Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N: Needy

For 2 months I was trying to be an amazing person. I was trying to give service to someone and help take care of his/her needs (and learn to love them and forgive/forget). I was also trying to write and participate in critique groups at the same time.
I soon learned that while helping someone can make a difference to them, sometimes it can also take a huge toll on you.
The person I was helping, while grateful at first, soon became extremely needy--Extremely!!
This person would try to encourage me to write. So I said "I'm going to do a small sprint right now, do you have everything you need? Are you ok for a few minutes?" the reply would always be "Yes, go write! It's important and I don't want you to get behind!" But then, no fail, a few minutes into the sprint, I would be called back for something ridiculous or unimportant.
I began to realize that this person actually was calling me back because they didn't like that my attention was given to other things and not just them. They became very, very, very needy of my attention.
My writing time dwindled, my writing itself started being non-existent, and I started becoming very short tempered. This person had the ability to things on his/her own - but wouldn't because they knew I was there and would rather call me to do it so as to get my attention.
After 2 months of this I was at my limit. I was getting nothing done - at all - with my writing .... actually nothing at all period!! Both me and my husband were giving up ridiculous amounts of time and energy for this person and we were simply running out of the ability to give any more. We have used up our supply of compassion, service, and patience.
We decided that although we loved this person dearly, we could no longer give up everything for him/her. So we had to let others help in our stead, and back quietly out of their immediate lives.

Well, thinking on this experience kind of made me nervous. One day, I am going to have children .... And those children are going to be needy and demand my attention ....
Don't get me wrong - I do want kids, and everyone says that caring for your own child is different than caring for anyone else. I am fully willing to believe that. But how do you get anything done with someone so needy in tow?

Seriously - how do you write with children?

Please post a comment and let me know - I may need it in the future ....


11 comments:

  1. Firstly, good call on withdrawing your help. Some people have an insatiable "taking" hunger. They don't want obe helped, they just like being helped, if that makes sense. Children get less needy as they grow and eventually if you put them before your writing, they will become your biggest supporters. Children are also unbelievably inspirational.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. I hadn't thought about that. Noted! Thanks for the good advice.

      Delete
  2. I don't have children so I don't have advice - sorry! :) But good for you for realizing how draining on you that relationship was and for being strong enough to move on and move through.

    Happy A-Z!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It was not easy for either me or my husband to take the steps, but our relationship is so much stronger for relying on each other and deciding to send that person home.

      Delete
  3. I'm nowhere near considering having children--and I have no idea how so many people write with kids around. It always impresses me how much parents/authors accomplish!

    ReplyDelete
  4. One of my friends with very young children now writes between 5 am and 6.30 am. He also says it makes him concentrate on actually writing. In the grand scheme of things, this phase of their lives doesnt last long. You'll find a way :)

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    Jemima at Jemima's blog

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like you had an emotional vampire to care for. Best to release them and let them be elsewhere.

    I have no advice on writing and having children as I don't have any, but I would assume that your children wouldn't be emotional vampires. Sure, they need you at the start, but they'll grow to need you less and less.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nap time. Or get up before they do. Or stay up later than they do. I fully plan on hiring a sitter for a couple of hours each day once I have more kids. That way when you're mom, you're mom. And when you're 'at work' you're at work. Plus, when it's your own child, you don't mind the constant serving.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nap time. Or get up before they do. Or stay up later than they do. I fully plan on hiring a sitter for a couple of hours each day once I have more kids. That way when you're mom, you're mom. And when you're 'at work' you're at work. Plus, when it's your own child, you don't mind the constant serving.

    ReplyDelete
  8. When you figure it out, let me know. ;) Ok, here goes: yes, kids can be very draining, but it's not quite as frustrating because you know they really can't do things for themselves. If you have something that you want to make a priority, you will figure it out. A lot of times, you just have to figure out what works for you and your kids. I know my four-year-old can sit on the floor and happily cut scrap paper while I spread out my scrapbooks. Once my two-year-old wakes up from her nap, I have to stop (and close the door), but I got something done. Be realistic in your goals and try to include your kids, then they won't resent you or try to interrupt as much. Best of luck when the time comes!

    ReplyDelete
  9. WoW! Lots of good advice everyone! I'm storing it all away for when it's needed :) Glad to know there is home!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments!