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It’s Not Selfish: Taking Care of Me

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Are you making it a priority to take care of yourself first?  Do you know that it is not selfish to do so?  Did you know that your job of self care will help not only you, but those around you as well?  Don’t fall victim to an old pattern familiar to many women: Taking care of everyone else first.

When I was a SAHM of 3 young girls, I fell into this negative pattern of putting everyone else first.  Isn’t that what a good mother is supposed to do?  I had this plaguing feeling that doing something for myself would make me selfish.  It’s selfish to want a break from the kids.  It’s selfish to ask your husband, after he had worked all day, to help with the kids or the dishes.  I thought that sacrificing my own needs and giving all my time to the service of others was what I was supposed to do as a mother.  I didn’t realize the simple song I learned in Sunday School 30 years ago was cute but entirely wrong…the chorus went Jesus, then Others, then You what a wonderful way to spell J.O.Y.  But I was anything but joyful, I was resentful, and unhappy.  My normally easy going and funny personality had turned sour, even bitchy, and I wasn’t quite sure why.

Then I learned through a few good books, The Courage to Be Yourself by Sue Patton Thoele, and Stand Up for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson, that taking care of yourself first is healthy and necessary.  It is my job to figure out what my needs are, and then fulfill those needs.   The good news is that in doing so I am making it possible to serve others in love, without resentment.  Serving becomes an overflow of the love I have restored inside myself, because I took care of me!  Isn’t that an easier way to live?

Today make it a priority to do something just for you.  Take time to read a favorite book.  Soak your feet in the tub and paint your own toenails, just because it makes you feel pretty.  Close your bedroom door for 20 minutes and lay down on your bed…don’t answer the phone or get up to answer the needs of anyone in your house….and feel good about it!  Indulge in a favorite pass time or hobby long forgotten.  What makes you happy?  It’s your life.  Take time for You.  You’re worth it!