Mama needs to be heard. There, I said it. Does it sound selfish? I need to be heard. I mean really listened to, regardless of how small or trivial it seems the conversation is. I talk to a two-year-old all day and while she takes in more than I usually want her to (oops), she is a child . . . a child that should be happy and carefree. So no, I’m not talking about the need to be heard by my daughter. While it would be nice, it’s definitely not expected. Keep reading, you’ll understand.
Some days all I want to do is spend every waking moment with my daughter. I can’t get enough of her. We laugh, we cuddle, we sing, dance, play, and have a great time, just the two of us. Quite often, I still have those moments where I just stare at her and cry, wondering what I did to deserve her. Even on the toughest of days I still do this, though it may also be accompanied by some guilt with snapping at her for something. If she catches me crying, she says, “Mommy, are you sad?” And I always tell her, “No, my love. Mommy is so happy to have you, that’s all.” It doesn’t change the fact that I need to be heard.
Then there are other days where all I can do is cry. Everything I do is wrong. Wrong. WRONG. She cries at the drop of a hat for _____ (insert anything here), and it’s like this ALL. DAY. LONG. She’s crying, I’m crying, and this house is nothing but a pool of tears and chaos. Yes, she tries to pull my strings and push my buttons. And yes, often it is for attention. That’s my favorite, by the way, when someone says, “Well, you know she’s just doing it for attention.” Or then there’s the famous, “Well, it’s part of the terrible twos.” Ugh. If I hear that one more time, I might cry (again). On these days more than ever, I need to be heard.
Sometimes people try to be helpful by offering to take her for a bit. Yes, once in a while I do just need a sanity break. She usually needs one from me, too. But most of the time you know what I really need/want/would like? Probably what most of us need/want/would like at some point:
To be heard.
It sounds simple enough, right? But sometimes it’s the most difficult thing to do . . . to really hear or listen to someone.
The next time you are out and about, I challenge you to the following:
- If you ask someone how they are doing, mean it. Be prepared for the response, because it just might not be the standard response of “fine” that you receive. Ask with sincerity and an open heart. Ask because you really want to know, not just because it’s the polite thing to do.
- If you are with someone who has a child and that child is speaking more loudly than their mother/father/caretaker, rather than pay immediate attention to the child, take a minute to really listen to what that mom/dad/caretaker is saying. Really digest it. Even if that person is simply telling you the color of the paint on the wall. If they are saying it, it’s important to them. Don’t just listen to the child because his/her voice is the loudest. This principle applies when there is any third party dominating a conversation. Odds are, it’s the quieter voice that needs to be heard.
- Rather than offer to babysit for a mom/dad/caretaker, help them find a babysitter and you be the person to take mom/dad/caretaker out for a cup of coffee and a conversation. Alone time is great, but sometimes alone time is best spent with someone who will listen.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for hearing me. I hope you’ll take me up on my challenge.