According to the dictionary, the word ‘selfish’ means looking after one’s own desires and ignoring those of others – or demonstrating selfishness by thinking your desires are more important than anyone else’s. One wouldn’t think selfishness could improve a relationship but there are some who believe it can. If you take the time to take care of yourself, does that mean you’re being selfish in the true sense of the word?
If you’re a woman, you probably know how easy it is to be selfless rather than selfish. You know how you often put your own needs aside to care for others. It’s just something women, and in particular mothers, do regularly. While mothers may have a tendency to neglect themselves, maybe it’s time they did become a little selfish.
No one can be on the go all of the time. Everyone needs a break and mothers are no different. Even if your children need you to run them here and there on a daily basis and your partner wants your attention, sometimes you simply have to say ‘Stop.’ If you are constantly doing and being for others without concern for yourself, you’re not doing anyone any favors.
Learn to be a little bit selfish. What? Did you read that right? That is a resounding yes! It’s alright if you’re a little bit selfish. If you’re constantly putting others before yourself, you’ll become burned out. Once you experience burn-out you won’t be any good to anyone.
Plan at least one day a week where you focus on yourself. It doesn’t have to take the entire 24-hour period, but you need some time to take care of yourself. You need an opportunity to emotionally, spiritually and physically recharge so you’re better able to handle what life, and your family, throws your way.
Make sure you get enough sleep each day. If you’re tired and weary, chances are you’ll be cranky, too. With enough quality rest you’ll be more alert and better able to handle the daily stresses of life. Your outlook will be brighter and you’ll be more enjoyable to be around.
Eating properly and exercising regularly are other ways you can be a little selfish. Staying healthy is important for everyone in your family, including you. Buy some healthy foods for yourself even if the rest of the family doesn’t like them. This will help you get and stay healthy which will benefit everyone in the family.
You may have heard the saying, ‘If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody’s happy.’ This is absolutely true. A mother is the soul of the home so if she’s tired and grumpy, chances are the rest of the family will be as well.
Give yourself permission to say ‘no.’ There’s no hard and fast rule which states women must answer ‘yes’ to every request made of them. Unfortunately, so many women are used to saying ‘yes’ they don’t know how to say ‘no’ when their boss wants them to work overtime. They don’t know how to say ‘no’ when the PTA president calls and asks them to make snacks for the meeting. Practice saying it now: ‘No.’ Now doesn’t that feel better? Practice saying it more often and then sticking to your decision.
There is a huge difference between being selfish in that you don’t care about anyone else and being selfish in the sense that you’re taking care of yourself. Selfishness can improve a relationship if it means that you’re rested and in good health so you can care for others when they need you.