I used to be selfish. I think you can afford to be when you’re in your twenties, climbing a corporate ladder and happily married. You can do as you please, with a good amount of disposable income, lots of fun to look forward to, holidays to enjoy, and relaxation time at the weekends. We could do as whatever we wanted, even being able to get up at some ridiculously late hour like 9 am! We could lounge about and watch films, go out at the drop of a hat, and whilst I’ve always loved my family and friends, I didn’t over-think these relationships, over-worry about them, I just enjoyed them and cared about them. And then I became a parent. And the world kind of shifted.
I feel more pain now. I have more empathy now. I look around and everything seems to matter more.
Whatever I feel, I feel it more deeply for my children. Whatever injustices I hear about, I relate them to my family and consider my rage if it was my family in harm’s way, and then feel pain for the family that has suffered. I find myself sobbing at another mother’s heartbreak and want to reach out and help.
And always, always, my children come first. How many mother’s do you hear say ‘I’d die for my children’? Well, yes, of course, in a heartbeat. I think it’s all of those little things, too, that add up. As soon as you become a mother, your life becomes second place (or possibly third, fourth…!), and it’s all about them and their needs. I think it should be. I’m not saying be a slave and don’t have time to yourself, to be yourself, as I think a happy mum is surely the best thing you can be. But, day to day, if I’m going out I think about their outfits and comfort and then hastily sort myself. If we’re in a restaurant, I go through the kids menu and settle the children down, and then just ask for the first thing I spot on there for myself. If we’re out shopping, it’s always about the children first and then I might look for me. You know what I mean.
It’s simply the way it is. They’re my world and I’m here to protect and cherish them. They have to come first and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My selfish days feel like a distant dream…..!
This post was inspired by Sara’s #ThePrompt game, with this week’s quote ‘Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.’ by Ambrose Bierce. Go see what it’s got others thinking about, too…