Parents

How Being Selfish Actually Made Me a Better Mother

I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.

Did I read that right? You mean you’re a better mother when you are selfish and not selfless?

Yes, you read that right. I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. Being selfish is something that mothers are trained NOT to do. We’re expected to put our husbands, kids, dogs, house, career, yard work, laundry, events, family, planning, i.e. everything in front of our selves and our needs. We are trained to ask how everyone else’s day was and hardly ever get a “how was your day mom?” first or even in return. Mothers are probably the most under-appreciated people in this world. A mother will do anything for you. A mother will love you when you’re acting unlovable. A mother will always be there for you; there is nothing in this world like a mother’s love. I know that because I have the most amazing mother, and now I’m experiencing that first hand. Mothers love and give so much, that I’m telling you: being selfish every once in a while is going to make you a better mom.

“It’s important that you remember how to be YOU.”

Time. We all wish it either goes by more quickly or slows down completely. It’s so hard to just live in the present. We live in a busy world full of hustle. It is so easy to get caught up in wishing we had just one more hour to mark a line through the to-do list that was a mile long at 8:00 a.m. and we didn’t even come close to finishing for the day.

Let it go, mama... let it go.

It’s time to be selfish. It’s time to take that one hour a day for yourself. It’s time to take back your inner self, you know the one you had before you became a mom. Look hard, she’s there under the ketchup-stained yoga pants and 6-day-dirty-hair-mom-bun. It’s time to take a day to go do whatever you want to do. It’s important that you remember how to be YOU. When I became a mom, it was the best thing that had ever happened to me... but I lost myself. I got so lost in being “mom” that I wasn’t a good wife, I wasn’t a good me. It took me a while to figure out what it was that made me happy before I had kids, and I made a list. I made a list of the things that I would do, feel, eat, say, etc before I had babies. I remembered what it was like to be myself, and I slowly found myself; or the new me which ended up being a better me than before.

How do you even know what to do with yourself when you have time to yourself? Make a list of the things you liked to do before you had kids. For me, it was: shopping, going to the spa, getting manicures/pedicures, getting my hair done (not in a 3-minute-bun), reading, baking, and other things that I have no time for anymore but I enjoyed doing. Cleaning was even on my list!

“In order to be a good and loving mom, you need to know how to love yourself.”

How do you take time for yourself? Simple. Take time for yourself. Arrange for a babysitter, your husband, a family member, anyone you trust to take care of the kids for an hour or however long you may need to treat yourself. If you don’t have anyone to watch the kids, put them to bed or give them a nap. Take that time for YOU... take a bath, sleep with no alarm, read a magazine, enjoy a hot shower alone, eat an Oreo without hiding in the bathroom for fear of having to share it.

What about the guilt? You know the ever-so-heavy mom guilt (we all have it) that you’ll get when you’re selfish.

The time that you have away is going to be refreshing for you. It’s going to rejuvenate you and get you ready for another day of to-dos and hiney-wiping. It’s going to help you remember who you are and fall back in love with yourself. It’s going to make you more attractive to yourself which makes you more attractive, period. This is so important, moms, because in order to be a good and loving mom, you need to know how to love yourself.

You need time to think about yourself. You need time to think about nothing. I promise, you deserve it and you WILL feel so amazing at the YOU you are when you’ve taken some time to just be a little selfish.

You can follow Ashlee on Instagram and visit her blog, Little Lovelies, for more on motherhood.

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