My husband needs a lot of sleep. Quite a bit more than I do. This annoys me. A lot. I always knew Dan functioned better on more sleep than I did, but I didn’t realize how different we were until we had a baby. After the first night, he rarely even stirred when she cried. And if I tried to wake him up to change a diaper it required tactics I’m not exactly proud of. And I have some seriously funny stories about things he did when I managed to push, I mean get, him out of bed to help me out. Of course, he doesn’t remember any of it and I didn’t think it was funny at the time. Not. At. All.
Now, before you say it’s because I’m the mom and he’s the dad, we have friends for whom the opposite is true. The husband always wakes up and the wife always sleeps right through the baby crying. He would bring the baby to her, wait until the baby finished nursing, change the baby’s diaper and put the baby back to bed.
Point is: God created my husband to need more sleep. It shouldn’t make him feel guilty and it shouldn’t make me mad. Yet don’t we often feel guilty because of how we’re created? And don’t we often get mad at others for how they’re created?
I need a lot of alone time. Quite a bit more than Dan. This annoys me. A lot. I always knew I functioned better with more alone time than he did, but I didn’t realize how different we were until we had a baby. Somehow, Dan was able to work two part-time jobs, attend seminary full-time, come home and not want to be alone. But when he got home I would practically beg for an hour to myself.
And I felt guilty. His need was physiological, mine wasn’t. But God still made me an introvert. He lovingly created me as someone who needs to spend time alone in order to function at my fullest. So I decided to stop feeling guilty about it. And I’ve had to make that decision time and time again as I hide away in our bedroom to read a book, write a blog post or watch a show.
And I’m grateful this doesn’t annoy Dan (too much).
What would it look like if we understood and celebrated how God created us? What if we embraced how God created others? What if we encouraged everyone to take care of their individual needs instead of condemning them for having different needs than ours?
What needs do you need to fulfill in order to live life the best way you can?