I got home yesterday afternoon from a business trip. Four days. Six cities. Dozens of hours on planes and on the road. My body ached and needed to move. Get some exercise. A good detox.
So I got up this morning, and, since no one was awake, I went for a run and hit a yoga class, knowing full well all my husband had to do was take my daughter to preschool. I had already assembled her clothing ensemble, her breakfast, and her lunch.
But when I arrived home at 10:30 a.m., prepared to spend the rest of the day at home cleaning up, catching up on work, and, well, just in general being home, I was called selfish.
Are you friggin’ kidding me?
It’s not like I was out there on a joy ride. Traveling is BRUTAL.
It irks me when anybody calls me selfish. Especially members of my own family!
Selfish people take from others, with little to no regard for others.
So, next time you choose to sling words “narcissist” or “selfish” around, think again before you speak.
Words like this are harsh.
They are judgments.
Not always fully accurate and can have a great impact on others. “Wound” may even be a more appropriate word.
I’m an independent woman with a whole heck of a lot of life ambition, and, yet, I chose to get married and have children.
But just because I have a husband and kids doesn’t mean I choose no longer to exist or take care of myself.
And you know what? I can take care of them (with their cooperation) and my needs as well.
It’s not always easy to balance my aspirations with those of my husband’s, the needs of my children, and other social, financial, or family obligations we have.
Sometimes, I wonder if it was easier when women were homemakers. Bred to be givers. Cleaning the home front. Cooking all of the meals. Preparing everyone’s life. Putting everyone else’s needs first.
I’m not saying if my three year old fell off the monkey bars, I’d go get a manicure instead of taking her to Urgent Care.
But, you will most likely agree, in our modern world, not all women are the givers of our past generations.
And then, we get called selfish for wanting to give to ourselves. Really?
The ironic thing is that most families actually need two breadwinners these days. Life is expensive. So now what? We work full time…
AND do all the laundry?
AND do all the grocery shopping?
AND be responsible for the kids’ calendars?
AND put dinner on the table?
AND have some down time?
Hey, I’m not saying my husband doesn’t contribute. I’m just saying he spills coffee all over the counter every morning and never wipes it up. Just sayin’.
So if that’s not selfish, then neither is going to get a haircut and leaving him with the kids for a few hours.
I’ll be honest.
I’m not a homemaker. I don’t sit around waiting hand and foot on my husband all day. But you know what? I work my ass off, and there’s a lot I’m contributing in many other ways.
There is a radical difference between selfish and self-love.
Selfish is acting in complete disregard for others. Self-love means nurturing yourself so you are able to give back with vitality and compassion.
We’re not supposed to be self-sacrificing, are we?
It’s already difficult enough in our modern world for a woman with purpose (like me) to balance relationship, friendship, and children with our own aspirations. Don’t you think?
I became a health coach so I could teach others about self-care and self-love.
And I believe in all of us taking care of ourselves—not in a selfish way but in a very giving and nurturing way.
I fly a lot, and every time the flight attendants go through the safety features, they tell you to secure your mask before you secure the mask of your children.
That’s what I’m doing. Securing my own mask so I can secure the future of my children.
I have just expressed the difference between selfish and self-love. Do you struggle with taking care of your own needs for fear people will think you are selfish? Do you self-sacrifice more than you want for fear of others’ judgments? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments below.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.