As a mother, I’m constantly putting other people’s needs before mine. If someone needs me to come over and help, I drop whatever I’m doing to make sure they’re all set. When I get a text that a person needs support as I’m crying my eyes out, I dry my face and become this strong listener. I’d take myself out of my comfort zone and safe area if it would benefit another person. This is one way I feel that I can act on these suppressed motherly instincts.
I’m not telling you this for a pat on the back. Nor am I complaining about this natural drive to help others. It’s honestly just the type of person I’ve grown to become. There’s just one person who I neglect to help, even though she needs it the most — myself.
When Jensen was stillborn, nothing else was important; including me. I let everything go because why even care for anything when the one person I loved so much was gone? On the inside, I felt dead. Nothing made me feel better and if something did, I didn’t want it to. On a weighted scale, everything was higher than me. Obviously with this thinking, I didn’t believe I needed or deserved anything or anyone.
As the months have passed, I can admit that this has gotten a little better. I can recognize what I need to live and what will make me escape the black hole of sadness that lives in my chest. Even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Besides the blatant obvious of my son, there are needs that I have to provide for myself or, at the very least, to ask someone else for help. Which to some might sound like an easy task because being able to ask for help should come naturally. But, for me, it’s quite the opposite. It’s like I feel weaker for needing anything. Almost as if I have to ask someone for something, I’m not this super mom that I have in my head.
But the truth is… I do need and I deserve the help of others when they offer.
I need to cry freely on someone’s shoulder, without judgment.
I need a night or dinner out with a friend.
I need someone to make me smile.
I need a person to tell me I’m a great mom to my son.
I need to hear someone say Jensen’s name out loud.
I need love and acceptance.
There are so many friends and family that are ready to offer these needs, but it starts with me allowing myself to accept them. In my grief journey, I’ve learned that it takes a community to help heal. When I deny someone else to help one of my needs, I’m putting my pride before anything else. I want to be able to break that barrier down and that starts with being able to help tend to my own needs.
I need a self care day.
I need to recognize that I’m deserving and have been through hell and back.
I need my inner voice to tell me I’m doing a great job being Jensen’s mom.
I need to love and accept myself.
Having needs does not necessarily mean you’re needy. I am the type of person that constantly devalues herself. Lately (with Jensen’s birthday rapidly approaching), I’m finding myself needing more support and good vibes. Instead of denying myself these needs, I’m vowing to start letting others help me and to begin loving myself and accepting that it’s perfectly okay to ask for what I need.
Latest posts by Danielle Ridgway (see all)
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