TLDR: The title says it all. Today we talk about the importance of taking you time and why selfish might not be that bad sometimes.
Good afternoon, Smart Moms.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time being selfish from time to time…
Nowhere near as bad as my own mother was and kind of still is.
But I learned from her.
I learned from watching her run herself ragged for her kids and husband while my dad (while very hard working) knew when to take time for himself. He went on vacations, spent time with friends, and did things he enjoyed all while working a few jobs and really hard in the yard.
See the thing is, my dad knew how to take the time for him. How to still have fun and do his hobbies. How to ignore the kids here and there (even though he still spent a ton of time with us and loved doing things with us) and kickback with some of his favorite hobbies. He even found ways to make us a part of his hobbies so that he could share them with us and spend time with us.
My mom on the other hand, as much as she was super-mom, she sucked at taking time to take care of herself. I learned from a young age she just needed to let me scream. Really! Like let me scream and get it out of my system. You go have fun, mom. I’ll be all right. I’m just being a paranoid brat right now…
That’s what I’d tell her if I could go back anyways.
And honestly, as much as I hate stereotyping or grouping people in boxes, I think men tend to be a little better at this than women. I don’t know if that’s because historically speaking a woman’s purpose was to be her husband and children’s everything. If she got stuck up on these damaging gender stereotypes that she had to be responsible, mature, and make sure everything got done…She was supposed to be the perfect angel of hearth and home. Almost like her individual identity got stuck in being a martyr and only a mother and wife.
While husband had to work, but he also got to play. He got to work and develop his passions at work (hopefully, within certain classes anyways), he got to do his hobbies, he got to be the fun parent more often. And he was more than just father and husband. There almost seemed afforded to men more of this ability to be individual.
And maybe this is where some of these modern ideas of men being another child in the house, or “boys and their toys,” and other damaging stereotypes come from.
Because really…I think that we all need to be selfish and remember our individuality. And maybe we can learn some lessons from historical damages done to us and just choose ourselves.
At least that is how I see it. It’s how I saw my grandparents’ relationship played out…how I started to see my parent’s relationship pan out. And hey…we learn from our parents.
So I decided I’d learn from my mom and stop that ugly trend. I am still coaching her to be more selfish, though she’s improved some.
And I feel like it’s an important thing for smart moms to know.
You can be selfish.(5)
You can take care of yourself, be your own person, and follow your own path alongside being a mother or wife/partner. (5)
Of course you take your motherhood seriously, and you’re a good partner to boot.
And taking care of yourself makes you an even better person to be around and more able to give love and quality attention to your partner and to your kids.
So here are some tips on how to chill and be selfish:
- You do you. Whether that’s reading a book, playing a game, taking a long shower, evening walks, morning workouts, afternoon yoga, hunting, fishing, kayaking, climbing mountains…whatever it is that drives you…you do it. Don’t hold yourself back because you think your kid is going to miss you. Guess what, they will miss you. Because you’re an awesome mom. But that doesn’t mean that time spent away hurts you. It actually makes your reunion that much sweeter. It makes you appreciate each other more. So have you been wanting to do dance lessons? Learn a new instrument? Write a book? Do it. Do it. Oh, and do it. Some psychiatrists say that women have a harder time taking time for themselves. That they feel guilty. (1) Well don’t! I know it goes against some weird socializations in our culture, but seriously! There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first sometimes. I can’t stress this enough. It’s important to connect with you. It’s important you know about and delve into your passions aside from your family. Feeling lost? Not sure what those were? Think about what made you excited in high school and go from there. We all get excited about something. So take and make that time to do the things you love, things that are uniquely you.
- Say no. That’s it. No, no. no. No to the extra mom-helps-in-class day. Say no to the 15th bed time story. No to making yet another dinner because little one is throwing a tantrum about what you made. No to your parents-in-law not respecting boundaries. Just say it. It feels good. You need to establish boundaries around your personal energy and life. Know your limitations and how much you can take on before you get all stressed out. Then enforce those boundaries. People will respect them and you’ll feel so much better. Boundaries are good. They keep us sane and safe.
- Honor yourself. Honor your interests and your body. (4) Honor the greatness within you, the divinity, the individuality. Nurture and love yourself. Respect yourself. Do what your heart and body needs. This will really help you flourish.
- Relax. Yeah, take a little bit longer in the bathroom after you pee. Take your time doing your business. Enjoy sleeping a little longer some days. Take some time out. (2) And don’t stress the small stuff. Remember, life is amazing. Life is beautiful. These little stresses and things that happen day to day are manageable and will be managed at the appropriate time. They should not infringe on your peace of mind or you time.
- Selfish mom is a happy mom. Ok, so if you haven’t got the idea behind the use of the word ‘selfish,’ it’s that you can obviously put you first, prioritize important you things, and it’s not a bad thing. You’re not selfish in the negative way society thinks of it. And spending that time literally makes you happier. (3) You’ll be more fulfilled, your love tank will be over flowing, you’ll feel stronger and more developed individually. That’s beautiful! Your children see that and are happy. They respect you more. You inspire them with your productivity and self-development. All these things make you happier as a parent. Don’t fall into the trap that you’re doing something wrong by taking time and developing you.
There are a lot of little things you can do to make you feel honored and rejuvenated. Spend some time reconnecting and writing things down that would make you feel good—things you want to do or have wanted to do but haven’t made the time.
Put yourself first more often. I promise you’re not going to become this selfish monster. In fact you’ll feel more balanced and more able to give love and attention.
You’re already a rock star. You don’t need to be a martyr. Quit playing into that lying, harmful script.
Now go and do you!
Street Smart Favorites
Ok, so I’m not the best at taking me time, but when I do, I have to say that I am a huge fan of aroma therapy. I found this lavender candle and it is my FAVORITE thing. It smells like heaven and I swear it works miracles.