A long time ago, when my twins were only days old and I was still wrapping my head around life in the NICU, a wise woman said to me…
“Now is the time to do whatever you need to get by. Don’t think about anyone else but yourself, that is the best thing you can do for your babies.
Now is the time to be selfish.”
Back then I took those words to heart. I tried to focus solely on what I needed to do to get through the next hour, next day, next week.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t easy to be selfish.
I am not sure if I struggled because I am hard wired to try and please others. Or is it so difficult to put our own needs first because our culture and society drums into us that it is not ok to be selfish?
Being selfish seems like a nasty, dirty, thing to do, or be.
To put yourself first, above all others, to think of only yourself, that is not what ‘good’ people do. No one will like you if you are selfish.
‘Good’ people, ‘nice’ people, the kind of people others like, they are kind, considerate and helpful. They think of others before themselves.
This seems especially true for parents.
Do you give your child a choccy biscuit even if that means you don’t get one?
Do you put yourself out, or go without so your children can have or do?
I can’t help it. It seems to be a biological urge to put my children first, because I love them. It seems natural… right.
But is there ever a time when it is ok to put your own needs above those of others?
Was that wise woman right? Did I need to be totally, utterly selfish when my babies where in NICU? Was that the best thing I could do for myself, and for them?
As a parent, is putting our own needs first, sometimes the right thing to do for our children?
As a person, a member of society, is it ever ok to be selfish?