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Need your input on needs

I'm working on a post about needs. Parents' needs. Children's needs. But I need your help.

  • Which of your needs do you feel is most neglected since becoming a parent? Why? Are you okay with that? If not, do you plan to make any changes?

  • Which of your child's needs do you find most difficult to meet? Why? How do you handle that?

Please drop your thoughts into a comment or if you are so inspired please go ahead and write about it on your own blog, link back, and let me know.

Over to you...

Thank you.
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Reader Comments (35)

Good questions!! I think me time is my need that is most neglected. For sure. I don't get out very often, and when I do have time to myself I usually spend it working... I am making it a point to change that. My kids aren't babies anymore, and the more in touch with myself I am, the better a mom I am.

My kids? I feel like they don't get enough solo time. It's always all of us running errands or doing stuff or be being busy around the house. We don't do a lot of one on one time (one parent/one child quality time). That's another thing we're working on for the new year.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

Oh, this has been on my mind recently as I've been thinking of resolutions and how to keep them. My number one resolution this year is more exercise and my biggest problem is time. I really feel like I've neglected myself since having kids -- which may have been okay for a little while -- but I'm getting older and I need to take better care of myself! I've always put my kids needs ahead of mine but I'm reaching a point now (my youngest is 2) that I can start to think about my needs again -- specifically, taking better care of myself.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFamilyNature

I miss time. Alone time. Reading a book in the sun for hours and hours. I also miss some of the financial freedom that working full-time afforded me - like being able to go and spend a ludicrous amount of money on clothes and shoes.

I'm yet to find a balance between play time with my toddler, work time, house chores and other projects. Usually something doesn't get done, and sometimes that means that Riley has more alone play time than I'd like or I resort to the dreaded TV and that's something that I definitely want to work on this year. At least it's commercial free.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZoey @ Good Goog

@FamilyNature: What would you do with that time if you had it? How would you take better care of yourself?

(edited to add: oops...sorry. Reading too fast. I now see that you said exercise)

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I'm not much one for alone time. What I definitely struggle with the most, however, is when I suddenly need time to talk with my husband, if I'm having a moment of frustration, anger, or just dealing with something tough, and I can't have it. I have to bottle it up until Bram is asleep. This completely doesn't work for me. Alone time won't work either, I really need someone to talk to, to talk through what's in my head right then and there, and not in front of a toddler. Impossible.

What I struggle with giving to him is the stimulating environment he needs for the amount of time he needs it. Bram is awake and talking and exploring and learning from about 7am until 10pm (on a good day) and he needs constant, constant challenges and new things. Something done yesterday has been conquered and is no longer interesting. It's just a really long stretch of time to keep coming up with new ideas and I always feel like I'm falling short and he's bored.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJuli

I miss my alone time. I used to read tons of books and while my first born was still a baby and nursing a lot, I could still read a lot. Exercise is also one of the things I need to do more often. I have already changed those two things. I am searching for a job and I have my kids in daycare for few hours each day, so I can focus on job hunting. I have some time for jogging, when the weather is nice, and for arcade dance (dance dance revolution) when the weather isn't as nice. So, I am happy with this part and I almost reached my ideal weight. Like Juli, I also miss talking to my DH. There are things I want to talk about, but can't talk in front of kids. So, I have to struggle to wait until they fall asleep. Which is lately very late.
I also miss cleaner house. lol I feel like I am constantly cleaning, only to be messy few minutes later. I miss being spontaneous and just DTD whenever I feel like it. With kids we have to wait till they are asleep and worry about possibly being interrupted and me running in the middle of foreplay to nurse my daughter. Also, when they are finally asleep, lots of times we are too tired to do it or I still have to clean my house. We manage to do it anyway. Not as often as before we had kids, but good enough.

As for my kids needs. Especially the oldest one is quite demanding and can't stop talking. I love listening to him, but it's draining me because he can go on and on about the same thing, and I have problems decoding everything he says. I am one of those that listen to every word and he says many words. lol

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndreja

I will be short. No time/hands free here, lol.
Me - alone time (have problems finding time for toilet without BOTH girls with me there). And social interactions without children in the background (didn`t have it on since older daughter was born). This should change over the next couple years, they won`t be babies/toddlers forever.

Them - quality/alone time with mommy and less tired, stress but more playful mommy. I`m trying to fix it, though.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlicja

Me? Sleep and exercise. The sleep, while I whine about it, I'm "ok" with in that, what else can I do? I know the boys aren't "bad" sleepers on purpose, I've made a commitment to parent in the night and not force something they aren't ready for, and I know it will pass. The exercise, well there just aren't enough hours in the day and even if we went for a family walk or something, well, you don't get your heart rate up at toddler speed! :)

The boys? I worry on one hand that I'm not providing enough stimulation for them, then on the other I worry they are not learning to entertain themselves. Specifically, my 5 year old seems incapable of playing alone or with his brother for more than a few minutes and I feel like he should be at this point -- how much of that is him, how much of that is something we've set up? In our desire to meet his (high) needs and not force independence, did we go overboard? :(

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I think the point is that the baby really has needs, whereas most of what we have less time for are not needs, but only desires. The timeframe over which they operate is also different: often immediate in the case of the child and much longer term in our case. This should be got in perspective. Also, if I were to reclassify some of my desires as needs, then my children go a long way to meeting a number of them. Therefore there is not some unholy trade-off here between their needs and ours, just a change in the rhythm and patterns of life. For us it is perfectly manageable but of course it helps to be two, to have a relatively mature relationship, to have sufficient funds to afford babysitting and domestic assistance... There is perhaps a healthy balance to be found but I don't think anyone's "needs" are neglected in the process, neither theirs nor ours.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSean

Alone time and time to do whatever I want. Fitting in things like exercise is hard - I've recently started going at 6 a.m., but that requires coordination w/my husband.

Them? I don't worry about them. I think their needs are very well met, perhaps to the detriment of mine (see above).

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynn from OrganicMania.com

I would say my greatest need at this point is exercise and time for myself to read a book, chill out or whatever. Exercise and reading have always been good stress relievers for me and therefore pre-baby, they played an important role in my weekly routine.

These days, when I do get that time to exercise/read, all I want to do is get back to my daughter - lol. It's a strange dichotomy of wanting that break and then thinking about her the whole time I'm away from her.

I'm working at creating that time for myself as I recognize how important it is and how good it is for both of us to have a bit of a break from one another. As well, I think it's important for my husband to have that one-on-one time with our daughter (while I have a break) since he doesn't get to spend as much time with her as I do.

In meeting my own daughter's needs, I would say I struggle with knowing I will have to return to work after my maternity leave. It's the thought of leaving her in the care of "other people". I know, I know...all moms who return to work go through this. I'm sure she'll be fine and it will be me that struggles with the change the most. ;)

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelany Gallant

Figuring out what are needs and what are wants is the challenge I have when parenting toddlers and young children. It becomes a bit clearer and can be discussed when kidlets are older.

Babies don't have wants, they have needs. In toddlerhood it gets muddier.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterradmama

As Sean points out 'I think the point is that the baby really has needs, whereas most of what we have less time for are not needs, but only desires.' I don't necessarily 'need' me-time and manage to find time to exercise and be alone. What I probably need is to have someone give me permission to relax a little. This means not being the best mom, best wife, best cook, best employee and best everything else that comes up. The permission to back-off a bit is probably what I need most given that there are real consequences from over-extending oneself.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

As a stay at home mom with no car, my need to be social is rarely met. I don't mean that I want to go out and party every night (or at all, really) I just want some regular, adult interaction. My husband tells me he thinks I'm addicted to the internet (and he may be right) but it's literally the only place I get any kind of attention that isn't directed at my boobs (well, at least I *hope* it's not directed at my boobs) or at my ability to make some pretty rockin mac'n'cheese. My husband, who is a video game junkie, has had a hard time keeping up with the demand for non-child-talk and doesn't seem to understand that since I've had Kairi (9 months) I really DO NEED to talk about something that doesn't involve diapers.

While I LOVE being a new mom again, it gets mighty depressing sometimes. I often feel lonely, with no one to turn to for any sort of comfort.

Another need, and this one goes for both myself and my 4 year old daughter, is patience. I am quickly becoming my mother in that I have a very short fuse when it comes to Gracie. I've made a resolution to try to be more patient when it comes to her. http://beatniksbeatonlife.blogspot.com/2010/01/about-time-to-make-my-resolutions-i.html

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin W. / Beatnik Momma

* Which of your needs do you feel is most neglected since becoming a parent? Why? Are you okay with that? If not, do you plan to make any changes?
- Definitely my need for time to myself. Our babysitter options are pretty limited and my husband is at home all day, so I am apt to give him a break and therefore not taking one myself. I'm very not okay with it and its a huge source of resentment between my husband and I. In theory, he supports my need to get time to myself, but when it comes time to do just that, he makes me feel guilty and whines about it. I'm not sure how to change it right now and will probably float in limbo awhile longer.

* Which of your child’s needs do you find most difficult to meet? Why? How do you handle that?
- Their constant need for attention. My daughter is 3 1/2 and has to know what is happening with everyone at every moment and definitely prefers to be involved. My 2 year old son is a huge comfort nurser and throws tantrums if he doesn't get the boob anytime he wants. Their need for attention is easier to handle on the weekends, but during week I am already burnt out from being gone for 12-13 hours of the day and its hard to handle their combined needs (along with my husband's). Sometimes I handle it well, sometimes I don't. I try to get them to do more independent activities and interact with their dad more.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

My need for me-time definitely gets ignored. I crave moments during the day of silence where I can recharge and refill my cup. That absolutely doesn't happen often enough.

For my kids, their need for personal space. Three kids in a small house means there isn't often chance to go somewhere and be alone, which I know the older boys want at times.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSummer

My need: cleanliness. I love a spic-and-span home, but since having a baby, it is very hard to find time to tidy everything up. I'm not one of those marathon cleaners, I'm more of a ten-minutes-here and ten-minutes-there kind of girl and I wish wish wish that I could find more ten-minute intervals to clean. Some people need socialization or alone time or sex. I need a clean home to feel human. The dirtier my home, the more moody and depressed I get.

Her need: milk. My baby is still quite young (5.5 months) and I breastfeed her exclusively. We're starting her on solids in a couple weeks, but in the meantime, she isn't one of those babies that goes hours without eating. She can, but she prefers to eat every 90 minutes or so. It is really hard for me to keep up with that. I know that I will miss this when she starts solids and that in a year or two, I'll miss the breastfeeding relationship when she weans entirely, but there are days when the 90-minute cycle drives me up the walls.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah @ BecomingSarah.com

~Which of your needs do you feel is most neglected since becoming a parent? Why? Are you okay with that? If not, do you plan to make any changes?
I would have to say my need for time alone or with just adults. Sometimes I just want to talk to someone who is over the age of 4 :) I'm getting a little bit more time now (I make my husband watch them for at least an hour every night while I take a bath), unfortunately that will change soon as baby #3 is due any day now. I am working on recognizing that my kids are only this little and dependent on me for a short time in their lives. It will eventually get to the point where I can let them amuse themselves while I have some Mama Time.

~Which of your child’s needs do you find most difficult to meet? Why? How do you handle that?
The most difficult is my 4-year-old daughter's need for social interaction. She is very outgoing and extroverted, and I am the complete opposite. Balancing her need to be around people with my own need to be alone or with small groups is hard sometimes, especially since we are a one car family. I have to make a special effort to have the car if I'm going to take her somewhere (getting myself and both kids up at 6:30AM to drive my husband to work). I really do try to arrange to get her out around other people at least every couple of weeks, but it doesn't always happen. It's pretty much stopped altogether lately as I'm at the end of my pregnancy. She gets out when Daddy is here to help. To make up for some of it I do try to let her call people or "write" to them (she doodles or types nonsense and I include a translation for the recipient). I hope once the new baby is here and we've got a routine going that I'll be able to let her get out around people more.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany D.

I see that the most significant need for both Mothers and children that is currently unmet for so many in Canada is not listed here. This is probably because your blog has a skewed demographic that includes primarily higher income and married Moms. However, we are currently in the middle of a MASSIVE housing crisis in Canada that is hitting women, particularly women with children, the hardest of all. Approximately 60 to 70% of single moms are paying more than half of their income just on rent, for housing that is too small, too wasteful of the energy that they also pay for and often in bad repair. Women are being forced to remain, with their children, in abusive relationships because the consequences of leaving those relationships is to be homeless. Women are having their children taken away from them simply because they cannot afford decent housing. The situation is bad enough that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Housing Milloon Kothari who visited Canada to observe has called our Housing crisis an International Disgrace. We have half the social housing that the United States does per capita and less than 25% of what Europe provides per capita. we are the ONLY Western Nation to rely exclusively on Market Housing to provide for the needs of it's people. Since we are signatory to several Conventions of International human rights law that OBLIGATES us to meet the basic human right for decent housing and standard of living it is especially disgraceful that we do LESS than poverty stricken nations do for their citizens when we are so well-resourced.

Since we are talking about needs, I feel that this basic need that is unmet for so many women and children cannot be ignored. Poverty and Housing Insecurity affects EVERY aspect of life and development for children. It destroys the health of the Mothers that the children rely on and increases the death rate for all those who suffer from it. It is one of the most powerful Social Determinants of Health. If these needs are met, then all other needs are immediately more easily met. But in order for the needs of women and children to be understood, their voices must be heard. One of your earlier commenters mentioned the social isolation that she suffers because she doesn't have a car. This is a direct consequence of planning decisions made by male auto-centric city planners who spatially segregated residential and market sections of the cities that they planned.

So often women do not see the larger systemic causes of their unmet needs. Instead they blame themselves for problems that they are NOT responsible for causing. The biggest need therefore that we ALL share, as Mothers, as Women, is to be arbiters of our own destiny. to have the realities of our lives, work, needs and concerns heard and incorporated into the decision making of the society that structures our lives. Perhaps then, basic needs like housing, sufficient income, cities that are planned for the lives of families rather than the profit of auto and oil companies and medical care that supports and facilitates healthy lives and respects the natural processes of childbearing and childrearing (ie, natural birth, breastfeeding, etc) will be incorporated into our daily lives.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCassaundra

I'm not sure I can say in English what I am thinking, but I'll give it a try...

At first thought, I would have said "time" or "alone time" as so many above. But - I can get time. Not as much as before, but still, I have some time for myself, we have time as a couple. What I really miss is not having to cover someone else's needs, not being on duty. And yes, as bad as it sounds, "someone" is my son. Even when I have time for myself at night, when he is already sleeping and I sit here, I am on constant alert because he likes to have another milk feed or two. And at night he still feeds a lot, a lot, about every 2 hours. I am back at work now, but instead of having a long lunch break with my colleagues or instead of taking a look at the bookstore on my way home, I leave them after 45 minutes because I want to be home early, so that I have at least one or two hours with my son left at night. During the day I might sit for myself in a room, but when he cries (and can't be consoled by my husband), I'm there. I have to be and I want to be there, it is my choice to fulfil his needs in exactly this way, to not let him wait and not let him cry at night and feed him on demand - but I really miss deciding *only* for *myself* what I want to do. I try to take time off, to have a coffee without feeling under pressure - but it's not easy.

Which of my child's needs is the most difficult to meet? Hm. Hard question. I think this is different each day. One candidate is his need for closeness, for me (and only me and no one else), when he doesn't feel well and doesn't sleep - because when he doesn't sleep, I don't either, and that changes me into a sad piece of crap. I remember sitting in bed rocking him and crying because I simply needed one more hour of sleep, just one, and he simply needed me to hold and rock and breastfeed him all night.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSchussel

My biggest un-met need is time to myself. I end up taking it from places I shouldn't by staying up too late, not folding laundry ever, and that sort of thing. At this point my toddler is 17 months, and so I know that things will get better on their own. I'm mostly just waiting it out. Pretty soon we'll be past the separation anxiety stage, and that should help considerably. In the meantime, I'm just keeping on as best I can.

And my kids? I think my attention. I give them attention, of course, but I'm not sure it can ever be enough. I'm pretty sure that if they had their way I would never take my eyes (or my hands) off of them. I would just be always there. I try to discern what is an actual need and what is a want, because really, my current goal is to just meet the pressing needs. More is good, but that would take more resources than I feel I currently have.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Like everyone else, I don't get as much sleep, personal time, or exercise as I used to. I look forward to when I have more of those things. However, at the moment, I do not feel like those needs NEED to be met. I am happy taking care of my baby and putting his needs ahead of mine because I feel these early months/year or two are the most rapidly changing and needy times for him and I want to be there for every moment of discovery as well as every moment I need to soothe a booboo (or as much as I can at least). I feel like I have a lifetime of reading books, having baths, and working out ahead of me, but a limited time with him at this age. I have my moments of "I could use some me time" but not too often.

Sometimes I am concerned that I'm not meeting my son's need for interaction with other children. I try to get together with friends with kids, but it's not the same as a sibling who's around all the time. Such is the life of a first born I guess! I just try to play with him as much as I can when we can't get together with others. Having dogs helps I think because at least he has SOME interaction with something that can react to what he does!

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I agree with Sean-
Although I think it ebbs and flows sometimes. I would say that the only true need I am ever denied in the course of mothering is sleep- but as we know, that's just a stage, and hopefully one that passes in time so I am functional again!
Honest to goodness alone time is not really a need I think, but boy it would be nice! One of the nicest things I get to do (I have a very young family still though) is go to the bathroom by myself when my husband is home to watch the little ones. That sounds so lame, but there it is :)

As for the little ones, I think the need that I find hardest to meet is their need for me. I am a stay-at-home mum, so physically, they always have me, but sometimes their desire for more cuddles- to be picked up NOW etc, I find quite wearing.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

My kids are 4 and 7 now, by the way.

My greatest unmet need is the ability to single-task--I multi-task all the time, and I'm not good at it, and whenever I attempt to do ANY single thing I seem to be beseiged by small people each demanding that I do/say/answer/react to something of theirs. I don't mind, exactly, because I get where they are coming from, but sometimes I'd really like to finish a job or a thought...and we are working on this; I try to politely ask them, "Do you see what I'm doing right now?" as I stand there with a pot on the stove and a half-chopped onion on the cutting board, in the hopes that they'll pause and look around. It doesn't always work.

Their greatest unmet need is probably the other edge of mine--as they get bigger, their needs become more frequent and at the same time less urgent, so I am more likely to ask them to postpone having my attention while I do whatever Mommytask I'm involved in at that given moment. I try, whenever I can, to let go of my agenda and meet theirs, but I have my days just like anyone else, and sometimes you just need to get the dishes washed or dinner on the table or what have you, and you can't always find some part of that task to ask them to assist in so they get your attention and you get your job done at the same time...

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn the Greenmom

1. It used to be having adult interaction, but I fixed that by finding a friend with child the same age, same nap schedule, who lives nearby and we are on the similar pages parenting and life philosophies (how lucky are we!!).
2.Enough rest- My 2 yr and 3 mon old does not sleep well and so dad and I are trying to deal with it by night weaning her and that has been hard as we feel sleep deprived for the last 2 years and 3 months.
3. Enough couple time. It's really hard to find time that's relaxing to just be a couple between trying to give each other breaks and spending time with our daughter.

Her- less mommy and daddy "tired time" so we could play more and have a little more patience. I think otherwise her needs are well met.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmi

My needs: Relaxation time. Since becoming a parent (and now the parent of two, with one entering high school in the fall), I am always running from one place to another, be it sports, school, assemblies, groceries, birthday parties, family obligations, etc. etc. Then I have to fit in work as well... with a hectic schedule like that, I'm sad to say that social obligations become "obligations" -- another thing to jam into my calendar, and the only time I get to relax is when I cut into my sleeping time (so I tend to stay up till 1:00am just to unwind!

My childrens' needs: not so much with the older one, but the younger one, I'm certain, would benefit from and enjoy more physical play... playing Barbies on the floor, building snowmen, riding bikes, wrestling, hiking, climbing trees, tobogganing... they're just not activities I make time for, and I feel guilty about that.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie @YMCBuzz

My need that is most neglected is.... sexual intimacy. I used to blame my low libido on nursing, which did have an effect. But now I'm not nursing anyone. And I realize the true reason my libido is low is because I am 100%, utterly, completely double-and-triple-booked most of the day. My brain is running in at least 3 directions at all times. It's extremely hard for me to relax. I never thought I'd be thinking about work when my husband is kissing me or thinking about the kids' needing their nails clipped when he's rubbing my back.

My children's need most neglected is play. I don't know why but I have hard time sitting on the floor and playing with my kids. I have no problems cuddling them, snuggling them or reading books. But I find it mind-numbing to sit down and stack blocks, vroom cars, etc. I'm glad they have each other but they often bed me to play with them and it seems like I only last about 5 minutes before I get up to empty the dishwasher, put in laundry or fight the wave of clutter. Sometimes I have stern talks with myself about the importance of play, I try to remember how much I loved playing with toddlers when I was 16, 17 and babysitting around my neighborhood. The best solution I've found is to the take the kids elsewhere, then I seem eager to play with them such as at the bounce house or Children's Museum. I count my lucky stars my kids are at a wonderful daycare with no TV and all-day-educational and imaginative play. But I know play is important, I remember Annie's Carnival of Play. And so I feel guilty about it.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlina

I forgot to mention with the low level of sexual intimacy I'm not okay with it. I'm trying to change it. I've found that if I read a romance novel that will relax me and put me "in the mood" so I try to do that before initiating something with my husband. I've discussed this with my husband and asked him to be more verbal when we are kissing or relaxing together, so I have his words to concentrate on, rather than letting my brain get away from me. I've tried scheduling time for intimacy, including setting our alarm for middle of the night. No silver bullet yet but I'm working on it.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlina

With 3 kids in the house (10 yrs, 5 yrs, and 2 months) there are a mountain of needs that are neglected for me. However, even more than I miss "me time," I miss "us time" with my significant other. We're both introverted loners for the most part, so missing out on time to be together and reconnect really makes us feel isolated. Since he is my BF and BFF, not having access to him much does result in some level of suffering. He's a lot more graceful about it than I am; I find myself wanting to sulk and complain about it. Sometimes we just hug as we pass each other during our chores and in between diaper changes. All we can do is wait until the kids are a little older and more self-reliant.

As for my kids, they all have different needs that are difficult to meet:

Of course, the newborn's needs are easy to meet. Feeding, changing, bathing, playing. Piece of cake.

For the 10 year old, spending time listening to her talk (I can't really get a word in anyway), is something I know she needs more of. But I'm just not a big talker so it's a real challenge focusing through the long recaps of Disney Channel and the stories of developing cliques at school. She needs me to be present-minded, but sheesh! It's something I try to improve through will power alone.

For the 5 year old, mustering the energy to answer the avalanche of questions and his realization that negotiating everything is a surefire way to stall parental decisions. I suppose the need is for the constant and consistent enforcement of boundaries. Tough when running on steam. But having a reliable and strong partner in parenting makes all the difference. He backs me up when I'm ready to throw in the towel.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterquidam08

My post today covers this theme. I need more time for me and my kids need more time *with* me. I'm beginning to handle my kid's needs by loving them the way they actually need to be loved. Reading The Five Love Languages and highly recommend it. For a synopsis of the book and my experiences thus far see the post here: http://www.breastfeedingmomsunite.com/2010/01/mindfully-loving-my-children/
As for how I'm getting my me-time. Well, I find it's never really enough. Before the motherhood gig I needed a lot of personal space, and I'm still getting used to not having it whenever I would like. I get out to see friends on a regular basis and I'm learning to live with getting/having what I've got.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelodie

My kid is only 3.5 months old, but...

My biggest "need" is for a feeling of accomplishment. Whether that's from work, or a hobby, the kid doesn't give me much time to accomplish anything that is different at the end of the day from the beginning. Today my husband (and I, theoretically) were working on a home DIY project. At the end of the day, he had drywall in a room where there was no drywall before. Me, I had merely kept our child alive. OK, I know my contribution is bigger than that, but that's how I feel. Meanwhile, I've recently returned to work - I'm a freelancer and I work from home, so this means I've started taking on projects again - and it's hard to squeeze in any work hours. Usually I get 2 good hours a day, and I have to choose between paid work or going to the gym; with his current developmental stage (suddenly realizing that THE WORLD IS ENDING if the person who is holding him is not daddy or, better yet, mommy) I can't really get away. I don't mind being stuck with him, since I love the lil munchkin, but I NEED TO GET SOMETHING DONE. Anything, really. I've been trying to knit a sock all week and it's only an inch longer than when I started.

Do I plan to make any changes? Well, it all depends on him. I may need to hire a babysitter - which I always knew was a necessary step, but I didn't expect it to come this soon. But first I plan on waiting it out. His personality changes every couple of weeks, and he might get either harder or easier to deal with. (And at this stage, anyway, he just wants ME.)

His most challenging need (beyond the only-mommy-will-do attitude that I'm assuming is temporary) is that he seems to like being on a schedule. I had heard that some kids like schedules, and I didn't believe it. My husband and I are not that way at all (and weren't as kids) but this kid wants to go to bed at a certain time, wake up at a certain time, and it's all I can do to keep up. When 11pm hits, it's not like he just nods off - oh no, we need to nurse to sleep, lying down, in bed, with the lights low. If I wait till he falls asleep and sneak out of bed, well, he'll just wake right up and call me back.

Actually it's pretty good for me. I've been seeing the morning sunlight consistently for the first time in forever. It's just hard to get used to!

January 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbeth

Alone time is definitely at the top of my list. I cherish the time I have with my 8 month old son, but at the end of the day, I just want a little time for my own projects. During the day any spare time (mostly nap time) is, ideally, allocated to household tasks and a little internet socializing. In the evening, my husband wants the lion's share of my attention. I find that the only time I can truly "give" to myself is after everyone has gone to bed. This leads to me staying up until 1 or 2am and being extra tired the next day.

A "date night" for me and and my husband would also be much appreciated.

As for my son, I know that his needs are being met, but I would certainly like us to get out of the house more often. The only mommy group in our small town meets on Tuesday mornings and I just find that I can never get us out of the house on time and that it interferes with my son's nap routine. It's been a cold winter in Saskatchewan and we haven't done too much walking lately, so physical activity is also a big "need" that I think both of us are missing out on.

January 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAriel

My most neglected need is that of "me" time. But I blame this partly on lack of structure in my own life. If I waste my free time playing on the internet when what I really would like to do is read a book, then that's my own fault. I only have one child right now, once I have more I think the lack of me time will become a legitimate complaint!

The most difficult need for me to meet - definitely nighttime parenting. I was the picture of patience the first year, but as time marches on this becomes more challenging for me.

January 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Of course, alone time or quiet time is the thing I'm most missing. I find it difficult to meet my kids' desire to be the center of attention 24/7 and also difficult to fulfill their need for consistent rules and discipline, though I'm working hard on fixing that.

January 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRecovering Procrastinator

[...] for watching over their kids. Time where they can take a break from constant caregiving. In response to my question about needs, Schussel from Schussel Plappert [...]

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