Monday, December 15, 2008

validation and communication


Tonight was not a good night. Not at all. As a woman, wife and mother I am realizing that I really need to reconfigure where I get my validation from. Speaking frankly and from my heart, I am a person that tends to be bit of an overachiever. I was blessed with many talents...but my biggest weakness comes from the fact that I need to be validated to feel that I'm good at anything. Before children I was easily validated and found instant gratification with my job... seeing that my actions were making a profound impact on the lives of other people around me. For those that don't know me, I was a career paramedic and a local volunteer. Saving or sustaining life was an easy and obvious validation... words didn't need to tell me that I was making a difference with what I did. Everything changed after I had kids...and the priorities in my life shifted. Being a stay at home mom means everything to me... but its a thankless lonely job (most days). And yes, its a job... one that I love more than anything in this world...and the price of my selflessness WAY out weighs the countless ... thankless... years. As an overachiever I tend to think I can do everything... take care of a home, raise three children, run a business, be a good wife, daughter and friend, keep hobbies and interests.

My grandmother put it profoundly to me the other day... nobody can do EVERYTHING .... something has to give. I don't think that comment was intended or directed at me... she is very proud of everything I have accomplished... but what she says is still ringing in my head. Especially after the blowout fight I had with my husband tonight. I can't help but take failure personally. My husband is the person in my life that I need the most validation from... I expect that when my emotional/physical "giving well" is running dry and he will help fill it up. Our life "rolls" have kept us both so occupied over the last 5 years (since we've had children) that there is little room left for the much needed validation...the time and appreciation that is needed to get us "caught up" is just not there. So where does that leave me?

I feel that I stockpile validation from friends and family with the good things that I keep going with what it is that I do. I expect some validation from him because he is the most profound person in my life... and as an emotional female... I assumed (which seems to be what gets me in the biggest trouble) that those things would come naturally in a marriage. I know that he tries his hardest to be a good husband and father... and he really is...we are just so different that it makes "communications" about needs and priorities soooo hard sometimes. I tend to "listen" emotionally... instead of "logically" and that really is what he requires for the good harmony (I can't seem to be morelogical than emotional) Most men from what I've seen... are creatures of routine, structure, balance and stability. I am NONE of the above. I appreciate an unpredictable day... I get bored with routine... I like to try new things until I'm good at it... then stop. But with these aspects that make me ME...It makes for a pretty unstable environment for someone that is regulations and structure oriented. Honestly, raising my children and running my business is the only thing that I have been consistent with for as long as I can remember. ... I think that's because these things leave plenty of room for growth and improvement. (obviously no matter how hard parenting gets...I can NEVER give up on my kids)

So this all leaves me with one question... how do I validate ME? Enough to fill my well without the help of others? To veer away from the selfish aspect of living FOR validation... and start seeking within...taking all pressure off of the people who I care about (whether they realize I'm doing it or not)


nicóle said...

I can honestly and from the heart say that I could have written this post. Everything from your reflections about yourself to that of your husband and your relationship with him. It's uncanny really, almost like taking a glance in the mirror.

As far as finding validation in other aspects, I'm working on that as well. I'm really just trying to focus on validating myself which is so much easier said than done.

GiGi said...

WOW I'm sorry I said something that lead you down that path. Part of the secret is to be proud of your self. Take joy in being you, look around and be proud..

You are going through what every young mother goes through. It does get better. This is just one of many phases you will go through.

I love you and I am so very proud of all you do.

Anonymous said...

I, too, could have written your post at different times/days in the recent past. I, too, am working on self validation.

For me, I realize that I send myself tons of negative self-talk or messages in the course of a day, and I am working on changing that. I try to reinforce the positives of what I am doing and focus on the moments that are priceless and share those with dh-- the positives..... that way, we celebrate together. I make room for him to celebrate his moments, too, and that helps us stay connnected. It's hard with young kids. I know because I have three under the age of 4.
Be good to yourself.