Sometimes it's ok to be selfish
Yes, I said it. Sometimes it's ok to be selfish. But before you get all righteously offended at me, let me explain what I mean. I'm talking about the kind of selfish that benefits others in the long run. But that's not really selfish is it? Exactly. If you are a wife and/or a mother then I am talking to you. If you are a husband, I'm also talking to you.
I realized the other day that my husband is champion of women. Wow. What an amazing thought! So how in the world does he do this?
1) There are no spousal roles in our house. That's right, I am not expected to make dinner every night. Do I? Almost always. Do I feel like I have to? Nope. If I feel guilty about making a boring dinner - let's say chicken and peas- it's my own fault. My husband reminds me it's not my JOB to make dinner and he usually says he likes my boring dinners anyway. Now just to clarify, I try to keep the house clean and dinner on the table- my husband works hard throughout the day and I stay at home. But I am working on my own business, rehearsing for some performances, and life gets busy. There are plenty of times where he picks up the slack!
2) My husband has some moral conviction that he can never buy me anything kitchen or cleaning related for a birthday or Christmas. At first this made me laugh, but now I appreciate it. HE did break this rule for Christmas - this year he bought me a KitchenAid mixer. It was on my request list and he still felt guilty haha!
3) He always encourages me to do things that make me feel good, like getting a haircut, going to get my nails done. If I mention it, he says I should go do it.
Do you know what all these things make me want to do? Cook and clean, and save his money! I get busy and the house gets messy and sometimes I make boring dinners. But if my husband says something off hand about our room needing to be cleaned, I will take a day and make it spotless. Instead of feeling like it's my wifely duty, I feel like it's a gift - one that I want to give him! When Keegan tells Patrick that he loves weekends because I make fun things like pancakes, it makes me want to make more treats! And when Patrick tells me to go get a manicure, I almost never take him up on it because I would rather save the money.
Knowing that I have the freedom to treat myself makes me feel special though! If I am really tired, I can just take a day and relax.
This is where I want to talk about being selfish. If you are a mom, or a wife, sometimes you can get overwhelmed with what you label your DUTIES in the house. I see women all the time that are overrun with kids, and the house. They give up simple pleasures like getting their hair styled on a regular basis, or a mani/pedi with their girlfriends. I understand that finances can be a part of giving these things up - but I would encourage you to find out what makes you feel special and budget for it. I know for me, I love haircuts. They help me feel good about my appearance and get one every 6 weeks or so. I get to talk to my stylist for about an hour, I get that awesome head massage, and end up with a happy attitude. For others it might be a monthly Starbucks budget. Maybe for some of you it's a monthly mani/pedi with those awesome soaks and massages. Does going to the gym on a regular basis make you feel better? Do it! Maybe you like fashion and you want to buy a new piece of clothing once a month. Whatever it is that makes you feel beautiful, sexy and womanly, make it a priority.
"But, I have kids and I can't spend money on myself!" And, "Wait, isn't this really self focused?" Yes! And No! You are an example to your children - it's ok to prioritize yourself to an extent. It's ok to take time away from them to feel beautiful. After all, they see that too. It's a good thing for children to see a happy, energized, confident mommy! I'm pretty sure your husband won't argue too much on that point either!
So husbands, be a champion to your wife- encourage her to do things that make her feel beautiful and tell her you will watch the kids while she does it. Wives, don't feel guilty about doing those things!
Here's to a happy, beautiful you in 2014!