Get Out of Survival Mode

Early in our parenting days we had a LOT going on. We were barely sleeping, not making time to cook dinner, and it took a very bad middle of the night fight to realize we weren’t meeting our most basic needs.

We definitely weren’t thriving. We were barely surviving.

Amelia was a HARD baby. She barely slept and if she wasn’t sleeping she was crying. It was an endless cycle. One night we had both been up MULTIPLE times trying to get her to back to sleep. I had been up for awhile so I passed Amelia to Mark and went back to sleep. What felt like minutes later, Mark was tapping me and said, “I don’t know what she’s doing!!” and I said, “SHE’S CRYING!!!” and rolled over and went back to bed. Come to find out the next day, Mark had been up for HOURS. Clearly, something had to change.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

That’s when it hit me, I remembered a picture straight out of my Psych 101 textbook on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Do you remember learning about this in school? It’s a pyramid that is categorized into 5 types of needs: physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belongings (friendships), esteem, and self-actualization. The basic premise is you can’t get to thriving, or self actualization until you’ve met your most basic needs, things like shelter, food, water, sleep. Truly, basic needs. 

Maslow's Hierarchy | Knowing your basic needs

This was one of the most pivotal moments of our relationship: discovering our basic needs.

We soon started to hone in on our basic needs.  During that time, we thought deeply about this concept and realized immediately that our basic needs weren’t being met. We definitely were not sleeping, we didn’t come up with a meal plan, and we couldn’t eat out because we didn’t have money to eat out; we had shelter covered… that was about it. So we knew change needed to happen.

We kept it SIMPLE.

Remember, we’re all about SMALL changes that can have a big impact. Because when you’re surviving, you don’t have the energy for a big change.

So first, we each thought of ONE thing we could do this week to meet our own basic needs, and help each other meet their basic needs. Now obviously, the ideal is that all of your basic needs are met. I mean, they are your BASIC need to survive. But we definitely found that each of our most essential needs were a little different.

For Nicole, the basic need was sleep. Sleep is essential and without it she becomes snappy and angry. Mark can thrive on little sleep but when he’s hungry and it’s game over. So for Mark we knew to focus on his hunger needs.

The Plan

We knew Mark could sacrifice a little sleep here and there to help me get longer chunks of sleep through the night, and I could work harder at planning meals in advance so we knew what we were eating and had it easily available. 

So for ONE WEEK we focused on just meeting out basic needs. As we did that, wouldn’t you know, Maslow was right after all, and soon we were able to start thinking about our higher needs, even our dreams and our goals.

The possibilities of our marriage began to expand

As soon as we started fulfilling our own basic needs and supporting each other’s basic needs we were able to move past surviving and it allowed the possibilities of our marriage to expand.

Eventually all this effort flowed into our relationships with our kids and into our businesses. Because we weren’t on edge all the time, we had more love to give to our girls. We were able to explore our passions in our businesses and do it without wearing thin. We were able to make more money because we actually had energy to dedicate to our work. Discovering and supporting each other basic needs took us from surviving to thriving

And that’s our dream for you!

We want to get you from surviving to thriving as quick as possible so you can avoid those potential middle-of-the-night fights.

We want to empower YOU to make this small change so you can experience the BIG impact it can have in your life. We know that once you do, you’ll see the effects ripple through your life and you’ll be able to get to places you never even dreamed of. We know that you are ready to chase your dreams and create the life you love, and this first step will get you there!


If you loved these tips,

we know you’ll LOVE our:

FREE GUIDE: 3 Strategies that took Our Life from Surviving to Thriving.

We have PACKED this guide with our most important tips from keeping up with the dishes, to planning your family calendar, to our exact financial plan. We are so excited for you to start thriving!

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