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Is It Selfish to Take Care of YOU?

Is it selfish to take care of you? Or is it selfish NOT to? Let’s discuss this super important topic in the life of a mom.

Is It Selfish to Take Care of YOU? Life as Mom

In some ways I’ve always been an overachiever. My mom and I laugh that my blood type is A+ because that kinda reflects my personality and life goals as a young person. I wanted to be THE BEST at everything.

Becoming a mom didn’t change anything. I wanted to be THE BEST MOM. At the time that meant getting up early, staying up late, and sacrificing self-care in order “not to be selfish”. I was gonna give until everything was gone.

Seriously. I thought it was selfish to do something for yourself. When our third baby was born, just 19 months after our second, I refused to take naps if my toddler was awake. Even though my mom was there to care for him, I felt like I would be short-changing him if I didn’t spend those couple hours with him. Forget the fact that I was up more in the night with him than I was the newborn, I didn’t want him to have less than a perfect childhood.

Well, you can guess how that plan turned out. Yep. He’s had an imperfect childhood. Shocker.

I remember older moms telling me that I needed to have “ME time,” but I didn’t pay any attention to them. I had a friend who was constantly leaving her husband and babies for girls weekends with her friends. That model of “me time” just looked selfish.

And it can be. But that doesn’t mean that it is.

Is It Selfish to Take Care of YOU?

Is It Selfish to Take Care of YOU? Life as Mom

Is it selfish to take care of YOU?

This is a question that I’ve wrestled with these last 20 years of motherhood. Yes, my firstborn turns 20 in June, so I’m counting it at 20 years already. Wow! It went by fast.

It wasn’t until I had my own health crisis that I realized it was selfish NOT to take care of me.

When the severity of my hyperthyroidism wasn’t quite assessed, my brain, of course, went to worse case scenarios. The idea of NOT being able to care for my family or live my life independently was hugely sobering. Particularly when I look back at the years prior and how I had pushed my body far past its limit, staying up late, working hard, drinking lots of caffeine, and otherwise, NOT making a point to rest and take care of myself.

If you don’t already have a practice of taking time out from your daily grind, resting abundantly, exercising, and pampering yourself every once in awhile, can I give you permission to do so?

While we don’t know the causes of my hyperthyroidism, and while it is manageable with drugs, I wish I had made some different choices five years ago. Let mine, mild though it may be, be YOUR CAUTIONARY TALE.

You need to take care of you.

And while it may feel selfish, I think you need to make it a priority. Talk with your husband and see what he thinks. Chances are he’ll agree. And he and your whole family will benefit.

When our four boys were 8 and under, my husband recognized that I was getting strung out. He instituted my Mom’s morning off. I left every Saturday morning with the instruction to do whatever I wanted — as long as I was back at lunchtime and had a meal plan. 😉

It was my saving grace. I could make it through the week, giving my little heart out, knowing I could recharge with alone time on Saturday.

My later issues, the ones I just told you about, were of my own making. I had given up my Saturdays, had started my own business, had signed four cookbook contracts, and has otherwise decided that I could Wonder Woman through my days. I didn’t want my work to take away from my family, so I let it take away from taking care of ME.

I’ve learned my lesson. I want to be around and functioning when my kids are grown. I’ve learned to take care of me. So, now what do I do?

  • I let things go undone.
  • I go to bed by 9 pm most nights.
  • I exercise. Well, at least more than I used to.
  • I watch what I eat and don’t eat much sugar.
  • I make a point to have down time, even though my to-do list might say otherwise.

And you need to, too.

I want to encourage you to take The Revive 30-Day Organizational Challenge. This is a course I designed, part self-improvement/part home organization, to help you put in systems that FREE you up to pursue your priorities, take care of you, and ENJOY this life you have RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.

Do you — or your organizational systems — need to be revived?

Are you ready to put the past behind you and make positive changes that benefit YOU? 

Are you wondering how to sort your to-do’s and make sense of all the stuff in your head? 

You can do that. We aren’t the victim of our circumstances, our genetics, or even our bank accounts. If we’ve got life left in us, we can do great things!

That’s the spirit behind the Revive organizational e-course. It’s designed to refresh your days and put the spring back in your step; to help you make the most of the time you have and to prioritize how you use it.

During the Revive 30-Day Challenge, you’ll take stock of the different areas of your life, identify strengths to build on, narrow in on areas to grow in, and set up systems for home and life that free you up to focus on your goals and what’s most important to you.

A mix of self-improvement and home organization, Revive will provide you with the support and encouragement you need to get “with-it”.

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Comments

  1. Mom’s Mornings Off – How kind and thoughtful of your husband! I take care of me by waking up early in the mornings to have quiet alone time. I desperately need alone time! But taking time to myself during the day would be a real treat. I don’t mind bringing home lunch. Maybe I could mention this Mom’s Mornings Off to my husband. 🙂

  2. I was a do it all mom to the point of starting a daycare so I could always be home for my children. It was a good life up until I wasn’t earning enough money to pay our mortgage. Enter the second job at night. This worked until my children said they were tired of me being tired all the time. Sometimes you learn the hard way that what you are doing isn’t the right thing.

  3. I attending a seminar recently where the topic of self-care was brought up. The presenter use the example of what you’re supposed to do if the oxygen masks drop on a flight. You put yours on first then assist your children, because if you can’t breathe, you can’t help anyone else. Are you selfish for wanting to breathe? I thought this was a good analogy.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

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