Lest not jump the guns yet! Parenting is an enigma full stop. It is often held as the necessary path of adulthood. Unfortunately, it does not come with a manual and a please-let-me-start-again button. It is not a hit or miss scheme, does not include a trial and error policy nor does it hold a right to cancel or claim a refund period if not satisfied with the end product. You are signed up to it for life.
At the worst of times, your sanity is at risk and as if the health scare was not enough to worry about, you have that of others to put into consideration. So how can one possibly be selfish in this arduous process without having Social Services knocking at the door? And what are the benefits?
Selfish parenting (as I like to call it) is about inward fulfilment and outward happiness. Do you agree or disagree? In the Parenting School of Thought, we are led to believe that great parenting begins with the idea of unconditional sacrifice and duty. This mindset is based upon pure innate human qualities and moral goodness which I cannot contest. However, it fails to teach one of the most valuable lessons of all; the LOVE OF SELF and its impact in positively influencing the lives of one’s children.
Often as parents (especially mothers), we tend to put ourselves at the end of the household’s Parenting Hierarchy of Needs.
The negative effects are:
– Resentment of others’ accomplishments
– Constant need for recognition in ‘contributing’ in others’ successes
– High risks of negative feelings of ‘not being appreciated’
– Angry at others for ‘having given up on my own dreams’ >> sacrifices made not being acknowledged
It is very common for parents to feel betrayed and miserable after being disappointed by their loved ones (teenage pregnancies, out of the wedlock children, intoxicating family members, bad friendships, negative influences, unfaithful or ungrateful partners etc ). But those feelings can aggravate when one has ‘sacrificed their lives’ in order to fend to their family’s every needs.
So who should be blamed for the feelings of resentment you have accumulated over a period of time?
Be Selfish! You are worth it.
Questions to consider in your self-analysis (note that you can make this as extensive as necessary):
– What makes you happy?
– What do you want or wanted in life?
– Do you have ‘Me’ time?
– Have you highlighted your dreams/aspirations?
– Is your partner / husband / wife aware and fully supports you? (if they do not, this MUST be addressed)
Being content as an individual is at the core of my selfish parenting theory. Having time for yourself, identifying your needs, developing your skills, looking and feeling good – Remembering that before you were ‘mummy, ‘daddy’, ‘husband’ or ‘wife’, you were YOU; and YOU should NEVER be neglected.
Once you have identified and attained your lost aspirations, it will have a positive impact on your household. Your sense of purpose, optimism and achievement will improve the quality of your relationships with the people around you. Essentially transcending and positively influencing your child (or children) with their outlook on life.
By being selfish, you unintentionally become selfless, an exemplary role model, happier and fulfilled in the process. A win-win-win-win situation.