How to be selfish and not feel bad about it.
Many people especially women put everything and everyone else above themselves. At one time I used to be this exact same way thinking that putting everyone else especially my children above my own needs made me the best mom in the world. But trying to give, be and do E+V+E+R+Y+T+H+I+N+G for my kids while neglecting myself, physically, emotionally, and mentally did not make me a better mom. It actually made me a BAD mom and it robbed my children of a major major lesson. Not taking care of ourselves has become a major problem and we believe that being selfish means that you’re not a good person.
The word selfish is defined as: adjective (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure. How can we not see that as negative. The very definition is negative in nature. Yet taking care of ourselves is not selfish, its a downright necessity!!
I want you to learn how to be selfish, and not feel bad about it. I’m going to share with you where I messed up, so you don’t make the same mistakes I made. It started with becoming a mom. Now being a mom is an amazing, life changing job. But do you know how hard it is to teach kids "do as I say, but don't do as I do!?" Maybe you think it’s not a big deal now, but just wait until they grow up (as my children have done so quickly 😔) I now have the pleasure of being a mom to two beautiful young women who are 24 & 21. And even though they are way ahead of the game compared to me at that age, I see them making some of the most detrimental mistakes when it comes to taking care of themselves.
I never wanted my children to see me cry. I never wanted my children to see me hurt. I never wanted to be too tired for them. I never wanted them to know that I would secretly scream in my pillow or call them little bi&%@es behind their backs when they were just too damn sassy for their own good. Yet all of those things are true. Keeping the very essence of who I was, or how life can be overwhelming and hard from them only made them bigger bi&%@es because they thought I could handle anything. When really deep down I was literally going insane from mom’ing so hard.
It wasn’t until a few years ago when I finally, for the first time broke down and cried in front of my oldest daughter. She had only asked me for a small favor, but it just was too much to take. I cried big time, and I’m not a pretty crier either. I’m talking big mouth, snot already coming out, eyes swelling up like crazy type cry. She literally just stood there at first staring at me. Until she finally broke and said “OMG mom, I’ve never seen you cry! I’m so happy to see this, I felt like I wasn’t measuring up because I felt like I was always falling apart and you had always kept it together.”
Ummmm yeah, my daughter said that. Her response immediately stopped me in my crying fit. I instantly saw how much I had actually hurt my children by not letting them know that I’m just a person. I mean yeah I’m a mom, and a pretty bad ass one at that. My kids are amazing and you don’t get that by being a terrible mom. I mean the fact that they are alive, healthy, and contributing members of society says a lot! But, still just a person. I wasn’t showing them that it’s ok to have feelings, it’s ok to be scared and not know the answers. It was 100% absolutely ok to have a break down when the egg shells got mixed up in the scrambled eggs because you’re so friggin exhausted. You know why it’s ok? Because it makes them know that they are ok too. Had I been vulnerable enough to let my kids know that I needed some extra rest, some alone time, or just this one time, NO I did not want them to drink after me (kid backwash still gets me) it would have allowed me to rejuvenate myself so that I could be even more bad ass when I punched that mom clock back on for duty.
Why have we allowed the term "selfish" to even be in the same genre as self care. It sounds so negative, and harmful when really in that context it is just the opposite. Give yourself more, to be atble to give others more. This is the concept that so many women need to grasp! Yet... So many of us will believe that "we just can't do that." Change that!! Starting today. It starts with understanding why you need to do it in the first place. When you think of the people that need you the most, that require you to be 100% for them, are you able to give them that? Are you rejuvenating yourself regularly so that you can be the mom, the spouse, the boyfriend/girlfriend, the friend that you want to be?
It doesn’t have to be big, you can start with something very small. A day away from the kids where your family takes them out. A pedicure by yourself so you can think away from the chaos of your home. A long walk outside, a trip to the gym, a movie with your best others. Selfish does not have to be negative and taking care of yourself doesn’t need to mean that you are being selfish. You know that you have to change the oil in your car regularly to keep it running or it will quit. No more trips in that ole’ reliable wagon for you. Your body, and emotional mental state are just the same. When was the last time you changed the oil?