I always put others before myself. Perhaps it is the mother in me, who, from the moment I discovered I was pregnant nearly seven years ago focused only on the needs of my child, and then children. Perhaps it is the people pleasing aspect of my personality, something I am always striving to work on, that drives me to feel the need to place all of my energy on the happiness and contentment of others, often at the detriment of myself.
My husband has cautioned me about this before, and I have always ignored him. After all, he doesn’t experience my thoughts or feel my emotions..how could he possibly understand that making others happy makes me feel joy, and makes me feel as if I have a purpose other than just being a mother and wife? Didn’t he get it?
Of course he didn’t.
Because it doesn’t always make sense.
While it is wonderful to want to help others, sometimes, we all need to be a little selfish. By this, I don’t necessarily mean that we completely ignore others and focus only on ourselves to the point where we become self centered. Not at all. But it’s okay to want to have time for ourselves occasionally, to not always feel up to pleasing everyone every day.
It’s okay to be a little selfish some times. In fact, I encourage it.
It’s okay to not want to share the last piece of your dinner, desert or snack with your child. It’s okay to want just five more minutes to sit down for the first time that day before you have to go again, in to the next activity of the day. It’s okay to stay in pajama pants all day, if you prefer. It’s even okay not to shower that day at all. It’s okay to not be in the mood to talk. It’s okay to actually do the thing you have been avoiding because you have allowed yourself to be talked out of it due to your own guilt.
You may feel as though you have to fill each moment of your day fulfilling the needs of your spouse and children. You may feel as though this is your sole role, and while admirable, no one benefits from an overworked, over stressed, generally burnt out mother. Taking the time to invest in yourself will make you not only a better mother, but a better person as well.
Before you were a wife, or a mother, you were a woman who had activities you enjoyed, hobbies that you regularly participated in. Now that you have additional people to satisfy the needs of, it is okay to revisit these things you once loved, a reminder to your former self.
This year, I am making myself the promise to give myself more time. Time to unwind, rejuvenate and refocus. Giving myself the ability to be a better person will allow me to be a better mother, and that is all that I can ask for for my children.