Selfish isn’t a character trait that I would typically use to describe myself and quite frankly I stay pretty clear of those who embody it. All over scripture are we reminded that we should live not of selfishness, but rather take interest in those of others or help others in need. However, today I’m sharing with you that sometimes when we find ourselves giving all we have as mothers, daughters, wives, and working women; it’s okay to stop amidst the chaos and take a time out. It’s not only something we all earn, but it’s important to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh our minds and bodies from time to time and consider our mental health in the process.
That’s why it’s okay to be selfish.
I am a wife, daughter, new mother, and previous teacher. I spend the majority of any given day dedicating my time, energy, and efforts into others whether that be my husband, the 20 students I had the joy of working with each day (and any teacher will tell you that not every student on every day is a joy to work with), my mother who I try to call as often as possible (considering the time difference and the fact that we live on opposite sides of the country), and even my pup Murphy requires love and attention no matter how little energy I may have left to spare. Since bringing Greyson home it’s been a nonstop adventure and now at almost eight months old, and he learns just how mobile he can become, my eye is constantly on him and running around after him. Although I find immense happiness and joy when providing for those I love, there comes a time when I need a personal reset button and time for just myself.
Here are small ways we all can be a little selfish without feeling bad about it…
Me Time is important, understood, and respected by my husband.
Anytime I tell my husband, “I need a minute” after a tough or particular exhausting day, he knows to leave me be…as hard as that may be for him at times. He makes sure I have uninterrupted time for myself by cooking dinner, taking the dog out for a walk or a trip to the dog park, or just simply watches TV or plays with Greyson until I crawl out from the depths of our bedroom. I am so grateful that he respects this time I need for myself and most importantly, respects the privacy I require at the time. It’s important for couples to communicate when they need that precious time for themselves and for the other person to not take it personally. The same goes for my husband, who started a new job a few weeks ago and is working longer hours and takes up a lot of his mental capacity – just to return home and be a husband and father. This #adulting thing is tough, but routine me time helps get you through it.
Recharging the battery.
My me time comes in all different forms such as a hot bath, taking a nap, watching my favorite trashy TV shows (Real Housewives, anyone?!), or even blogging with no interruptions. Whatever form your me time comes in, it should be something that helps you unwind from the day and spent doing something enjoyable without the normal distractions of the home. Recharging your battery is vital for a healthy mind and body, so keep your stress level in check.
A real mood changer.
Ever notice you find yourself to be extra irritable once you step through the door, already feeling like your gas tank is running on fumes, and you’re met with needing to prepare dinner, take the dog out, or be bombarded with kids or your husband? It doesn’t happen too often for me, thank goodness or should I be saying yet (again), but there are times when I just need to throw up the white flag and admit defeat after a long day/week/month. Universe: 1 Kelly: 0. And in those moments that’s when I need to give the me time bat signal and reset my body and mind so that I don’t unintentionally take out my frustrations on those around me.
Be content with saying no.
Saying no to others can sometimes be a real struggle for me. Lysa TerKeurst put it best in her book The Best Yes when she said that often times we have this “disease to please”, which leads to the bigger problem: guilt when saying no to someone as if we’ll somehow offend the other person. There have been so many times where I feel as though I’ve needed to constantly please the people around me, by no fault of theirs, but it leaving me with little to spare for myself or even my family. Learning to find contentment in saying no allows me to fill my time and energy with things that are important or may be the priority in that moment.
Our men need their me time too.
One thing to keep in mind about when it’s okay to be selfish is that it works both ways. Just as the men in our lives need to respect this important me time for us, we need to offer the same courtesy to them. A lot weighs on their shoulders as men, husbands and fathers and a lot of this weight we may be unaware of. So, when your guy comes home and wants to grab a beer with his friends or otherwise wants to do something not including you, consider that his own bat signal that he needs a little time to unwind. For me, this looks more like my husband playing his PlayStation4 for a couple hours at the end of a long day. I don’t take it personally that he doesn’t want to listen to me ramble on about my day. I give him his time and before I know it he’s reset and ready for me now.
One of the biggest keys to any relationship is communication. It’s important that couples know how to talk to one another and respect the privacy or distance that both people need from time to time. I value the communication that my husband and I both have with each other and it’s gotten to the point where we just know when the other person needs a little time for themselves. Be sure to communicate this with your own spouse or partner so that you both are free to be a little selfish from time to time!
What does your “me time” look like at home? Do you and your spouse have a known routine when you need a little break?
This post is a part of a series called NaBloPoMo 2016 hosted by BlogHer. NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month and it challenges writers and creatives to post on their blogs once a day (at least) for the month of November. This weeks prompts are (weekends are free writes):
Nov. 1: When you’re having a bad day with your mental health, what do you do to help yourself?
Nov. 2: When was the last time you did something brave? What happened?
Nov. 3: If you could be completely honest with no regrets, what would you say and to whom?
Nov. 4: Which fall shows should totally be canceled already?
Feel free to join in and share your post either here or on my Facebook comment thread for each day’s post! I’d love to see my fellow blogger friends join in!