Do you know your family is likely begging you to be more selfish? Perhaps that seems a little far-fetched, but I do think it is true.
This thought came into my head last week as I was out for a 7 mile run, something that takes me a bit of time I will add! This is usually a 2 hour commitment for me, with preparing to run, running, cooling down and showering, etc. But you know what?
I feel so much better when I give myself this gift, and I know I am much better with my family.
Perhaps even thinking of it as a gift may be wrong thinking. It is a necessity.
So it has me thinking how often we moms make excuses that we don’t have time or can’t make the time to care for our own “seemingly selfish needs.” I wrote a post a few weeks back on Not Being a Martyr Mom and I think this term Martyr comes into play in the same manner when it comes to caring for our own needs. We like to kinda throw the “woe is me” card – or perhaps that it just me?
I have a choice each day, I can either play the victim and not take my needs seriously or I can be proactive and take charge of my time, my tasks and make the time to care for my needs.
What needs am I talking about? The list is really endless, but for me it would entail – caring for my body in a physical way (running, strength training, a relaxing bath, pedicure, yoga, walks) caring for my spirit (daily quiet time, prayer, real quiet time with no noise and no “to-do” list, appreciating my blessings, journaling, writing). That’s a start.
But I also know that depending on the season of motherhood it can be hard to get time, but it is oh, so important for you to do that. When you do, do you know what happens? Let me share with you what I know it does for me.
I feel more rested and better about myself when I can take the time to care for my needs. We sacrifice a lot – by choice, don’t get me wrong – motherhood is good, believe me, but it is OK to care for our needs too. We do not always have to give, give, give and give more. You are not created to run on fumes, so refueling our bodies is really necessary.
I find myself feeling refreshed and able to connect with my entire family more often when my needs are met. I am more engaged in activities rather than trying to carve out any bit of silence and alone time, especially since I am an introvert. I am happy to plan activities to share together – I am just plain more fun! My entire family likes this, so came my question, “Do you know your family is begging you to be a selfish mom?” They want you completely present, refreshed and energized, rather than just “there”. Wouldn’t you agree?
You can get to a place where you learn to prioritize better, that is what I have found. I know that things will run smoother when I take the hour to get some exercise or get up an hour early so I can sit quietly and read. I know my body and I know what it needs. I can then use those same principles to look at other areas in my life and manage them as well, whether tasks, time with my husband or writing obligations. It is a balancing act and learning how to care for our needs is important.
Happy Mom = Happy Family
Honestly, the bottom line for me is, I know I am much more pleasant to be around when I step up to the plate and take care of myself. When my body feels good, my spirit is fresh – I am much better able to handle those curve balls that come into play – you know exactly the ones I mean.
So what can you do today to gov yourself a break and be selfish? I am sure your family will actually thank you for it!