First, let me say that I love my daughter more than anything or anyone in the world. Of course. But I’ve also learned that it’s important to be a “selfish mom.” Why? Because if you’re not happy or taking care of your needs too, it’s harder to take care of someone else. And less fulfilling. OK. Deep breath. Here are all the ways I’m a selfish mom.
I work. Full-time. And I love it.
This might not seem like a super fun, selfish thing to do, but I genuinely love to work. And while I also do it to make money, I would probably work no matter what. For me, work is a wonderful thing: I get to use my brain in ways that matter most me. I get to develop relationships with people who do the same or similar things. And I get to go to the Starbucks drive-through by myself. I think stay at home moms are wonderful (and I sometimes wish that was my path). But I hope that my commitment to a career I’m passionate about inspires my daughter (despite the time I spend away from her #littlebitofguilt). I hope she understands that working hard for something you want to achieve is pretty cool.
I work out. And I don’t let anyone mess with it.
Put simply, I’m a happier, more productive person when I’m exercising regularly. I’m a much better, more patient mom. It is HARD to carve the time out—sometimes it’s impossible. I’m tired.
Most All parents are! But I make a plan each week, and that plan may include getting up early on the weekends or it may include workouts at home (complete with a five-year-old “assistant”). One huge perk? Showing our kid that it’s a great idea to have a strong, healthy body, plus that exercise can be fun and social.
I treat myself.
I’m not a big shopper, but I do put aside some moola (and time) for myself. I get my hair done every six weeks, and it feels like my special thing. That may not be your thing, but it’s great to have something on the regular that’s your treat from you. Think: mani/pedis, listening to music by yourself in a beach chair or a sundae with a cherry on top. This might mean that I don’t buy my kiddo every single thing she wants, but this is a great thing. She shouldn’t get everything she wants. She should learn the sometimes difficult, sometimes glorious sound of the word “no.” No makes treats special. No helps parents raise less spoiled children.
Sometimes I listen to the songs I want in the car.
We jam out in the car. And, I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t want to listen to the Trolls soundtrack because I’m listening to my music. I calmly tell my daughter that it’s mama’s turn to choose the song, and I don’t feel bad. Would it be a big deal if I gave in? Kind of. I want to teach her that there are other people in our family (and in the world) who have opinions, likes and dislikes, who also want to play their music. Also, while it’s my tendency to give in to whatever our kiddo wants because, frankly, it’s easier there are a whole lot of reasons and ways not to give in.
We give so much to our children every single day. But especially as our kids get older, it’s important to be a little “selfish” and do things that make us happy, healthy and fulfilled. And I’ve decided, most definitely, that I don’t want to feel bad about it.