Why Can’t I Just Put Myself First?
If you read the title and said nope not me – I have no trouble putting myself first, please let me know your secret! However, if you’re like many of the women I know, who put everyone in their life before themselves, maybe we can work through this together.
The other day I was speaking to a friend at work who has two kids that do all kinds of after school activities and a hard working husband. Based on what I know about her, it’s clear that she gives everything to her kids, husband and job. Sometimes it leaves little for her at the end.
I have many friends who are the same. Whether they work outside the home, or are home with their kids, it’s often the same story. All of these fabulous women put everything else before themselves.
All of my female friends are tired. Some women I know even get sick because they don’t take proper care of themselves (including myself). Clearly this isn’t good for any of us and it doesn’t help our families either.
Why is this?
Everywhere I go I’m told to put my oxygen mask on before my child’s mask and put myself first. Why can’t I do it?
I have a hard time taking a break, listening to my body and doing good things for myself like going to the gym, getting a massage and even eating properly. Why do I have this trouble?
Everyday I diligently make my son a healthy lunch, but I rarely make one for myself. I’ll spend money on clothing for him, but personally, I have nothing nicer than a pair of jeans to wear.
Why do I do this?
I’m not a martyr and I’m not trying to make myself out as one. I live a blessed life and for that I am grateful every single day. But that doesn’t answer my question – why do I feel guilty every time I try to put myself first or even think of doing something kind for myself.
I wouldn’t think twice if it was for my husband, parents or child.
I’m hesitant to press publish on this post because I don’t want it to be misconstrued. But based on my girlfriends and coworkers, I also don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way.
These feelings also go beyond my small network of friends and colleagues. This survey conducted by More Magazine indicates that of 3,000 women surveyed, 76% believe that it’s important to take care of themselves, but 80% of moms don’t spend any time on self care.
I’ve recently been struck with a bought of pneumonia. It’s made me wonder, would I get sick less often if I took better care of myself? I’m not sure of the answer to this question either. I don’t want to blame myself for something I can’t control because that would be self deprecating as well.
I haven’t solved this puzzle yet.
Do you always put yourself first? How do you do it with the competing priorities of parenting, family, work, friendships etc?
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