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108 Comments

  1. Bala.skar says:

    Thanks for this I’m gonna try to be a better son

  2. Love this so much!

    Mahalo Monica🌸

  3. A massage, a walk in the park or better yet the beach, hugs and more hugs, Loved the thoughtfulness, laughter, but most of all Prayer, time with God almighty, something I can’t live without. Thanks Monica

  4. A daily HUG from my 15 year old son. I am a single mom with only the 1 boy. Michelle from Mass β€οΈπŸ™

  5. Sara Mirtaheri says:

    I love it when I get what I want lol, but I also just want family time. Now that I have a tween I miss the closeness I know my time with him is slowly dwindling. I spend all day with my other kids (1st graders), but I crave a hug and a nice talk with my son!!!

  6. Sara Mirtaheri says:

    I love it when my husband and son give me a pedi with my pedi foot machine. It is so relaxing to let them do it. Foot massages are the best.

  7. Personally, I would substitute wine for coffee.

  8. Anna Haillie says:

    As a stay-at-home mom of a 10-month-old daughter and my husband in Korea for a year, I could really go for a hug! Lol!

    1. Hope Hendrick says:

      And you certainly deserve it. Hugs, hugs, hugs not the same as hubbies, but I’m praying God gives you much comfort, even when you don’t have the time to be still, and praying for your husband’s safe return. God bless you and your family.

  9. Wow! I’m pretty lucky. I’m a mom of 6 (two are grown step girls) and I can honestly say that in the last 17 years I either don’t need half of these, or want and the rest I do get!

  10. Kerri Brigham says:

    You Are amazing what an awesome way 2 get encouragement. I’m from Wellington Florida & have 2 boys. Cortland19 1st yr@ collegeLiberty University & Cameron 16 11 th grade. I feel a safe place 2 b encouraged & love that ur from Hawaii & seems like u all surf as do we. I love also that ur a sister in Christ. If we make it 2 Hawaii this year I would love 2 meet u & give u a big hug for being there when I needed it most. B Blessed.

    1. Oh Kerry that is the sweetest!! Well done, Momma. You’ve gotten one into college and another in 11th grade–so great!! Thanks for the kind words. Stay in touch!! XO Aloha!

  11. This is so perfect, today was rough and any of these little things would have made my day just that much better!!! Thank you

  12. Margery Cook says:

    Look at all those beautiful boys, bless your heart! Sorry about the girl thing, lol. I have four grown daughters. I feel your pain. Got me some boys now…lots of grandbabies πŸ™‚ Growing older is bittersweet but keep ‘er chin up cause if you enjoy mommyhood now, your heart will be bursting with love when your grandkids start coming. Glom onto all those little interruptions, napless days and non-private potty breaks because when they are all gone your house will be much too quiet and tidy and you will remember those irritating things fondly (assuming you survive them). Wishing you well, from a happy old grandperson.

  13. karen butkiewicz says:

    With 7 boys and 3 girls having a meltdown is very common I just give myself a timeout in my bedroom shut the door and all these little fingers show up from under my door and makes me smile so we need to add patients to the list and to just breathe 😁

  14. Oh thank God I have a husband who always pushed me to do kind things for myself. Such a blessing. Thanks to my amazing daughter Alexis I cherish hugs from my adult “kids”. Their hugs are their approval. Priceless

  15. My need, is just to feel needed, My kids are grow and gone, maybe if I had used some of these other needs I wouldn’t feel lost. When they grow up and are independent your feelings are hurt cause they don’t need you, then I remember that was what I had been striving for. I had been a working mother stretched beyond my limits but I did it I thought very well. Now it is just the thought of knowing you are still needed!

  16. Enjoyed reading your comments but I have a question. What about your Moms and all the moms back. We didn’t have all the easy things you have to do the work with. Example washing machines dishwashers etc. Also husbands didn’t buy gifts and do all the things the husbands do today etc. Some women lived on farms and had to do a lot of farm work. Much more if anyone cares to hear it. Just my 2 cents worth.

  17. Christy Hayes says:

    Intelligent, thought-provoking, adult conversation not about the children.

  18. I enjoyed this list and even though we are empty nesters and the first three aren’t a problem.
    I have to admit the rest still apply in some way even #18! I still get interrupted in the bathroom!
    Thanks for this list.

  19. The only one I have a slight problem with is about cleaning. I am a “veteran mom” of four grown boys. There is an unspoken assumption that cleaning the house is “mom’s job” and other people in the family help her. After many years of my husband rounding up the troops to “help Mom” with the cleaning, I realized that he assumed it was my job, but I needed a little help. I finally realized, too late, that I should have nipped this in the bud a long time ago. We all live in the house. We all get it dirty. We all eat the food that makes the mess in the kitchen. It is our job – all of us – to keep our house in order. I may need to teach them what to do, but it’s not my job. My grown boys have struggled with this idea, because they never saw it as their job. Other than that, your list is great!

  20. Pamela Quartero says:

    This is just in time for Mother’s Day, which is just around the corner! I have been there before…waiting and hoping the husband and kids would understand that I have needs, too! Loved the list and the time you took to write, and share it! I will definitely have to tweak a list of my own to fit my life. Not to post for anyone else really, but to make sure I take care of some of the things I NEED every now and then. My life changed drastically when my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer back in April and then left us in September. He was wonderful and made sure I felt appreciated with many “acts of kindness” and taught our 9-yr old to also appreciate mom. Now it’s just the two of us at home and I won’t be expecting much from a somewhat needy boy! (what 9-yr old isn’t still needy, right?!) I have 3 older children but they’re a million miles away on the mainland living their own lives. Oh, we communicate often….it’s just not the same as being in the same house! So, I won’t be able to count on #s 4,5,8,11,12, 21 or 23 anymore. I don’t drink coffee so there goes #2 and 22. #19 has to go as well because I’m on a strict diet! (I’m making efforts to take care of myself – I’ll add in #13 later.) I’m not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I am, and will continue to be, thankful for what I have been blessed with. I’m taking steps to move forward. I will not wait for someone to fulfill my list, I will have to do that myself…and that’s okay. I will make my list and I will post it somewhere where I can see it so that I remember that I have needs, too. #25 needs to be at the top of my list! If it wasn’t for prayer, I would not be able to get through this very rough time. I’m sorry this “note” got to be so long! Mahalo for listening!

    1. Pamela, thank you for your comment. Bless you. I know you’re not looking for sympathy, but you just stopped me in my tracks and I am praying for you. I hope you make that list and fulfill it all and God will add a few bonus’ to your list to surprise you. Keep in touch here please, and keep that amazing attitude. It is contagious and beautiful. aloha

  21. AMEN! It really is a simple list, but SO important. Mamas are only good mamas when they are feeling fulfilled in their role at least a little bit. Cuz let’s face it, Motherhood ain’t for sissies!

  22. Great list. I might change some of them (Idont really drink coffee) but it’s a great place to start. I love that you started off saying we need to organize this ourselves sometimes. I am definitely learning I need to tell my husband I need time alone. He just doesn’t think about it, but if I say I need it he’s so helpful watching the kids.

  23. AMEN! Definitely need more sleep & alone time.

  24. Guy Parker says:

    As a stay-at-home Dad, I relate to all of this. It’s the same for us, too. So your comment about only other women would understand is not relevant. Anyone who is the primary “go to” person for a child or who stays at home, etc., would understand that. I need my time away with my guy friends (and girl friends), too, to keep my sanity.

    1. Thanks Guy! Great point. I am planning to do a specific “dad” post (with my husband’s help,) and had realized that much of the list is the same. Keep up the great work! Aloha-

  25. Loved this list! Sorely lacking from my life is time alone with girlfriends. That’s something you have inspired me to fix.

  26. l I liked #1,4,8,9 (especially )10, 14, 15, 18 20. Great post

  27. Melissa N says:

    Oh my… #9! Yes yes yes! I love his! Printing this!

  28. I would add sexual intamacy from our husbands, women need to know that our husbands are still sexually interested in us and not just the “let’s just get a quick release” I mean snuggling petting etc. we need physical affection from our partners in the privacy of our bedrooms that tell us we are still special.

    1. Great point, Dawn! And I just heard a podcast on this topic that explained that for men…after sex there are chemicals released that make them want to bond more (and therefore snuggle, etc.) So though I agree it is important (before the sex) our willingness to get the cycle going ends up paying off for both partners. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for commenting!

  29. Great list, even if your only child living at home is you 47 year old husband!!!

  30. I love your list…I Need time to go to hair salon and get my roots done. Those darn grays won’t cover themselves.

  31. We need to go potty without having to multitask from on the “throne” lol! We need to be needed, but not from everyone all at once, so take notice and get in line πŸ˜‰

  32. Rules that every parent of adult children need to enforce!
    1. Call before you come over.
    2. Pay back what you have borrowed.
    3. Help me out on fixing and cleaning the house and yard, without charging me money.
    (It’s going to be yours, someday. The better shape it’s in, the more you will get for it.)
    4. Tell the grandkids all of the nice things I’ve done for you.
    (That includes when you were a child and an adult.)
    5. Treat your side of the family exactly like you do your spouse’s side of the family.
    6. Don’t become a bratty child again, as soon as you walk in my door. It’s not funny.
    7. Respect my privacy. Just because you have a house key, doesn’t mean you can pop in any
    time of the day or night, unannounced.
    8. Don’t take your inheritance for granted. I can change my mind anytime I want to. Ha! Ha!
    9. I babysit when I want to, not when you want me to. You’re still getting a good deal since I do it for free. Come home when you say you will. Don’t stay gone longer because it’s me doing the babysitting. Treat your mother like you would treat anyone else. I get tired, you know!
    I couldn’t think of 25, but these 9 should be enough for most people’s adult children to live by.

  33. Louise Weavell says:

    Monica, you’re so spot on! Seeing your beautiful family photo I can see why your words resonated with me. I am mum (Aussie for mom!) to four amazing young men 18,19,22 and 24… all at university and still living at home with me and my husband. When your children are young adults and you realize you can tick off many of those things on the list, you know you must have done something right. It’s great to be reminded of all that we’ve experienced. Your words of support, experience and insight are inspirational for all. Thanks.

  34. Unexpected things? A mom with a child with learning disabilities has unexpected things every day. Knowing that that child can learn language is a miracle. Knowing that your child can develop laughter and a knowledge of humor is a higher function of the brain that 1 of 66 babies born in today’s society may never know. I may not dream of all the cool things that many new parents dream of, but I dream of a time when my child is accepted in society, not someone who invokes shock because they do not fit a mold. Yes, I speak of autism. I know what it is like to want sleep when my child needs comfort, to take a hot shower when my child doesn’t know boundaries, to be appreciated when expressive language is difficult, occasional time with girlfriends when no one knows how to handle meltdowns, naps and excercise come from respite only, cleaning house only if vacuums doesn’t set the child into tears, books are for the midnight crew, yummy food is only after a singular, item restricted diet, time alone and chocolate is late at night, vacation is a two year planning event and can be thwarted by fear and uncertainty, and then there is laughter- only after years of painstaking work on silliness and humor- the joy of hearing laughter is what makes a mother’s day. Laughter is the highest form of brain function and I rejoice every time I hear it. I like your twenty five needs from the family, but a majority of families just do not have the luxury of them. I would like those myself, however I take immense joy from what I am given. I am thankful every day for my children. Maybe they won’t be society’s superstars, but right now they are my superstars, and when they say “Mom, great dinner” , well that day is a great day!

  35. “YES!” to everything – except the 2 coffee needs. Not everyone drinks coffee…But, I’d replace it with dark chocolate and chai tea latte! Thanks for this list – Will be sharing with my hubs and 4 kids!

  36. Yes Indeed Monica! So happy to have found your blog, it is awesome!

  37. I am blessed to get some of these, but the others I crave. I’m saving this!

  38. Love this! So completely true!
    As a mom of teenage boys who will soon be going to college, I would like to add- an occasional unsolicited hug as they’re walking out the door to hang out with friends and also a random text just to say hi and tell me what is going on in their day.

  39. Kimmie Ortiz says:

    This list is absolutely amazing, my sister-in-law sent this to me and I told her I feel like I wrote this!! Haha to a T! Especially the “exercise” one, and the clothes, actually all of them LOL I started smiling and laughing and my husband asked “what’s so funny?” Lol soooooo I read him the whole list lol he actually smiled and nodded to a couple that I have asked of him a lot. Who knows if it’ll actually start happening, but I believe I will read this to him time and again to try and remind him hahaha thank you for the perfect list!

  40. Man I’d be happy with just one of these things!!

  41. Totally agree except I’ve now cut out the coffee and replaced it with Thrive – a natural vitamin and mineral supplement. It gives me the energy and focus to devote my time to being a wife, mom and successful in the chatty and corporate world. No coffee for a week and loving it!

    Sharing your list!

    Thanks,
    Courtney
    http://www.ceiswald.Le-Vel.com

  42. Unsolicited hugs and kisses from my kids. I love when my kids throw their arms around me.

  43. Printing right now! Thank you often as mom and being a wife we tend to put our needs last. But to take care of the family and be as happy as we can be we have to take care of our self also.

  44. Wine … Not whine πŸ™‚ and the good kind!

  45. A real massage (professional) at least 2 hours! Anything less is a tease…

  46. 26. Perseverance. Not from us, from you. Try figuring out where your book is, how to turn on the DVD player, or what you need to do to get a clean plate when they are all dirty BY YOURSELF. Do not give up after 5 seconds of looking/trying and yell, “MOOOOOOOM!”

    1. You want me to write a post about what Dad’s need most? Maybe I will! It was moms turn this time! πŸ™‚
      (It took me over six months to get to the moms after my teenage boy post, haha…) I’ll get there eventually! xo

  47. Sent this to my husband and hoping he actually reads it!

  48. Melanie C says:

    You nailed it! Thanks for the laugh and reality of it as I shared it with my friends! We decided we needed chocolate after that! πŸ™‚

  49. i think I would add bathroom time with the door shut and alone. Lol

  50. I’m fortunate because as a single mom it’s all in my powers to give myself those things, and not leave it up to someone else. Of course I can’t give myself things like “help with the housework” but I do give myself 3 hours a week at the gym, chocolate , lots of great books, and jewelry

  51. I was reading this as my three year old blew countless raspberries on my arm, so there were several knowing sighs and grins from this Mama πŸ™‚ Thank you for this beautiful list. My husband is a great man who blesses me as a spouse and co-parent. He’s been away for the last week and it has been a bit of a challenge (my eldest has some special needs and my youngest is only seven months). I may have to print this out and leave it on the fridge as a reminder. I do find that it can be very easy to overlook my own needs at times. Thank you again.

    1. bless your heart! So glad you enjoyed the list, and really happy to hear you’ve got a good man. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the list, as men often appreciate a bit of specific direction! πŸ˜‰ XO

  52. I would add – Time for Mommy to feel pretty – get a manicure, pedicure, a massage or even just getting my hair done more than twice a year. That would be lovely

  53. Maria Menchaca says:

    To hear you tell me that you don’t blame or hold ME accountable for the way YOUR life has turned out.

  54. Aurora gurierrez says:

    I LOVE THIS!!!!

  55. I don’t know you, but I love you.
    I appreciated every word you wrote. Thanks! I needed this right this moment.
    From HI to NY, couldn’t be further apart in the US but I’m glad to know you are out there. πŸ™‚

  56. A time out spot of our own. Where we can put ourselves and not be touched or talked to until we come out.

  57. I need some things to be just mine and mine alone. Like my toothbrush, and my personal headphones. I need to not come home and discover my toothbrush used and my pink headphones in his manly ears…..

  58. Love this list! I’m going to email it to all my girlfriends! We are planning a girls week for skiing in Jackson Hole this spring, which I’m looking forward too. You’d be surprised how guilty we all feel for planning a girls week by ourselves, sans the children :).
    Penny

  59. I agreed with all of it, but most likely won’t get much of it for awhile. I have a two year old son with a genetic bone condition, and my husband died suddenly in August. I did recently ask my parents for some encouragement, but it doesn’t feel right to ask for it. I feel so very alone right now. I know that God hasn’t left my side, but I still feel lost and alone.

    1. Oh Colleen…I am so sorry. I wish I could reach through the computer to give you such a big hug right now. I hope that you have some encouraging places to connect with people…Are you in a good church? Support group? I cannot imagine how hard that must be. But you are right-_God has not left you…You will see His hand when you look back one day, but for now I pray you can be strong and force yourself to reach out to others. I am praying for you now.

      1. Colleen I am praying that you find the strength to be the advocate for you and your son ( or children). I pray that your son’s doctors make wise decisions and your son responds well to his treatments. I pray that you are met with encouragement and small acts of kindness from friends and strangers alike. Know you are not alone, He is there, sharing your load.

    2. You are doing an amazing job, Colleen! You are your son’s world, and if he could, he would tell you that you are the most wonderful, loving, awesome mom on earth! {{{Big Hugs}}}

  60. Just once I would like to hear Mom you were a good mom. My kids are in their 30’s. I don’t feel like I was a good mom and if I was I would love to hear it from my kids

    1. I agree Kay. I too am a mom of 2 boys in their mid twenties and it would be nice to hear but I take the fact that when they need advice or guidance and they come to me, as a sign I didn’t do too bad. πŸ™‚ I’m sure you did a great job! As my mom says you lived through the mistakes I made and your kids will live through the mistakes you make we do the best we can! Put this list on your refrigerator and have them read it next time they visit maybe they’ll think to tell you what great mom you are!

  61. Great list! Raising boys, 11 and 16. I am blessed to get all from my husband. Working together on the respect from the boys. Think it is just their ages.

    There is one thing my husband always did for me when they were little. He would give it as a gift for my birthday or Christmas. He would book a hotel room for me, 2 nights. First night was all mine, the second night he would arrange for a sitter and and come pick me up and take me on a date. Best gifts he could have given me. 18 years and still crazy in love.

  62. Hey, great list!!! agree with all 25 things!! πŸ™‚ I feel that 2, 6 and 22 are all related.. πŸ™‚ Btw, great picture of you guys!

  63. Kris Jones says:

    This is great! I think every mom I know would echo your list. I just adore the photo of you all. I think this is my favorite of all your family photos. I will have to copy and print it out for our family album in the “darling Swanson family” section!

    love you!
    Kris

  64. I love this! And I’m 100% in agreement on everything except the coffee. I was fortunate enough to try coffee for the first time when I was in my late 20s as opposed to most who start far younger. I gave it a month and liked the flavor but was otherwise unimpressed. The caffeine had side effects that told me clearly that I was using a crutch, masking symptoms of health that was not optimal. So I stopped and looked for an answer. It came through complete protein for breakfast, enough vitamin D, and getting to bed on time (sleep like you said!). Simple, yes! I have real energy now despite being pregnant and chasing around a toddler. πŸ™‚

  65. Sybil Schoeman says:

    You forgot one ….. More COFFEE!!!! πŸ˜‰

    1. Haha..My husband actually read the list and thought I had made a mistake by listing coffee twice. I was like, “Obviousy this is a man!” πŸ™‚ Always…more coffee!

  66. Goodness, I really think you nailed it! Every time one popped into my mind I realized it was just a sub-category of what you’d already covered. Loved the light-hearted tone. These “what mamas need” post can get so heavy… because we get so heavy. We get weighed down without having these needs met. But you reminded me they are real and we are okay, and it’s time to communicate this stuff to the people in my home who love me madly. So goodnight, I’m off to bed now. Because I think that was #1.

    1. Wendy–Love how you think. You are so right. And yes to sleep. Here’s to keeping it #1! πŸ™‚ Happy new Year friend!

  67. tina scurek says:

    Respect is a big one that is hard to get!!!

  68. Tomi Andrews says:

    Please make a printable! As a Mom of 2 boys (3 if you count my husband!) I am always searching for ways to communicate this kind of stuff to them. Your list is so clear and simple, they can’t misunderstand it or take as nagging! It’s going front and center in my kitchen πŸ™‚
    Thank you!! I love your blog so much.
    Tomi – FLA Grom Mom of 2 skater boys πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Tomi! So glad you like the list! πŸ™‚ I actually made the printable (forgot to change my PS, sorry!) but if you go back to the post, look just before the LIST and you’ll see it says “Click HERE for printable version.” That links you to a page you can print! Hope that helps, and have a great week! aloha

  69. Christine says:

    It’s the little things, isn’t it. When my husband sees something around the house that needs to be fixed and then does it without me asking him to take care of it – that’s a nice feeling. When I ask my boys to do something and I get a cheerful response instead of grumbling totally makes my day

  70. Am I too old to say I am laughing my aXX off? Sorry to be rude, but this list came across my screen directly following a mama meltdown that may have included me lifting my 7 year old’s backpack overhead ( Incredible Hulk Style including the guttural bellow) and chucking on the floor because it is once again hanging open with junk ( supplies or whatever) hanging out making our entry way look even more hectic. Before you judge ( although I think I have it coming) let me defend myself that it is the one request I have made to him for YEARS as a small way he can contribute to organizing our tiny entry way. Rest assured, the backpack was zipped and hung without another word spoken.

    What was the big deal? I don’t know. Probably not. He is a pretty awesome kid who just never zips his backpack.

    But I do know I could use some grace and permission for the occasional emotional meltdown. I could also use an addition to our home that includes a glorious mudroom with hooks and cubbies and lockers and shelves and closets….
    Also still laughing about the Costco comment because nearly every mom I know bought the same down jacket from Costco this fall. We had to label them like kindergarteners.

    1. Permission granted . . . I feel your pain ! Ha Ha

    2. I’m so with you Shannon! Only mine is a stool that my 3 year old always leaves in random places for me to trip on. My favorite is on the mat in the kitchen where it blends in nicely for me to trip on while I’m cooking….. Yeah I’m with you.

  71. Briley Laurent says:

    This is a great list, thanks! Am laughing about #12…my newest clothes are always from Costco!

  72. Love this! Especially the planning a vacay one. Planning is a bad word to hubby’s side so teaching that this is important to me has been a challenge. On my way to bootcamp outside in 20 degree weather as we speak. My twice a week get away just for me. Have a wonderful Saturday!

  73. Printable version would be awesome! Going on the fridge!

  74. Ewa Lewandowski says:

    I need to make love to my husband in the mornings! makes my day

  75. Love this! Thanks Monica for taking the time to share! πŸ™‚

  76. Definitely make a printable version! This says so much of what we want to say but don’t always know how.

  77. Printing this and putting it on the fridge. Period. End of story! πŸ˜‰