Before you start jumping up and down and saying we need to be selfless and think of others – I totally agree!
Selfish is and sounds such a horrible word and I’m not saying we should be self centred and only think about ourselves all the time. However, there are times when we do need to be selfish, otherwise how can we expect people to respect us if we don’t respect ourselves enough to find fulfillment in our lives.
Do you feel sometimes that you are trying to be everything to everyone and perhaps not getting anything in return?
Are you trying to help everyone else and forget to help yourself?
Do you feel guilty at the thought of being selfish and thinking of yourself first, sometimes?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the above, then join the club!
I believe I am basically a person who likes to make others feel good and worry about them if they aren’t. I think most Mothers would identify with this although this feeling isn’t just restricted mothers wanting their children to be happy and settled. It encompasses your partner, children, family and friends. I know that I am always there for them and they know that too.
If you are a ‘giver’ then it is difficult to try to think about yourself first occasionally and what makes you happy. I know – ‘it is easier said than done’ but you have to try, otherwise you aren’t enjoying your life and this could turn into resentment which is definitely not a good thing.
Whilst it is naturally in my nature to want to do things for everyone, I am realizing that I need to start doing things for me and not ‘sweating the small stuff’. I’ll confess now, this is not easy for me to do after 50 odd years but habits can be changed although not easily.
My daughter, became a mother a year ago and after 9 months on maternity leave went back to fulltime work. Of course, the guilt sets in immediately! “I am not there for my child, I am being selfish wanting a career etc, etc.”
The irony is that for years she has been telling me to put myself first and be happy and yet she is doing exactly the opposite. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her family more than anything, however, trying to cope with a family and a full time career leaves little room for herself. She needs to be selfish I say, and make some ‘me time’ that I keep talking about.
Schedule being Selfish
I’m not saying that you do a complete 360 and not care about anyone but yourself. What I am saying is you need to schedule time into your life to do what makes you feel good. This will make you happier and also nicer to be around. You want your family to do things that make them happy, so why not you? Surely you can schedule 1 or 2 hours out of the total 168 hours in a week!
Learn to Say ‘No’
This is so difficult but you do need to say ‘No’ occasionally and guess what? The world won’t end! Again, I am so guilty of not doing this but by writing this blog I’m trying to teach myself to listen to what I ‘preach’.
- Think about what you are being asked?
- How will it impact you?
- Is it absolutely necessary?
- Do you really want to do it or do you just agree to ‘keep the peace’?
If you need to say ‘No’ explain why if that helps. More than not, I find that when I say ‘No’ the answer is ‘that’s okay, it’s no big deal’ and I have wasted time worrying about saying No!
Ask for Help
I love entertaining my family, especially at Christmas time and other major events throughout the year. I enjoy the preparation of the menu, table decorations and themes. However, sometimes I get busy too and then the pressure is on to do everything and at the same standard I have set previously. I’m learning to ask for help. I ask everyone to bring a plate and nominate what they bring. they are more than happy to do this and it frees up my time for other preparations. I also get to enjoy the gathering more as I’m not frazzled by the preparation.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it and don’t feel guilty about it. You aren’t lowering your standards and you will be pleasantly surprised at the reaction.
So what do you say? Let’s all try to schedule some time into our lives just for us. It will be difficult at first and we don’t want to go overboard but if you find the right balance your life will be so much better.
I run with my ‘Saturday Sisters’, get my nails and hair done and give myself the occasional facial at home.
What do you do or what will you do for ‘Me Time’?