The term "selfish mom" is an unkind one, bringing to mind a storybook Evil Stepmom character who cackles wickedly as she casts her stepchildren into the woods so she can keep herself well-fed on their father's dime. However, this is not what the term "selfish mom" should evoke. Instead, a mom that's "selfish" is someone who recognizes when she must put her own needs in front of those of her children and partner, because it is the healthy thing to do. There are times when every mom should be the "selfish mom," and it is important to note that these are acts of a mother's self care that, in turn, take care of her whole family.
If I had to pick out one feeling that has followed me around my entire life, it would be guilt. I won't go too deep into that right here and now (you're welcome), but I will say that, not surprisingly, this only worsened after I became a mother. The theme for me, and as my therapist pointed out, has been that any time I put my needs before someone else's ,I feel guilty. Becoming a so-called "selfish" mom was a conscious journey for me, and something I had to put a significant amount of time and energy into learning. I imagine this is true for many mothers, as our natural inclination is to martyr ourselves for the sake of our families. Choosing our own pleasure, and our own needs, and putting them at the forefront just feels so un-mom-like.
This mode of thinking, in my experience, needs a complete paradigm shift. We need to be more selfish in our motherhood. I lose count when I think of the days I've spent with my kids where I literally did not urinate for eight hours, let alone eat anything that wasn't leftover soggy cereal or toast from which the peanut butter had already been licked. How did I feel on those days about myself? About as good as a person eating soggy cereal could possibly feel. There are times when moms absolutely need to be more selfish, especially in the following types of moments: