By Tanya Ruckstuhl LICSW
In honor of Mother’s Day I’m writing about a psycho thing that ladies do that simultaneously disappoints/infuriates us and terrifies our family members. Sounds charming, right? It happens around holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. It comes from giving too much throughout the year and then racking up a serious emotional deficit that can only be paid off by a grand, perfect gesture.
Ever know exactly what you want from someone—a specific gift, a hug, a declaration of love, an apology—but you don’t tell them because somehow it would seem less genuine if they did it in response to your request? Bull Spit! You my dear, are prideful. And what’re more, you don’t want to lower yourself to the position of being a mere mortal who has to use that thing in their face that makes noise to explain what you want. Because that would require admitting to yourself that your own needs/perspectives/agendas are not the only ones and thus, also not the most obvious One True Right ones in the world.
This behavior sets every single person around you up for failure. It’s like asking someone else to tell you when you are hungry. They. Don’t. Know.
There is a reason the ancient Greeks considered Hubris—making oneself equal to the Gods—a mortal sin. You are awesome, unique and have fabulous taste in self-help blogs (obviously!). But sweetie, you ain’t God. And just because something is dead obvious to you doesn’t make it obvious to anyone else. And especially if it’s not obvious to the people you are closest to, you have two choices: one is to wait for them to figure it out. Civilizations could rise and fall. Homeo-Sapiens could evolve into sleek titanium robots. You could become a bitter and cynical person. Or…you could just go ahead and name your need.
This week for Mother’s Day I bought myself a B.A.W.C. (Big Ass Wind Chime), the kind I have wanted for years. I presented it to my kids to wrap. They will wrap it themselves, which is to say it will look like a hastily buried murder victim when they give it to me on Sunday. In addition I have requested a hand drawn picture from each boy. As evidenced by the photo above, the art gene has skipped an entire generation. But a handmade picture from each of my sons thrills me. So I’m getting exactly what I want for Mother’s Day. Because instead of hinting, I named my need. Put “Dimly Expressed But Strongly Held Expectations” on your do-not-do list. Now it’s your turn mamas: what will you be asking/purchasing for yourself this weekend?