The other day I left to run a few errands and asked our nanny to give Baby P a bottle while I was out.
I simply said, “a bottle,” without any more specifics.
When I came home I realized that she’d made a bottle for the baby with quite a bit more milk than we usually do, simply because it was all in one container and she grabbed the first one she saw in the fridge.
Every ounce of breastmilk feels like gold. So when I have to throw some away or it otherwise gets “wasted,” I get upset (sometimes unreasonably so, given that there really is plenty more where it came from).
I have a whole theory on my mentality about amassing a breast milk freezer stash, how it relates to my evolving relationship with money, and how we can all use what I’ve learned to up-level our abundance game. (Stay tuned for it in a future post, and make sure you’re on my list so you won’t miss it.)
There were a whole bunch of things that week that didn’t get done the way I wanted them to get done.
Becoming a mother has run a giant fluorescent highlighter over the fact that I’m a control freak. (I honestly didn’t really know the extent of it before.) And my control freakiness was out in full force that week.
Wires had gotten crossed with Mike about a new scheduling software we were using and had created a systems cesspool. I’d asked someone on our team to do something and it didn’t get done the way I’d asked.
I was irritated. I was blaming everyone else. I was bitching and moaning.
And then I realized: it was my fault.
Not my fault in the getting out the flail kind of way. But my fault in the taking responsibility for the results kind of way. (We do have a choice about beating ourselves up or simply learning from our foibles in a more gentle way.)
The reason things weren’t getting done the way I wanted them to be done was because I wasn’t being clear. I wasn’t being specific.
If you ask someone to do something without being specific and it doesn’t get done the way you wanted, that’s your fault, not theirs.
I could complain all day about how the other people in my life weren’t doing what I wanted. Or I could take responsibility for the fact that my communication wasn’t clear.
If you want something done the way you want it, you have to be specific when you ask.
I needed to say, “Please give the baby 4 oz. of milk while I’m out,” instead of, “Please give the baby a bottle.”
I needed to be detailed in my requests to our team.
I needed to spell out what I needed from Mike in order for him to be able to do it. (This one will save relationships, people!)
If we stop expecting people to read our minds and instead tell them specifically what we want, our chances of getting it go up infinitely.
So, whether you’re asking for something from your husband, your business manager, your friend, or the Universe, remember:
OVER TO YOU: