In which I am completely, unapologetically selfish

Selfish Mumma

On Thursday afternoon, I had James pick the girls up from school and left them to it while I went and put my feet up for a couple of hours. There was a bit of chatting here and there, some music, someone else sweeping the carpet, another person talking about cooking. It was complete and utter leisure for me.

I’m not sure exactly what it says about my past few months that I haven’t felt as blissfully relaxed and free as I did in that moment.

Free Spirit Tattoo, Free Spirit Tattoo Batemans Bay, Mitch, foot tattoo, how mumma's relax

Given that I was getting a tattoo. On my foot.

We joked that I should come more often for time-out as he put the arm rest down. I laughed, but as the session unfolded, I started thinking about how it actually was really relaxing. There was no fighting, screeching, bellowing or whinging. Nobody was following me to the toilet, demanding food/drink/the world or asking for something they know I’m going to say no to.

It felt empowering to be doing something alone, with no expectations on me, that was exclusively for my own benefit.

Free Spirit tattoo, foot tattoo, getting a tattoo, getting a tattoo South Coast NSW
Of course, we had an exceedingly wonderful school holidays. We did so many things and had heaps of amazing family times. I wouldn’t change it for the world, not even the part where I panic attacked myself (being claustrophobic and all) through a submarine so that my kids and husband wouldn’t miss out on something because of my fears.

Still, I would have liked some time out. I get jealous when I see others posting about how their children are off to visit grandparents and so on for a weekend/week/two weeks. I admit that, especially towards the sixth week, I was feeling like I would appreciate the chance to miss them.

The problem, I have found, is that I am not cut out for this school parent gig. And, not in the way you’d imagine. I hadn’t considered the fact that having a child at school meant I would suddenly have to be much more social on a far more regular basis. Like, daily. Between drop off, pick up, assemblies, random performances, helping in the classroom, play dates, parties, dance, swimming and no longer being able to shop without bumping into people I now know I spent last year as an extreme introvert living a somewhat extroverted life.

tattoo7So much of the year was spent chasing my tail, trying to get organised and figure out this new life while joining in with the things that would be important for Ellie and I, that I didn’t even realise what I was feeling and that all my frustration was due to the extreme exhaustion caused by the constant-ness of human interaction until October. And, by then, there was so much going on that I didn’t find the time to do anything about it other than mention the revelation in passing at the end of a post.

Now, however, with two girls unfurling their newly found wings and more responsibilities on my part to help them soar I have given myself permission to let go. Those of you who have been reading here for a while will know I struggle with wanting to do things for myself while feeling guilty, failing and then falling into the same habits. So often, I don’t even notice that I’ve let it slip until I am in dire need of some time for myself.

Foot tattoo, Free Spirit Tattoo, Free Spirit Tattoo Batemans Bay, shark tattoo

Please excuse the swollen foot and stupid toes. WHY do I have such stupid toes?

Those two hours made a real difference to me and not feeling an ounce of guilt for having done something just for me really crystallized the half plans I’ve vaguely formed late at night about not committing myself to too many things on ‘my’ day – helping out in class on Thursday when Jasper was at day care made sense but, in the end, was working against me. There was a reason my doctor ‘prescribed’ me this day and I’ve yet to really take advantage of it and do it right for my own mental health.

So, when I need to, I will go and do something to pull back the layers of stress that accumulate. I will happily do so, knowing full well that whatever I am engaging in is in no way going to get me ahead with the house cleaning, cooking or organising. It won’t be wearing down that pile of never-ending-washing or preparing things for school/outings/after school activities. And I won’t feel a bit guilty, because what it will be doing is filling up my tank, giving me space to breathe and center myself, allowing me rest in order to become strong and get back up again.

Sometimes, my family need me to be selfish in order for me to come back and be my best for them.

Also, I got a foot tattoo. It’s a shark. I love him.

When was the last time you were selfish?

Linking up with the lovely Jess for #ibot

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15 Comments

  1. Pretty sure I wouldn’t find getting a tattoo very relaxing! But then, I find getting my eyebrows waxed relaxing. So who knows? Maybe I should try it.

    And yes. Any time spent on ourselves brings on SO. MUCH. GUILT. It’s easy to acknowledge that you shouldn’t, but quite another thing to switch it off. I haven’t worked out how to do it yet.

    • I didn’t think I would find it relaxing either. I hate pain, yet there I was. It was surprising and empowering.
      See, I don’t think I could even GET my eyebrows waxed – I am pretty sure I could not cope with that pain.
      The guilt thing is just so sucky. How we can come to a point where we understand and accept that doing things for ourselves is not only okay but necessary, I don’t know.

  2. I find I’m a better mum when I get some time to myself, although I don’t know if I’d find getting a tattoo relaxing! The last one I got hurt like no one’s business!
    xx

    • I am certainly feeling the lasting effects of that afternoon!

  3. Sadly I can not remember the last time I was selfish. I think I’m well overdue. The tattoo on the foot must have hurt so much!! Next time maybe you should go to a day spa?!

  4. I used to be terrified of the dentist. now I look forward to my regular checkup – it is my time to relax! Isn’t that sad? Love your new foot look.

  5. Yep, just like on an airplane when they tell us to adjust our own mask first before helping others, we need to ensure we care for ourselves.

    I don’t have kids yet, so I’m selfish all the time – I’m sure that will change once I have a baby though.

    Why did you get a shark? Is there a story behind it?

  6. Yep not enough me time. I usually have at least one child still with me all of the time. School days are good, when 3 of them head off for the day. I feel the same, and feel guilty about doing things for myself, and almost like the boys are 100% my responsibility. Silly I know but really hard to let that feeling just go. #teamIBOT

  7. I make time to have my nails, hair and a facial done every month. Because not only do I feel I deserve that time out, I know I need it. I must admit, that I often find it difficult to relax during that time, as I am worried about what I should be doing. xx

  8. I am completely selfish on Daycare days. Unless I feel like doing it..I don’t. My ‘days off’ mainly consist of napping, reading a book or shopping at a leisurely pace, without anyone yelling at me that they want a donut.

  9. I shall call him Bruce – if that’s okay with you. For two reasons, it’s my gorgeous dad’s name and he is the awesome shark from Nemo! And this post hit home a bit, I need to do this more, I am drowning a bit right now, over worked, no time away from the home (where I work) and not much adult contact. I am stoked you’ve realised you have to do this, please continue it, with no guilt. Love your work Becky xxx

  10. LOVE the tat and the fact that you got some time to yourself to just be without all the chaos. I am such better mum when I make a little time for myself. P.S your toes are soooo much nicer than mine 😉 x

  11. Yes! I’ve found you can only go so long without being a little bit selfish, before everything falls apart. We need some time just for ourselves, with no obligations!
    As much as it must have hurt, I love your shark x

  12. Love the shark, great colours. I think it’s really good to be selfish, when I had kids at home I called it ‘ruthless self care.’ Your day off is not for helping at school!! Plenty of time for that later!! Hope you have a good week ahead.

  13. He’s AWESOME!!! And I struggle with the whole sociability thing too. I worry that if I’m not ‘in’ enough then my kids might suffer from my lack of interest. I am definitely more social with the school crowd than any other JUST for that reason!
    x

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