Wierd title hey? You might be wondering why I’m proud to be selfish, given it’s generally considered to be a negative trait. To give you a bit of backstory, my work has offered a deal that in exchange for a single weekend on call, we get a Friday off. It’s pretty much #mumgoals to have an extra day gifted to you out of nowhere. And make no mistake, it is a gift. It’s given this busy mum the deliciousness of additional time. And while I’d love to spend another day per month with my son, I’ve elected not to cancel the grandparent daycare and use this magical extra day on myself. When I talked about this with some individuals in an online parenting community, I was labelled selfish for not immediately dropping everything to hang out with my little dude.
And do you know what I say?
Burnt Chop Syndrome
Being selfish is not a natural thing for parents. The image of a mother we are constantly fed is that of an infallible person everyone can rely on, always waiting for your every need with a smile and a hug. Who always takes the burnt chop for herself. That to become a parent is to subjugate our own needs and self to a tiny human completely and what’s more, you should do it with a big old smile. Anyone complaining about how hard it is, is immediately told to count their blessings or enjoy every minute because they grow up in the blink of an eye. While I agree that sometimes the days can be long and the years short, it doesn’t really help you when you are sitting in the trenches with a three day old mum bun covered in baby vomit wondering when you became just ‘Mum’.
Being a mother was something I wanted more than anything in the world, and is a blessing I never thought I would receive. But I don’t think I’m alone in saying it’s a tough transition. To go from your time being completely your own to having a little person require you to give your everything to keeping them alive is one of the hardest and yet most rewarding things I will ever endure. I lost myself fairly completely in the hole of new motherhood, in the gratitude and fear and love of a newborn and it’s taken me three years to pull my way back out. I finally stood up and said ‘this is what I need.’ So yeah, I’m a little selfish right now. Because all parents deserve to be a little selfish without the guilts. Dammit we have earned it.
Being Selfish Makes Me Better
I have stopped feeling guilty about it because taking this time for myself has made me a better mum. I’m more patient, fun and present when I know I’ve got that mythical spare day up my sleeve to just be Tory. I get a day to do chores and cook but also to get my nails did and go for a massage. To watch Jane the Virgin and slowly clean the house without a tiny tornado walking around behind me pulling all the toys back out again. I listen to 80s music, eat strawberries (without sharing) and use the bathroom with no commentary. I feel myself unfurl, relax and become more myself than I have in years.
So here I am before you. A so called selfish mum taking care of myself first. For one day a month at least. And damn proud of it.
Go you!! I totally agree with your being selfish.
I’m only 3 weeks into this Mum gig and I’ve already had to ask my husband to take the bub for an hour so I could have some “me” time. It was after a day of non-stop feeding, and I totally needed that unattached time.
I say be selfish – a happier you means a happier Mum for your bub!
Definitely! Sometimes you just get a bit touched out and need that tiny bit of alone time. It makes us better!
One day a month is not a lot to be selfish for! I see it as actually helping the family too by making you a better and more patient mum! Everyone needs a little time for themselves.
Definitely very true!
There’s a reason why they tell you to put the oxygen on yourself first in planes. Looking after your own needs makes you, IMHO, a better mum. Everyone needs a little time away and time to play.
It’s the idea that as mums we should always be available. I’m definitely a better human once I’ve had a bit of time to just be me.
Go you. I don’t know why people are so upset when parents want to remain independent humans as well. From the outside looking in, to me it seems logical that the more well rounded of a person you are (in whatever way that means/needs to YOU) then the better you’ll surely be at raising a kid.
Exactly right! I also want my kid to look at me and see me as a good example of someone taking care of themselves. It’s important he sees that it’s possible to be a parent and still be yourself.
I agree. When you are in the trenches it can be hard and especially as a new mum. I am taking more time now and it does make it difference to yourself and your children. #MummyMonday #julieinthemaking
It totally does! It’s important to have that time to just be you.
Taking time out to nurture yourself on that one day per month is not selfish, we all need down time away from our other responsibilities to recharge the batteries. As long as your child is being well cared for, when you take that down time, it’none of the sticky beaks business.
Not selfish at all. Self care is essential. Enjoy every moment xo
What is interesting, is that we don’t see Stay at Home mothers using their free time to “go to work” – as they absolutely shouldn’t. In the same way, working mums need time out too. 1 day a month is well-deserved. Enjoy it! X
I definitely agree! We put so much pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone. Some days we just need to play hooky!
This is a terrific post and I am so glad you are caring for you first at least one day a month. We may all be delighted to become parents but the onerousness (is that a word) can overwhelm. I used to send my son to pre-school when I was on school holidays and it was a great way to help me refresh myself for home as well as back to school. I would say you are doing self-care….and that is not selfish!!
Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 43/52. Next week: My Last Year at High School.