It’s ok to be a selfish mom. Selfish in some definitions has a negative connotation. But part of the description is: “concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”
I don’t think I noticed it as much before. Maybe because as a young college kid people expect it. You are self-absorbed, figuring out your life, and doing your best just to do you. No one judged me or made me feel selfish for taking care of myself.
But as a mom, WOW. Of course our kids are our priority! Of course we love them to the moon and back! But goodness the judgement I have heard and seen against one other. Even just based on things we have heard from or someone else themselves saw (passed on and passed on, yeah gets a little less reliable at some point right?!)
What do we know about what is going on in someone else’s life?
Why is that our first go – to, instead of assuming there may be another side to the story?
We see the mom out without her kids and think “must be nice, wonder how she got a day alone”. Or “wish I had enough help to do shopping on my own”.
Or what about when dads take our kids out, and we (I’m speaking about myself here because I opt out of those adventures plenty) decide to stay home? How many times have we heard “must be nice to have such a wonderful husband” or “sure wish mine was caring enough to do that”.
I’ll shoot it straight. As I’ve grown as a mom I have become more selfish. I have sacrificed a lot, and still do on a daily basis. But I put a lot into their buckets early on, and I think I filled them and emptied myself. I didn’t have a good way to balance my own care. I let my guilt, and guilt others put on me dictate how much self – care time I allowed myself. A bath alone every now and then should get me through the month right?
Honestly, my kids don’t owe me anything. My husband doesn’t owe me anything. But I owe MYSELF the ability to be selfish sometimes.
-I want to workout, so I make it a priority and pass the kids off to whoever is around (mostly my husband, or family when they’re near!).
-I don’t feel like going to the movies after a hard week with the kids, so I send them on their way with dad while I watch tv and drink wine at home.
-I feel suffocated and just need to sit in my car and do nothing, so I call my mom – in – law and ask for help.
-I need a second to mentally take a break, so I give the kids a snack, pop a show on, then run to my closet.
-My older kids could go without naps, but I force it daily just so I can depend on my alone time.
-I need a random day away, not planned, not in the same places I always go, just away – so I set up help, and I leave.
These are things I need to be happy. Things I need to clear my mind. Things I need to keep my soul rejuvenated so I can keep being a full-fueled mom.
That saying you can’t give when your tank is empty is SO true.
I think it’s sad that we put so much pressure on moms to handle it all. And if you don’t, or if you crack, or if goodness forbid you take a break (whether it’s once a week or 3x a day), we deem moms selfish, only cares about herself, or –cringe– ‘not a fit mother.’
Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to look how others expect it to, nor is it the same person – to – person.
I don’t feel obligated to justify my decisions, and I try to give the same courtesy to others. Take care of yourself, do what makes you happy, and fill your tank. You end up benefiting your family more for it.
As for the “must be nice…..”
Make that shit happen for yourself. No one is going to do it for you. Go get it, no more pity parties. We all wish we had more in some areas than others. I completely understand the “parenting and marriage and life would be easier if” situations and having a lack of resources for it all to be perfect. But as Poppy on Trolls says “happiness is inside all of us”.
It’s no one else’s job to pull it out. Don’t feel guilty doing it. Make sure when you look back you can say you did a great job taking care of your family…AND yourself!
Also, give some grace to others. It’ll go a long way for them, and you.