My Lesson From Dr. Phil

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This year, I had the best Mother’s Day ever!

Yes my boys showered me with homemade gifts and kept their fighting to a minimum. But that wasn’t what made it awesome.

It’s because I asked for what I wanted. I didn’t leave it to chance.

Years ago, when watching Dr. Phil, he gave me one of my favorite lessons—you cannot get upset about something that you did not ask for—your loved ones are not mind readers.

Are you…

Waiting for days for your husband to realize that the trash is about to fully decompose in the kitchen and take it out without being asked?

Annoyed that you are the only one that does any cleaning around the house, or the cooking, or the errand running, or the…you fill in the blank.

We need to know what we want, and we need to be willing to ask for it. And if we can’t, we need to let go of the resentment that goes along with not getting it.

Don’t get me wrong, I spend a portion of every day thinking, “I shouldn’t have to ask…they “should” know that they need to do XYZ.” But my husband and kids probably think the same thing about me. There are lots of things that I’m completely oblivious of in their minds.

I also spend a portion of each day weighing my battles. It changes by the day.

But when it comes to Mother’s Day, I am quite clear…this is MY day.

“No, I would not like to be awoken by a breakfast of toast—I really need more protein and prefer a crumb free bed.”

“No, I would not like to go for dinner where I need to navigate the food intolerances of one and the extreme pickiness of the other, while taking turns going to the bathroom 47 times in the span of an hour.”

“No, and don’t judge me, but I really don’t want to spend time with my family on Mother’s Day…that kind of Mother’s Day is reserved for the other 364 days a year.”


I slept in making sure everyone was fed before emerging.

I showered without interruption.

I left with journal and pens in hand and spent 2 hours in a local coffee shop journaling and zentangling.

I then ran to the store and bought everything that was on my husband’s list for groceries for the Mother’s Day dinner they were making me in lieu of going out. Ten minutes spent by me, was going to save on a lot of angst and several hours spent by them.

Then I went to a movie…by myself. (I saw Mother’s Day and I highly recommend it!) I can’t remember the last time that I did that! I got to go to a non-animated movie, I didn’t have to wake my husband every time he fell asleep in the reclining chairs. I didn’t have to share my popcorn. I laughed. I cried.

It. Was. Awesome.

And then I came home and directed the dinner preparations making sure that I didn’t do any heavy lifting, but assuring that I wasn’t going to have a huge job the next day in cleaning up and that we weren’t going to die of food poisoning.

I got some snarky remarks from my husband about needing to escape on Mother’s Day—but it didn’t bother me. He naps every Saturday and Sunday afternoon—we just have different ways/times of escaping.

When I don’t ask for what I want, not only do I not get it, I resent the individual that I didn’t ask. This builds up and erodes at the relationship and before you know it, you are in the middle of a disagreement bringing up that time eight years ago when he bought you a knife sharpener for Christmas! <True Story>

Do you need some space or alone time?  What do you need support with? What do you want? What is being overlooked?

Just ask…it takes some practice, but try it on for size!

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