New Beginnings Part 7 – Kate

It’s so important to be selfish, now more than ever.

Well, kind of.

The Oxford dictionary defines selfish as: lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

But I’m talking about a less extreme version.

I think I’m going to create a new word.

I like ‘selfish(ish)’ to define ‘looking after yourself, whilst also looking out for others – or that doesn’t impact anyone else at all’

It’s like wearing a seatbelt in the car. We put the seatbelt on to keep ourselves safe. We’re not stealing anyone else’s seatbelt or safety. We’re looking after ourselves, as well as the other people in the car.

You see?

We need to protect our own happiness in the same way.

Other examples include:

Good selfish:

Prioritising 8 hours of sleep so you can face the day feeling bright and breezy

Handling the office pizza order, to be nice – and you so you know that you’ll get what you want

Politely asking someone else to empty the dishwasher because you have already emptied it twice today, and it’s not even 2pm.

Bad selfish:

Staying up all night watching Netflix so now you’re tired, irritable and unfocused.

Ordering 8 hawaiian pizzas and nothing else because they’re your favourite

Screaming at the entire family because you have to empty the dishwasher again. Ignoring the fact that your family cannot read minds and were (blissfully) unaware that the dishwasher does not unload itself.

Often, especially parents (which I am not, FYI), we put everybody else’s needs above our own which leads to the neglection of sleep, hygiene, nutrition, work, stress management, hobbies, relationships.

This can lead to feelings of resentment, copious amounts of stress and burnout. Resulting in you being AWFUL company for yourself and your family. Some could argue that being completely selfless is actually bad selfish.

If you need to spend an hour this evening to take a bath, have a glass of wine and read your book to stop yourself from launching the entire cupboard at the snack-monsters next time they ask, then do it. Enjoy it. And do not feel guilty because you COULD have crushed your children with the contents of the cupboard instead.

You will also feel much happier, relaxed and in turn, a better person to be around*.

*wine helps.

Being selfish(ish) is not a bad thing and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t kind, caring, generous or the other good stuff. In fact, it probably enables you to be a good person.

Now, more than ever we need to look after ourselves, just as much as we look after everyone else. Because, if you don’t schedule your own ‘me time’ – the kids sure as hell won’t do it for you.