Do You Feel Guilty Making Yourself A Priority?
This year I’m putting myself first! In theory, I believe when you take care of yourself you are a better mom. But in reality when life gets in the way and the to do list seems never ending, I always put everyone else and everything else first.
Sacrificing doesn’t always make you a better mother, but coming from a Chinese background it’s how I was raised. The philosophy in my house was, “the more you give the better, and you should always think of others first.” And I don’t think it’s just a cultural thing. I think it’s hard for a lot of women to be a little selfish. I know it is for me, even though I want to be sometimes, but as Michelle Obama said in a recent interview with Barbara Walters, “putting yourself high on the priority list is not selfish, its practical.”
She said, “ It's something that I found I needed to do for quite some time, even before the presidency. And I found other women, in similar situations, balancing career and family, trying to do it all, and a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we're so busy caring for everyone else.” Practical huh? What do you think?
I don’t know about you, but I eat my kids leftovers sometimes over the sink instead of sitting down to my own meal and enjoying myself, I do make time to work out, but it’s always the first thing to go if someone needs something. I may feel overloaded, but I will always make time to take care of someone else, especially my children. Why all this sacrificing? That’s the thing, it shouldn’t feel like a sacrifice. Maybe if it does, it’s time for a break.
Giving should be from the heart and feel good for you and for others. I think when you give too much at a detriment to yourself, no one benefits. I end up feeling resentful or angry. But again it’s easier said than done, so what does making yourself a priority mean? I don’t mean neglecting your children, your husband, your house to do whatever you want. I think making yourself a priority means putting yourself higher on the list and realizing when you are at a tipping point. When you need to give a little back to yourself so you can continue to be there for your children, your husband, your friends, your job, whatever it may be.
I know it’s hard to not feel selfish about taking time for yourself to do what you want, not what needs to be done or what someone else wants you to do. Sometimes I feel like if I’m sitting down doing nothing, it’s like I got caught doing something I shouldn’t and that I’m being lazy, even though I’ve been non-stop all day. Do you think men have that problem?
I envy some moms who can just do what’s good for them. Even I am guilty of thinking that’s so selfish! In reality, maybe I’m just secretly jealous that I didn’t take the time to do something for myself too. We should never judge what someone else is doing. It may be what they or their family needs. I think it’s all this judgement that makes me feel guilty. I feel we are conditioned to think if we take care of ourselves then we don’t have time to take care of others. I think it’s the opposite. The more you nurture yourself the more genuinely nurturing you can be! So this year my resolution is make myself a priority.
What do you think?