By Guest Blogger Michelle Griffith
After I wrote the title of this blog, I pulled out my phone and went to Dictionary.com to look up the true meaning of the word selfish…
sel*fish (adj.) 1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. 2. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself
Although the accurate definition of the word doesn’t necessarily convey what I’m trying to say, for the sake of this blog, and because I like the title, let’s keep the word selfish. But in our minds, use it to mean, simply, putting yourself first. We obviously still care about others, our family, friends, coworkers, etc.
So, what do I mean exactly?
Before I get into that, I wanted to also tell you about a phrase that I’ve coined. See, I’m in the mommy and baby business. I see a ton of moms, a ton of children, and get to hear small excerpts of their lives. Also, I am a mom, and a wife, and a lot of other things BEFORE I was said mom or wife. So, one day, probably while I was out running, pondering the mysteries of the universe (and also how close I was to the next bathroom), I came up with the phrase, “Mommy Martyr.”
I have absolutely no idea if this has been used before, and is nothing I’ve seen anywhere. How do I define a Mommy Martyr? Well, let’s see. I’d define that woman and as a mom, regardless of whether she’s married, works outside the home or is a SAHM, but one who constantly says, “I have no time for myself”. Or maybe she doesn’t even say it, but it’s very clear through getting to know her that her entire focus is her kids. Not herself, not her partner if there is one, but the kids. So, she has no time to do whatever it may be that makes her happy, just her, nobody else.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that in my opinion, some women will start to use this as an excuse. An excuse to not seek joy and happiness for HERSELF before she tries to provide that for others. Aren’t you worth that time and energy? Don’t you deserve the same care that you impart on others? Also, what message is being sent? Are you showing your little girls that they too should feel empowered to one day live their lives to the fullest, to be the happiest and healthiest they want to be? Are we showing our little boys how to respect women as mothers, wives, partners?
I realize these questions are tough questions. I also realize that my views may be offensive to some, which of course is not my intention. But, if you start to think to yourself (after you called me a lot of bad names), “Hey, I’m going to make a promise to myself to spend 30 minutes most days of the week doing something exclusively for myself that makes me smile.” Then, by all means, call me names.
That 30 minutes may build into more. Who knows what could come of it? Ask yourself the tough questions: Am I happy? Am I treating myself with the respect I expect others to treat me with? Am I using my busy schedule to make excuses for neglecting myself? What were the things I enjoyed before my kids?
One of the most disheartening things I hear from moms is how they “treat” themselves to things like once every 6 months. I mean, really? You shouldn’t:
- A) call taking care of mental/emotional/physical well-being a treat for goodness sake, it’s an absolute necessity.
- B) think you’re only entitled to that on a rare occasion. Without getting too philosophical ladies, we have one life. ONE!
Honestly, I’m not a believer in resolutions because I really feel like they set us up for disappointment. Between social media and the comparison game that stems from that, and the constant appearance of other women who seemingly “have it all together” (News Flash: everyone has problems, EVERYONE), it’s already difficult enough to feel adequate without adding something like a resolution to the mix.
So instead of saying you’re going to start something January 1st, you could say, “When my mind is right, and I’m ready to commit, I’m going to…(xyz).” And if it doesn’t happen, then that’s OK too. You’re not a failure, and you can try again.
Mamas, we all have our own struggles and obstacles to overcome. If not making yourself a priority is one of them, it’s never too late to start. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
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