sleepless. She told me a funny story the other day. After spending the entire day indoors with both girls she finally had it… She needed a break and desperately wanted out of the house. When her husband came home at 7 pm she handed him both kids and went out for grocery shopping. When she came home 2 hours later the kids were in bed sleeping. Her husband opened an animated monologue of everything that happened during her 2 hours away: He decided to over achieve his duties by bathing both girls (go hubby!). The girls were in the bath, the toddler was playing and splashing, the baby was floating peacefully in her father arms. As he was dressing the baby, she peed on him while at the same time the toddler screamed with horror as she did a massive poo… in the bath. As the hubby was telling his story of heroism Brenda was smiling with compassion. Suddenly a thought crossed his mind and stopped his monologue.” Now I understand what you have to deal with every day!”
Brenda is a clever lady, she know what feeds her sanity during challenging times. Twice a week she goes to the gym in the morning, while her hubby looks after the girls. He drops them off at the gym after Brenda’s finished exercising on his way to work. Brenda also makes sure that she goes out with girlfriends regularly.
Brenda doesn’t ask for her husband permission to go out, exercise or do things that bring her pleasure. She is a dedicated mum with a consistent fun schedule that her husband happily cooperates with. Of course she is a considerate lady and makes sure the hubby doesn’t need to cancel any important meeting to accommodate her play list.
Brenda is not waiting to be on a brink of mental breakdown to ask for a help or a take timeout. Neither does she justify her need for a time with girlfriends. Girly get together make her feel good, she gets an opportunity to vent and engage in pleasant conversation about shoes, nutrition or the real estate market.
Meaningful interaction with like-minded women increases the level of Oxytoncin, the love hormone in your body helping you to cope better with daily stressors (and be more loving to others).
Remember that your man wants to make you happy and in fact will be ecstatic to support your needs for fun and play. Just tell him what you WANT. Learning to express what you WANT clearly is very important to get his cooperation.
Here are few pointers on how to stop asking for permission
Tell him what you want WITHOUT:
1) Making demands. “You should come home early because I need a break and your son wants to see his dad” – you come across as resentful and controlling. You remind him of his mum. He probably stopped doing what his mum is telling him long time ago.
2) Justifying yourself.” I want to get out of the house because I am so exhausted and sick of whining kids, and I am so bored…” – sounds like a complaint. His point of view: you are not happy, this is his fault – meaning he is failing. When men feel they fail they check out, back off and push back.
3) Projecting your desires onto your husband – “Do you want to go out for a dinner? The new Italian restaurant looks lovely.” The husband might respond with: “No I don’t feel like Italian food tonight”. You might feel disappointed or even rejected because you really wanted to go there. You husband is not a mind reader! On the other hand if you said: “Darling, I really want to check out this new Italian restaurant”. The hero in him will see an opportunity to please you and will be delighted to take you there (a sure win on his list).
Take ownership of your WANTS and DESIRES by making statements starting with “I want” or “I don’t want”. Make it simple for yourself and people around you. “I want to go for a brisk walk tonight, can you please put our kids to bed.”
Your desire is your strongest power to make things happen. Know what makes you happy, align with what you want and act upon it. Being faithful to your desires will balance out tensions. Your family will enjoy a peaceful and happy you.