Why I’m Being a Selfish Parent This Year

  • By Springible Contributor
  • Reading Time About 4 minutes
  • PostedJanuary 8, 2019
  • Category

Well, it’s that time of the year again.

A new year. A new resolution. A new me; a new you. At least that’s the goal, right? Great intentions, but the follow through is not so great. I don’t want to discourage anyone, I’m just keeping it real. I know first hand what it’s like to feel that unshakeable resolve to meet “a new goal,” to make a new start…and then give up after a couple of weeks. This rings true if you’re a mom, and even more so if you’re a mom to a kiddo with special needs. I don’t blame our kids at all, it’s not their fault. We’re totally responsible for what we do and don’t do. The responsibilities of what we do, though, can be overwhelming; doctors appointments, therapy sessions, school, IEP’s, sick kids, sports, clubs, housework, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, carpool, homework, veterinarian appointments, groomers. And the list goes on and on. All of these necessary and important things can lead to exhaustion, stress, and one very tired and spent mommy!

We set new resolutions each year because we want to give the best to our families and to ourselves, but with life’s demands it’s no wonder that we put ourselves last and don’t follow through. I’ve realized that for me to be able to give my kids what they need from me, I’m going to have to make some changes. I’m going to have to be unselfishly selfish; selfish in a good way! I’m going to be selfish enough to take some time for me to walk more, eat better, sleep better, slow down, be healthier, and in turn, be happier. Forget about losing a set number of pounds, walking a set number of miles per week. I just want to take the time to share with my kids the joy in life! There’s not a lot that I can do about our schedule being so full but I CAN tweak it so that I’m not as crazy busy as I have been in the past. Grocery shopping is a biggie for me. I LOATHE it! I always spend way too much time wandering the aisles, grabbing things that sound good at the moment, and then end up sitting in my pantry for months! I also end up straying from the grocery section and find myself looking at books, shoes, pots and pans, greeting cards, candles, arts and crafts … you get the picture! I end up wasting way too much time and way too much money! I’ve found a way to fix that! I now do my grocery shopping online and it’s working beautifully! I sit down the night before, in my pj’s, and place my order on my computer. The next morning, after carpool, I stop by the store and with one push of a button on my phone the grocery store know I’ve arrived and within five minutes my groceries are loaded and I’m ready to go!

Because my kids are getting older, I’ve realized that I have no reason to feel guilty for asking them to help me. Folding laundry, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning their bathroom, and even making their own meals on weekends are all things that they can and should be doing. Working together is far more fun than me trying to do it all and being too tired to give them my little bit of free time. Am I right? Even if it’s only half an hour, any extra time that you can give back to yourself will ultimately be a gift to your whole family. Take the time to recharge your batteries, to decompress, and just “be” for a little while. You will be a less stressed, healthier, and happier mommy and your children will see that, learn that it’s important, and most likely carry it into their adulthood…which will be here in the blink of an eye. Be selfish with yourself, in a good way, so that you can be the mommy (or daddy) your children need.

– Laurie Lam, Springible Contributor