written by
Andrea Schell

Need to Want

Narrative 2 min read , April 13, 2022

My advice to you, switch your mindset from NEEDING to WANTING

I know that right now, you feel like you are drowning and that if one more thing comes your way, you will crack.

People who have never been a caregiver before do not understand the pure panic of thought behind thinking that at any moment in time, you might cry or laugh hysterically because you have lost your mind.

When explaining the things I have been through, I sometimes feel like I am telling the plot of a drama sitcom because it does not seem like it should be possible for one person or one family to experience, yet here we are to say otherwise.

It is so easy to get caught up in the mindset around the word NEEDING.

I need this. I need that.

I want to do this, and I want to do that.

Two words that seem very similar but vastly different impact our minds.

As a parent to a seven-year-old and a three-year-old, I constantly tell them that they do not NEED that toy; they want it. The concept seems so obvious when you are using it to explain why leaving the store with another toy that makes way too much noise is simply not happening.

As an adult, especially a caregiving adult, it becomes hard to WANT instead of NEED in our daily roles.

I need to go to my parents’ house this weekend.

I need to take my grandpa to his appointment.

My aunt needs me to cut her grass.

By changing one word, you change the sentence’s tone entirely. By changing one word, you change YOUR MINDSET entirely.

I want to go to my parents’ this weekend.

I want to take my grandpa to his appointment.

My aunt wants me to be the one who cuts her grass.

As a caregiver, we spend the majority of our day feeling needed. THOUSANDS of times, I would combust if one more person needed something from me. The power that the word “needed” can have over you is forceful.

One word changed how I felt about a situation, a day, an opportunity. Something that I did not realize at the time was the way I was letting that word control my overall feelings and mindset. I would think to myself, I do not want to be “needed.”

If you feel overwhelmed and have a sense of guilt for how you are feeling, reword your inner monologue and tell yourself these are WANTS instead of NEEDS.

I think that you, too, will be surprised and how impactful one word can be on how we handle a situation. I know for myself it helped me see caregiving from a different perspective. It reminded me of the importance of what I was doing rather than everything I was not doing.

Changing how we think of the present will make our memories something that makes our hearts skip a beat instead of the drop to our stomach feeling, something we all need to remember.

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