By Michelle Keinan, Expert in Masculine + Feminine Dynamics and Cultivating Satisfying Marriages. She runs the super-popular Facebook group @quarantinedwives #QuarantinedWivesClub
I realized one day that I probably needed to take better care of myself when I was trying to pee as my 17-month-old was simultaneously hugging my knees and pleading “UP UP!” as I was yelling at my husband who was supposed to be watching her in the other room.
I remember how pissed off I was when he ran in to grab her from me (he literally had his back turned for a moment and she ran out), and how I let it all out on him while I had my pants around my ankles and he slammed the door behind him as he grabbed our girl and left me alone to deal with my anger. Not my sexiest relationship moment. Not my best mothering moment either.
This might not be the first time you’ve heard about a mom who just needed a minute to pee alone or anyone who just needed some space for 1 second, as if to justify the use of their anger as a means to get what they need.
However, you don’t have to be angry to get what you want.
I know it feels so powerful and justified to get angry.
But, if you’re at the point where the anger or the frustration is the burst of energy that gushes out of you as a means to finally be clear about what you need, then you’ve been ignoring yourself and what’s best for you for far too long.
Sometimes we do things as a last resort – we’re pushed to the edge.
We don’t feel like we have choices, we tell ourselves that the way things are is the only way they’ll ever be or “that’s how the world works” or “that’s just what happens in relationships.”
And it isn’t true – it’s just what we believe, and what we co-create based on that belief.
Like me, sitting on the toilet, desperate for a moment of peace and feeling so pushed to the edge that I am angry at my baby for wanting to love me and angry at my husband for not “doing his job” – but really, I’m angry at myself for ignoring what I need over and over, putting everybody else first, and reaching my final boundary – thinking that the answer is those 2 minutes in the bathroom, alone, and then I can re-emerge and jump back into the chaos and everything is fine.
Which is a lie we all tell ourselves to get through the day, the moment, the lifetime of continually putting our needs last in an attempt to get through another moment and keep everything together.
This has to stop.
It’s not fair to us – and it’s not fair to the ones we love. This pretending that we’re doing it all for everyone else, to keep things running smoothly isn’t true. It’s actually a way we continue to deny ourselves, to abandon ourselves, and to perpetuate a belief that we’re never going to get what we want or need, and that we deserve to be angry about it.
Anger is important – it helps us to move stuff.
But you don’t have to wait until you’re at your breaking point, so desperate for a moment alone that the bathroom feels like a refuge.
You can be your own refuge – in fact, we must take care of ourselves now more than ever while humanity goes through this massive shift and the energy of the world around us can never relax. Locking ourselves in the bathroom is fine (I’ve totally done it too!), but what happens when inevitably we must come out? If you’re not facing your pain and your fear, the stress and overwhelm will come right back to trigger you in some way quite soon.
So enjoy a relaxing bath, roll your shoulders back when you’re having a wee, take an extra deep breath while you’re putting on moisturizer before bed – it feels great.
But don’t forget to check in with yourself too. Put your hand on your heart and tell yourself – I love you and I’m always here for you, no matter what over and over again until it goes from feeling cheesy to filling your heart. Smush your face into a towel and let out a giant scream of frustration that would otherwise be directed at the next person you love who accidentally crosses your path. Do whatever you need to do to access something deeper inside of yourself, a part of you that is scared and needs someone to hold her and tell her you’re going to make it through together.
That someone is you – and you’re the most important resource you have. Please take care of yourself too.