Moms, you deserve a break. Hell, I deserve a break, too. We all do. As moms, we work damn hard every day of our lives, making sure our kids are happy, healthy, and safe, while simultaneously caring for a household and doing our own things. Some of us work hard keeping our homes tidy. Others of us spend hours working outside the home only to come home and spend hours with our children. We're all busting our asses, and that's why being a selfish mom is actually great for us, as well as for our families.
Now, when I say, “selfish mom,” I don’t mean so selfish that you never actually lift a finger at home or neglect your kid. I don’t mean that you're so self-absorbed you rarely speak to your own children. What I mean is that you aren’t 100 percent fully dedicated to motherhood, alone, every hour of every single day. Motherhood is the toughest job ever, and we are all deserving of a break now and again and whenever we know we absolutely need one.
Still, and unfortunately, for those of us who are just fine with going out for a night (or even taking a weekend vacation with friends), indulge in the occasional yoga class, or join a flag football team, or whatever else we do for us and us alone, we are often called “selfish." Society is nice like that, I guess. The funny thing is, of course, that being "selfish" is just us being true to ourselves and our families. It’s us decompressing and all of that is perfectly OK and normal and necessary. Basically, it’s awesome to be a selfish mom, and here are just a few of the reasons why:
Because Moms Deserve Some Time Off
I don’t know why I have to say this in 2017, but there are still people who think a mother should be home all day, every day, with the kids. Moms work hard. We worked hard from the moment we found out we were going to be moms. We give motherhood our all, and we often also have additional work on top of the work associated with parenting. In short, everyone deserves a vacation, especially if your hours are from midnight to midnight.
Because It’s Good For Establishing Boundaries Between Mom And Child
Being a “selfish” mom doesn’t just mean leaving the house. It can also mean shutting the door when you pee on occasion, or taking a leisurely bath, or refusing to give your fussy toddler your tablet. It’s important for kids to understand they aren’t always entitled to every single little thing they want.
Because Kids Need To See Their Moms Doing Non-Mom Things
It’s important for kids to witness their moms caring for them, sure. However, it’s just as important for children to see their moms doing things for themselves. This way, kids learn that self-care is just as important as caring for others. The older you get, the more important this lesson will become, too. It can also inspire many learning moments. For example, if your child watches you taking some time to knit or to play basketball, they might develop an interest in these things, too.
Because It Helps Kids Become More Independent
While babies certainly need their mamas (or other caregivers), older kids need to slowly become more independent. If they throw a fit every time mom leaves the room, perhaps it’s time mom leaves the room a bit more often (provided the child has a safe and loving person to watch over them). This time spent away from mom will, over time, instill confidence in your child, since they will soon realize that mom always comes back.
Because It Can Help Mom Boost Her Confidence
Many of us lose some self-confidence when we become moms. Pregnancy can sometimes end up infantilizing a woman, because folks are often trying to “take care” of pregnant people to the point they lose their independence. And if you give birth, you are also dealing with your new body (because everyone’s body changes). As as result, you might struggle with feeling “like yourself” again. So, by doing things on your own and just for yourself, you can start to regain some of your old swagger back.
Because A Mom’s Value Will Be Noted When She’s Away
Moms are, more often than not, taken for granted. Yes, it’s gotten better through the years, but it even happens in the most feminist of households. The full extent of a mom’s work is often ignored, or simply not witnessed by the rest of the household. However, if she decides to spend a weekend at her sister’s house, a co-parent or partner, and certainly the kids, will realize just how much mom actually does around there.
Because It Helps Moms Feel Refreshed
Mommy burnout, you guys. Have you experienced it? It’s when you simply cannot play one more rousing game of whatever your kid is obsessed with playing, without wanting to throw the pieces out the window.
Thankfully, if you do a few things on your own or for yourself, you’ll come back wanting to play that damn game like a champion. That’s good news for you and your kids, who will get to enjoy you at your best.
Because It Gives Kids Time To Connect With Other Caregivers
When mom is busy, kids have to spend more time with other caregivers. Whether that’s a co-parent, a grandparent, a babysitter, or whoever, it will be quality time your child spends with someone else. Kids need good role models of all kinds. They need to learn from other people, hear new perspectives, and trust others that aren’t just mom.
Because Moms Don’t Need To Be Martyrs
There’s this bizarre misconception that being a mom means giving up every other part of your identity. It’s the reason why so many women shirk the idea of becoming a mom. It’s also why so much responsibility is often placed on mothers automatically, when it should be divided among all participating parents.