Close your eyes, take a deep breath and think back to before your children were born. For some of you, that was a generation ago; for others, maybe it was just last week. Regardless of how sleep deprived you may be, DON’T fall asleep: I want you to try and remember what it was like. What were YOU like? Do you remember your daily schedule, before diapers and school pick-up lines? How long did your morning routine take? Did you have a go-to outfit that made you feel like a million bucks, but wouldn’t be caught dead in now?
A kid screams and BAM–back to reality. Fun though, right? Did you discover something you’d forgotten that made you smile? Maybe you remembered something that made you cringe. Regardless, we can all agree that we were different people before we were the M word, right? Now, let’s do something else…let’s think of something that hasn’t changed about you. It could be a hobby, your viewpoint on a specific parenting advice, or even your hair style.
For me, I’ll admit the one thing about myself that I’ve accepted will never disappear: I’m selfish.
I guess I’ve always known I was a tad on the self-centered side. I hate to admit it because, well, it sounds ugly and “ugly” isn’t generally a word that I like to use to describe my insides. I’ve always been uber independent, and most of the time, being selfish walks hand in hand with that trait. On the flip side, I would do anything for anyone at any time, so I never actually used the word “selfish” to describe myself…until my sons were born.
According to Dictionary.com, selfish is an adjective that means “thinking only of oneself“. From the minute you become a parent, selfishness is immediately tossed out the window – right after “sanity” and before “sex life”. Or is it? I’ll be the first to admit that I still have my selfish moments.
I’ve griped out my husband while cleaning up the kitchen for the
millionth gazillionth time in a day, when all I want to do is sit on the couch for 5 uninterrupted minutes; or, lost my cool with my toddler because mommy just needs to use the bathroom ALONE, just one time. Those are the things my pre-mom self totally took for granted, and my selfish mom self would kill for. However, just like my parenting techniques and hair style, I have noticed that my selfishness has evolved in this new season of life…most of the time, for the better.
I’m selfish with my time.
I work full-time outside of the home, and most mornings during the week I do not even get to see my oldest son before I leave for the hour long commute. By the time my husband and I collect our designated kiddos and make it home for the evening, it’s just in time for dinner, baths and bedtime. So when friends invite us out for a fancy, kid-free dinner on a weekend, it’s rare for us to accept the offer. Sure, the grandparents love taking the boys off of our hands for a few hours (or all night), but I MISS my babies so I tend to even be selfish with the time I let them go. Full disclosure: even when they do go spend time with family, hubs and I tend to capitalize on that time with a Netflix date night or a wildly exciting “catch up on laundry and sleep” event.
I’m selfish with my money.
Man, do I love to shop…that’s something that will probably never change about me. Now, though, instead of spending $50 on lip color, I wait for that “extra 40% off clearance+ free shipping” email from Carter’s, or hop on Amazon to order diapers and sippy cups. My husband and I work hard to make sure our family lacks for nothing, but instead of splurging on those big nights out mentioned above, we make sure our boys have the cutest of the cute…from the sale rack, of course.
I’m selfish with my patience.
Sure, that sounds totally weird, but bear with me. Not only do I have a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old, but I also teach high school kids all day long. My patience has usually been pushed to the limit by 2:00 pm, and that’s only halfway through my day. I still have to grocery shop, run other errands and randomly interact with peers on a daily basis. I expect people to drive properly, know enough about their jobs to exhibit proper customer service or, at the very least, to be treated like a human being by those I come into contact with. Sure, we all have “those days”, but I rarely have the extra energy/patience for petty drama, or an eye roll from the teenage cashier when I politely tell her she rang up the same item twice (did I mention I teach high school? You can’t out-eye roll me!).
So I’m a little selfish. Don’t we ALL have to be sometimes, in order to survive? What are some things you’re proud to be selfish about?