If you’ve ever sat in an airplane on the runway, you’ve heard it too:
In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.
In case of a real flight emergency, you better believe it, I’ll be securing my oxygen mask on my face first with all kinds of drama. I would put my needs before my family’s needs.
And no one would walk over to me (with a mask hanging off her face) and say, “You selfish mother, what kind of mother puts her needs before her children”? Or “If you were a good wife, you’d be putting your husband’s mask on him first”.
Why? Because we all know I would be no good to anyone passed out in my seat. I must be healthy.
Once my needs are met, I am healthy and confident to make sure everyone around me gets what they need to be healthy and confident.
It plays out like this, my husband is a capable adult, so I hold no responsibility to meet his need, unless he’s unconscious, of course. My children have no idea what their need is or how to meet it. My responsibility is to make sure they get what they need.
I am not their source. And it’s not my oxygen mask they need. They need their own mask.
Once we are all healthy, we are free to hold, connect and embrace one another. We can be there for each other.
It makes sense for our physical needs, so why didn’t I know the emotional needs of my inner woman work the same way?!
I have spent my whole marriage, “putting my husband’s needs first” and always sacrificed myself for the needs of my children.
Sure, I’d pray for God’s help, but it’s like me asking God for physical strength, but then every day give my meals away to family members. There’s not a whole lot He can do.
It wasn’t until I walked my difficult journey, that I discovered I am responsible to make sure my inner woman is healthy and strong. I now put my emotional needs first.
Then, and only then, am I able to live connected with those I love.
I no longer put my husband’s needs before mine, and I no longer look to my children to fulfill me.