Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Today I’m going in a different direction and would like to share a few thoughts on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, some of which I shared briefly in our parent meeting on Saturday. This image is something that recently emerged from somewhere deep in my mind and my Psych 101 days as I’ve been pondering our evolving needs through the various phases of this pandemic.

Maslow’s hierarchy is on the left with an image I recently found online right next to it. Both basically illuminate the layers of needs we each have as individuals. The image on the right suggests that we are all currently working on taking care of our most essential needs at this time (though I would add the third level as well). At its core, Maslow’s diagram suggests that we will find it challenging to meet our higher level needs if we don’t meet our basic needs first.  Obviously, this is a generalization and we are all in varying places within this hierarchy at any given time.  In other words, there is fluidity within this diagram. Maslow himself has adapted this diagram over time  and has since added three more layers including cognitive, aesthetic and transcendent needs. You can read more here.

I only bring this up as a way of reminding you that right now is not the time for us to put pressure on ourselves to self-actualize, to be our best selves, to be the best parent in the world or win employee of the month. We are all doing our best right now and THAT’S ENOUGH. Cut yourself some slack, as a parent, as a partner, as a human being right now.

We talked a lot on Saturday about taking care of our children, of course, but we all find that challenging to do when we don’t feel taken care of ourselves, right? In case any of you have felt pressure from social media to maximize this time by developing a new skill, learning a new language, organizing your whole home, reinventing your image, or any other crazy idea, you are now given permission to just BE. Maybe it’s not pressure from the external world, but merely pressure we put on ourselves to be “better” according to our ideas of what a “good parent,” a “good Montessorian,” or a “good person” should be.

Again, now is the time to loosen those parameters. Extend yourself some grace, and just BE with yourself. BE with your children. BE present with the highs and lows. All else will fall into place in due time. ❤

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