Friday, February 18, 2011

So...A Selfish Debate

{The following is a frequent debate I have with myself about many things::including taking my kiddos to the gym}

The balance between selfishness and selflessness as a mother is tricky at best.

Of course, motherhood by nature is a selfless calling. The main focus everyday is the health, well-being, education, and happiness of your children. There is much responsibility placed on the shoulders of mothers to take care of everyone else in the household. Being a good mother definitely requires sacrifice and selflessness. We often hear of mothers always putting everyone else first and herself last.

Somehow, us mothers can get it in our heads that our success is measured by how much we sacrifice for our children.
Is this true?
Is it possible to over-sacrifice?
I think so.

Complete and total selflessness doesn't quite work. We also often hear if you're not taking care of yourself, you can't take care of others. Taking care of yourself requires an element of selfishness. There is a time when mothers have and need to put themselves first in order to take care of themselves.

Sometimes, I believe this can be taken too far.
Is it possible to be a selfish mother?
I think so.

So where is that line?
How do I know if I'm being too selfish or being too selfless?
Are there times when I need to be selfish?
When is that?
How do I know?

Like I said - this balance is tricky at best.

I think the answer is different for everyone.

Everyone has different limits and capacities.
Everyone has different ideas on what it means to be a good mother - or even on what it means to be selfish.
Everyone has different children with different circumstances.
There is no way to measure your selfishness or selflessness against another mother. There is no way. And the truth is, you'll probably just make yourself feel bad if you do that.

The more experience I have in life as a mother (and just as a person), the more I realize a major part of happiness, success, and everything in life is finding balance. Balance is the key. It is the key to motherhood on so many levels, but it is especially when comes to selfishness vs. selflessness.

Both are required to be a good mother.
Both are required to be a good person.

A rule I try to measure myself by is asking "is this making me be a better mother?" {note::not a good mother} If the answer is yes, than it is a good thing for me to be doing (even if that means staying up past midnight on a school night with my girlfriends). If the answer is no, than obviously it's not a good thing. If the answer is that I am no better or worse a mother for doing whatever it is I am wanting to do, than it doesn't matter whether or not I do it.

I know it's a lot easier said than done.
But I guess most things are.

Like I've said before, the hardest things in life seem to be the most worth it.
And for the sake of everyone involved, this balance is something worth finding. may also like:
::So...My Lines trying to balance on my lines.
::So...My Day Job it's not always easy. but it's definitely worth it.
::So...Budgeting Calories a different kind of balance, but it applies just the same.

Thanks for stopping by!


Hannah said...

Kinda funny. I wrote about the same thing last night. In my "drafts" on my blog. I love your insights on the topic!

I think it is true. We have to take care of ourselves, mentally and physically. I think it makes us happier, which makes us better mothers with more patience.

Christina said...

These same thoughts have been swirling for me lately as well. I've been thinking a lot about the fact that it is possible to be a selfish mother, despite my naive ideas at the start of motherhood that being a mother automatically made me not selfish. I appreciate your thoughts on the subject!

Terri said...

I love this post. I have been through this self evaluation process and you really have a way to make one look deeper into their own thoughts.
Love ya girl.