Last night I received a phone call from my neighbour. We first met when we were walking around the park in front of our house. She had big blue eyes and a nice smile, and was so friendly. Since then I have been lucky enough to call her a friend.
I remember once I was having a particularly hard day, she was messaging me and I was dictating my day to her, until she just knocked on my door and gave me a big hug. She left after making me feel better and told me that it was okay that Motherhood felt hard. She sent me a message that read, “remember that superwoman and wonder woman are made up characters, and don’t have kids! But you and I, we are real”.
I’ve never forgotten that. It meant a lot. She made me feel like I was superwoman.
Naturally, when she called me in tears, I wanted to be there for her. I went over with my hair in a scraggly mess, spotted pjs and gave her a big hug. She had just started work that week and was looking forward to getting a massage at 8pm, but her husband was out with her Uncle and not home yet.
She had missed the appointment. An appointment she was looking forward to all week. I walked in and I wasn’t sure what to say, I wanted to tell her, her husband was a douche and wanted to say the right things to make her feel better. I didn’t want to see my friend upset.
It hit me later when I got home that the reason she was upset was because she felt that she didn’t matter.
Every day she looks after her children, she makes lunches for them and for her husband. She cooks dinner, she cleans, she goes to work. Her husband gets home late so she does the night duty and bed time routine. She does this all effortlessly and she does it with love in her heart. But when she asks for a night to herself to get a massage because her bones are aching, she needs it.
It’s not the fact that her husband comes home late, or that he works, or plays sports twice a week. What she needed was to be recognized for all she gives and she gives a lot. She needed to feel like she mattered, and just like she is a supportive wife to her husband who encourages all his sports, his late night working, and shows her appreciation by doing all those things. She needs something back. She needs to be remembered and shown that she matters.
Men are wonderful human beings. Every time something is wrong, they want to do their best to fix it. You complain about something, and they suddenly want to cure what ails you. “Tell me what you want, what you need, I’ll buy it, I’ll fix it, I’ll do it”… While that might be an easy solution sometimes, we don’t need you to perform for us, but rather, all we need is for you to hear us, really hear us, see what we do, and really see it. We need to feel like we matter.
You know the saying about assumptions, they make asses out of all of us. We can’t assume to know what our partner is thinking, just like they shouldn’t assume what we are thinking. The first mistake we make is assuming that we all think alike. What feels special to one person is very different to another.
You don’t have to do anything to make her special. She already is. She just needs to know that she matters and that’s how you will relate to her. She doesn’t need a card, a night out or an expensive gift. She needs to know she matters. That her needs are important
Showing her she matters is recognizing that she is not here for you, she is there with you. Mattering is in the form of being home on time, or calling if you’re going to be late because there is a massage appointment at 8pm that is so desperately needed. If you can’t be home, walk through the door and say “I understand what you needed, its okay”
and you best be giving her the damn massage yourself.