It's Okay to Be Selfish

As parents, we are the foundation of our families. If someone is sick, we care for them. If someone is hungry, we cook for them. When the house is messy, we clean it. When groceries need buying, we go to the supermarket. We wrap the presents. We organize the closets. We hand out the snacks. We wipe the butts. We de-snot the noses. Etc....

By the end of a day, most of us have been working since dawn. If you're like me, you also work a full-time job. I'm lucky in that I work from home, so I can only imagine how much harder it is for parents who work outside the home.

When the kids are off from school, I'm constantly catering to them. Yes, they understand that mommy might be working and please don't disturb me unless it's vital, but I inevitably end up doing for them, and my work takes me ten times longer to finish.

And the talking. There is always talking. From the time Tyler wakes up to the time she goes to sleep, there is talking.

And asking for 3,596,185 things in a single day.

I swear, by the end of each day, even on school days, I'm ready to cry.

That's why I say it's okay to be selfish.

Selfish meaning, it's okay to take extra long in the shower, and issue dire warnings about not being bothered while you're in there.

It's okay to tell your kids to go inside and play and to entertain themselves.

It's okay if you don't want to play with them. You're a grownup. You want to do grownup things. They're children. They want to do kid things. Let them go do those kid things without you.

It's okay if you want to paint your fingernails, and tell your daughter you'll paint hers another time.

It's okay to hate (hate, hate, hate) children's movies, and wait until they come out on cable so you can put it on at home and not have to sit through one in a theater.

It's okay to not want to share your Oreos.

It's okay if you want to play video games without them.

Do you know why it's okay to be selfish? Because the majority of our days are devoted to not being selfish. Even if you feel you're not doing enough, you are. Trust me. Are your kids loved? Are they happy? Are they clean? Are they fed? Yes? Then you absolutely have the right to be selfish sometimes. You count, too, and you can never forget that. Just because you have kids doesn't mean you've lost your own identity.

First and foremost, I am a mom. That became my primary function once I had kids, and it's something I'm extremely proud of being. But I'm also Renee. I'm also a wife. Those identities are separate from the part of me who is a mommy to Jesse and Tyler. Sometimes I just want to paint my nails, plugged into my phone while listening to music without having to include my kids in that activity. Sometimes, I want to kick back, put on a movie, grab a beer, and hang with Frankie without the kids being part of our movie night. And that's okay. Because six out of seven nights, we make the kids part of our other movie nights. Because every other time I do my nails, I also do Tyler's. Because, usually, when I sneak an Oreo, I toss one to Jesse, too. 99% of the time, Frankie and I put our needs last. The girls come first. That's how we run our home. So I have zero guilt on those few occasions when we want to do something without them.

And you shouldn't feel guilty either.