Editor's Note: This month, Lori Verni-Fogarsi, a local mom and author of the new book 'Momnesia,' is sharing weekly posts, reminding us moms that's important not to forget about ourselves. Check back next Friday for another post. Check the box to the left for more from Lori.
I can remember my first serious boyfriend, back when I was 19, saying, “Baby, all you gotta do is ask.”
Sounds simple, right? So then why is it so difficult for so many of us women to ask for what we want?
“He should just know!” we say. “If I have to ask for something, it’s just doesn’t feel like it counts!”
These are the things I’ve heard from many women — myself included — when discussing this topic over the years. In fact, I’ll even admit that I perpetuated this through many additional boyfriends and a 12-year marriage.
However, about four years ago (around the time when I was writing my novel, “Momnesia”… coincidence?), I took a look at this concept from a different angle and decided that I would push past my discomfort and see what happens. I decided that I really didn’t want to go into my marriage with my new husband hoping that he would magically know that no, I do not want a new blender for Mother’s Day, and that what I really do want is a shirt that says, “Wine flies when we’re having fun!”
Applying this concept has really worked for me, not only when it comes to gifts, but also with general things around the house. I mean, really? What were we thinking? They’re men after all, and while many of them are intelligent, caring guys, they just don’t think quite like we do.
I decided that I would use a formula of, “Which is worse?” Here are some examples.
Which Is Worse?
- Receiving a gift certificate to hot yoga (which I happen to hate) or mentioning that I saw a pretty clock in such-and-such store? (And then sometimes receiving the coveted item).
- Running myself ragged to get two kids to two different activities at the opposite sides of town and (literally!) running into the supermarket to pick up chicken? Or simply asking him to please go get chicken?
- Cleaning the entire house myself when company is coming (which, by the way, he already thinks is clean), or saying, “I know it seems unnecessary to you, but I’d really appreciate if you’d vacuum while I do the bathrooms.”
The examples could go on and on! Now, don’t get me wrong … I’m not saying that we should become demanding shrews who work our husbands to the bone and expect our gifts to be like a registry.
But I have found that this works wonders for our relationship — from both of our perspectives: I don’t feel resentful that he “isn’t helping me,” or “doesn’t know me,” and he doesn’t feel anxious because “she seems mad but I don’t know why,” or “I got her this yoga thing but I don’t know if she’ll like it.”
What about you? Are you good at asking for what you want, or do you feel like your answer to “Which is worse?” is still in the asking? I look forward to your comments!
Lori Verni-Fogarsi is the author of the hot new novel, "Momnesia." She has been a freelance writer, columnist, journalist, and seminar speaker for more than 15 years, and has authored one nonfiction book, "Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs," which has been widely acclaimed in its genre. Lori is a happily married mom of two, step mom of two more, and has two cats, both rotten. She invites you to learn more at www.LoriTheAuthor.com and join her on Facebook.