Why I'm Selfish as a Mom and Not Ashamed
You are probably thinking, who would EVER admit “I’m selfish as a mom and NOT ashamed”? It’s not typically something you would hear any mom admitting to her group of friends while sipping coffee at Starbucks.
But before you start to view me as crazy, hear me out on why I have no problem admitting that I’m selfish and am not about to change.
Any one with kids knows the immense amount of pressure placed on moms and dads (this applies to them too) to raise kids these days. There are so many rules set on every part of parenting that tell us what to do and not to do. However, the rules can change depending on what you read or who you talk to. Sounds a lot like the ever changing food and dieting rules, doesn’t it?
There is a societal pressure on moms to spend all of their free time with their kids in order for them to have a bright future. And if they don’t, they tend to feel tremendous guilt and think they are bad moms, plain and simple. Does this feeling of guilt hit home for you? I’m sure it does! Before you stop reading, I’m not saying time with my kids isn’t important to their well-being or me. They are my first priority and I love them more than anything, but what if it actually came down to amount of quality time versus the quantity of time?
The Washington Post featured an article about this after a study was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The study found that amount of time mothers spent with their kids did not influence behavioral, emotional or academic behaviors in children. However, in adolescence engaged time with mothers and both parents together did influence the amount of bad behavior. Notice the emphasis on the word engaged. It wasn’t the total amount of quantity time spent together, it was the amount of quality time.
This makes total sense. How many times have you seen moms (and dads) on their phones instead of talking or playing with their kids? I’ve done it myself. We’ve all done it. Turning to our phones is often done mindlessly and out of habit as we look for a distraction or to make ourselves feel good by scanning social media. However, according to a large study, our kids feel like they need to compete with cellphones in order to get our attention and over half say we spend too much time on them. That reality should be a real swift kick in the ass.
So here is why I’m selfish. I need ME time. I need time to relax, refresh my mind, and unwind. I’m not just talking about when the kids go to bed or when I’m working, that doesn’t count. I need time without the kids and without other responsibilities. I need time alone to go shopping, read a book, have a beer, watch The Real Housewives, or whatever it is that sets my soul on fire at the moment. Hell, I’ll even take a shopping trip to the grocery story alone. You feel me?
I need time alone with friends or family just to talk, laugh, and be crazy without my kids or their kids running around in the background like mad little gremlins. I need adult time to do non-mom things. Sorry, not sorry. NO KIDS ALLOWED!
I need time alone with my husband. After years of marriage, it’s so important to continue dating each other and remain just as connected to each other as you were on Day 1. Trust me, I know. We almost didn’t make it. I’m talking three days shy of signing papers. So to hell if I’m ever going to feel guilty about spending quality time alone with him and nurturing our relationship. It only benefits the entire family and keeps our core unit together and most importantly, happy.
Here’s the other thing I’m selfish about: I need to work out or be active. Not because of what it will do to change my body, but how it makes my body feel. For me, working out is an incredible stress reliever. It’s 30-60 minutes out of my day where I don’t need to think about anything or anyone else. When I’m finished, I feel completely refreshed and ready to tackle what lies ahead. So here is my solution: I find places to workout that offer childcare onsite. As an added bonus, when the kids see mommy working out, it sends them the message that being healthy is fun and self care is a priority.
So yeah, I’m selfish and I’m not ashamed to admit it! I wear my selfish badge with honor. Because at the end of the day, when I’m prioritizing my own self care, I’m a better mom.
I’m less stressed and crazy.
I’m fostering other relationships that are important to me.
I’m raising healthy, happy and independent kids.
So why should I (or you) feel ashamed or guilty for taking care of yourself? Let go of any mom-guilt and plan something for yourself right now. You deserve it and your kids deserve to see mom happy and operating at her best. Just like your kids need quality time with their parents, you need quality time with yourself.
Say it with me: “I’m selfish and make myself a priority”.
Now go have a glass of wine (or two) and plan your ME time ASAP. And if you want company, let’s go! Drop a comment below and tell me what you would plan first. Sky is the limit!!