Mom Confession: My Conflicted Relationship with Being Needed


mom confession being needed

I got into the mommy business knowingly not knowing anything. So when we had two kids of our own, the surprises were beyond measure — some heart-warming, some challenging, all unforgettable. But what still catches me off-guard repeatedly, even after almost five years of parenting, is the all-encompassing need.

Need for Mom. Need for me.

Need is central to the concept of relating intimately with another. But this need…it is unlike any other. And while it is awe-inspiring and mountain-moving, it can also intimidate the heck out of me and seriously mess with my head.

This need has only grown since we decided I would stay home from work and be with the kids all day every day. It is a decision I’ve never regretted but one that has come with its own surprises. Namely, the revelation that Mom is the go-to person for everything.


Eating. Sleeping. Lunchtime musings on hypothetical digestion of foreign objects. Three a.m. renditions of This Little Piggy. All things bathroom. Questions about life. Questions about death. Questions about James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski.

These demands mount precariously during especially “needy” periods: illness, Daddy’s work trips, inexplicable sleeplessness, January. These are the days when 24 hours pass without separation, when doors never close, and even showering solo is a pipe dream.

I do understand that these are not true life challenges. We are blessed if these are our burdens. But when I’m in the middle of those moments, my perspective is skewed and tired. My self-pity soars. I get crazy eyes.  

I also get strangely attached to the I-am-the-only-one-who-can-fulfill-their-needs belief.

The demands for Mom and only Mom work their way into my consciousness until I start to believe the hype. Maybe nobody else actually knows how to put the straw in her juice box. My diaper-changing technique must be truly unique. I really am the only one who fully grasps the fire/truck plate rotation schedule.

This mentality doesn’t help. It’s arrogance of sorts: the conceit that I am the only one capable of keeping them content and the belief that I must serve them to the exclusion of all else.  It’s not healthy for me, and more importantly, it’s not healthy for them. Hence, the crazy eyes.

Just about the time I’ve agreed to relinquish all sense of self and independence, the fevers end, Daddy returns, the weather warms. Despite my hysterical claims that nobody else can do the job, my husband lovingly kicks me out of the house sans children for a few hours.

I exercise. I meet a friend. I visit my favorite coffee shop. Perspective returns. I lose my savior complex. The kids remember that Daddy is actually pretty cool.

The need meter resets.  

Though these needs will change, I don’t know that they ever go away completely. I don’t know that I want them to. But I do know this: it’s important to recognize Mommy’s needs too. And one of those needs is the reminder that we cannot and should not be responsible for every little heart’s desire, even if tiny voices are proclaiming otherwise. Dad can change her diaper. Grandma can do bedtime on occasion. Alone time builds character.

Take a breath. Refresh.

Being needed is an amazing, terrifying blessing. I’m wonderstruck by the responsibility. And I can better fulfill that responsibility when I remember to reset my own meter, too.

Can you relate? 


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