Why I Asked My Husband To Buy Me Flowers: Confessions of a Rotten Receiver

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I'm a rotten receiver. Getting gifts is NOT my love language, to say the least.

It's not that I don't like "stuff". I love stuff! I buy stuff all the time! But, I get gift anxiety when it comes to receiving from others. I worry about how I'll react when I get it, if they'll know I truly appreciate it, or if I'll thank them enough, or if whatever I got them in return is a proper "match" for what they got me. I feel a nagging sensation of guilt if it is something I don't need and even more guilt if it's something I don't actually want.

As you can imagine, I'm hard to buy for. I usually ask for consumable things like food or gift cards, stuff that I can use up or apply toward something practical. I loathe surprises, so I would rather pick an item out ahead of time and know I'll like it rather than risk the possibility that someone might actually find something I'll sincerely like.

Like I said, rotten.

I'm admitting this now because I suspect I'm not alone. I would gamble that there are other mothers out there that have become just as pragmatic as I have. In the world of clipping coupons, collecting Box Tops, Pampers points, and Grouponing, we're molded into a form that demands we cut corners where we can. On top of that, the needs of our family are growing and it seems wildly irresponsible to be spoiled by others.

Also, if you're like me, I'm not striving to be a martyr here. I genuinely take greater pleasure in seeing my kids open gifts than opening one myself. But, it wasn't until recently that it dawned on me that by short-changing myself on gifts, I'm actually depriving them of something greater than anything I could wrap up or stick a bow on.

My kids need to see their mom get spoiled rotten, not be a rotten receiver.

This Valentine's Day, I asked my husband to buy me flowers. I asked him to buy flowers for our girls too, and start a new tradition that will help them set the bar high when it comes to "how a lady should be treated". Of course my husband was thrilled to do it - poor guy has been kept at bay for years trying to shower me with this or that! (Did I mention that gifts is his love language?!)

I want my girls to grow up seeing their mother receive well. Not just politely, but deservedly. Not just graciously, but with humility. What good do I serve them if they see me buying my own Christmas gifts? What am I teaching them if I only ever get what I want? I want to be a better recipient of the blessings around me, crediting God and the thoughtfulness of others, and attempting to show them that I recognize I am valuable to many!

Made for each other.
If I want them to grow up and get spoiled by men who are worthy of their love, then I need to model it now. It may take a long time for me to turn the corner from making this change "for them" to taking it on as how I really feel about gifts, but that's okay. Actions can speak louder than words, and I'm hoping this change will shout out to them "YOU ARE WORTHY OF THIS!"

The sunflowers my husband bought me brought more than just beauty to our home. They helped mark a turning point for me as a wife and mother. The flowers will wilt and die, but their sentiment remains. And when I kissed his face with gratitude and got a resounding "Ewwww!" from my girls, my heart knew it was the right move.

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