Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with a friend. She was telling me about something that she’d read. It was a post about motherhood. The author was talking about the need to be a selfish mother. At first, I balked. My thoughts went straight here:

  • You can’t be selfish once you have children.
  • Your life isn’t only about you.
  • The kids ALWAYS come first.
  • If you’re being a selfish mama, what are your kids missing out on while you’re all about you?

I”m the mom that felt bad every time I dropped my babies off at day care. I lingered around forever because I didn’t want to be away from my babies. Now that my babies are at home full time, I’m the mom who felt guilty when I run to the coffee shop to work for a few hours. Yeah, I’m that mama. Me a selfish mama. I couldn’t see it.

As she continued telling me about this post, I started to change my thoughts. It began to make sense to me. It really didn’t seem so bad to be selfish at all. The thing that popped into my head was the words I hear when boarding an airplane. They always tell you when traveling with children, in the event of an emergency to put the oxygen mask over your own face first. Growing up, I thought that was messed up. You’re telling people to protect themselves and kick the kids to the curb? Of course, not. That’s what it sounded like to me as a little kid though.

self care aMaking sure you have oxygen first, makes you better equipped to help your child. If you’re struggling to breathe, you can’t think clearly. If you’re not thinking clearly, you won’t make it. If you don’t make it, how can you help your kids? I think the same is true overall in motherhood. I have been guilty of being last on my own list. I have gotten better about it though. For example, I know that I need to get myself ready first in the morning. If I don’t, things tend to go a bit off track. It’s just easier for me to get my children together, if I’m already pulled together. In a sense, it sets the tone. My babies see that I’m dressed and they know what’s expected. They know what’s coming next. It’s their turn and they begin to do things to get ready.

Could that be true in other cases? Of course! If we set out to take care of ourselves first in other areas, will it teach our kids to make themselves a priority? There are definitely extremes to this. There are people who don’t spend time with their kids because of this idea of putting yourself first. There has to be a balance though, right? There are times to be selfish and there are time to make yourself “next in line”. It’s a dance.  At times, I tend to hang out in the “next in line” phase a bit longer than I should. I am learning to put myself on my own list more often. Even when it feels selfish.

As moms, it’s no secret we juggle a lot. We feed, clean and clothe small people. We entertain, teach and engage them. We take them to countless activities and pretty soon your calendar only reflects your child’s social activities. Am I the only one here? It can get to the point that you can’t remember the last time you had a meal with your husband that didn’t involve cutting up someones else’s food. All of these things are part of being parents, absolutely. The thing is, being a parent isn’t the whole of who we are. Sometimes selfishly taking care of the rest of you is a must! (tweet this)An empty lantern provides no light

That could mean making time for a hair appointment, a pedicure or a shopping trip to Target – ALONE. Make time to have a meal (you didn’t prepare) and gaze at that hottie you married. You almost forgot about that part of him because you’re used to seeing him as a father now. Make time for sharing a meal and maybe a *gasp* glass of wine with your girlfriends. It feels good to laugh your face off about grown woman stuff every now and then. It may feel selfish but I promise it will make you a better mama.

What about you? What do you think of this idea of a being a selfish mama? 

33 comments on “Selfish Mama: Am I Talking to You?”

  1. I agree with you! You know I’ve put off taking care of my body and my own physical needs as a mom that I waited until my child turned five and went to to Kindergarten to start going to the guy just so I wouldn’t have to be away from him. Someones its best to care for yourself so you can be a happier mother for your kids.
    Heather recently posted…$150 Target Gift Card #GiveawayMy Profile

  2. I am horrible at finding “me” time. Or actually taking it is my problem. I LOVE being around me son and seeing him do things just amazes me! I think each mom is different! I personally have a miracle baby (was told I couldn’t have kids and almost lost him during delivery) and it’s hard for me to take any time away from him!

  3. I’ve realized this week that the only TV shows I’ve watched have involved dogs playing sports (youngest is on a “Buddies” kick). Definitely need to schedule some time away! Also, I don’t think it’s selfish. Selfish implies you don’t care about their well-being, which is clearly not the case.
    Beth recently posted…I’m Just Not That into YouMy Profile

  4. This is a really refreshing take on being “selfish.” I’m not a mom but I understand how important self care is. In fact, it’s not selfish at all. I always was proud of my mom for spending time on herself (the little she did) by spending time with friends, going on trips and having adventures while running a successful law practice. All I know is, if she hadn’t done those things, she would’ve burnt out and not been the mom I knew her as. Great article Camesha!
    Anne Omland recently posted…How This Common Trap Can Stunt Your CareerMy Profile

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