4 reasons why you should put yourself first (yep, even before your kids).
Controversial controversial controversiaaaaaaal! Right?! 😁 I wanted to get deep down and dirty in the whole selflessness thang, the put-everyone-ahead-of-yourself thang AND tell you why it’s killing you inside my friend.
But before I get deep down and dirty, I want to explicitly state that I am a passionately liberal person. I 100% believe in helping your neighbour, be that the neighbour on your street who is in more need than you, or on the other side of the planet who is in more need than you. We’re all neighbours as far as I’m concerned. I’m not about narrow-mindedness, only taking care of yourself, your own ‘backyard’ and fecking the rest. (And I believe this because I’m actually a firm believer that we’re all ultimately cousins and great-great-great [kinda x infinitum] grandchildren who’ve descended from the same roots in Africa 7,000,000 years ago. In a nutshell: we’re all ONE cuz! 😍 – But that’s perhaps a post for another day) 😄
I digress. But I wanted to open by stating where I’m coming from, because what I’m about to share, is not about self-centredness and purely just looking out for yourself – which I get, on the surface, is how my title sounds. I want to be clear that I’m not an advocate for that at all. To the extent that it’s actually against my values as a human.
But what I AM about, is helping you tweak your perspective on things, so you can not only start living the life you want to live, but you can do so unapologetically. ‘Cause let’s face it, you just deciding to put yourself first right now has pretty low odds – ammi right? The idea of putting yourself before others is probably almost bordering on the laughable. So yep, a lil’ tweak of perspective’s required 😊
Now let’s get deep down and dirty shall we? 🕺
I’ve carefully collated four reasons why I think you need to be putting yourself first (yep, even BEFORE your kids), because quite frankly, it’ll transform your life forever.
Reason #1: Whether you realise it or not, you’re setting an example honey.
(And this one is particularly for those of you who have young people in your life who you adore). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out, little people learn how to act by copying what we do. From the super-early days of smiling, eating, walking and talking, to their more developed days of dealing with their feelings, emotions and themselves. They learn by watching, so guess what happens if all they see is their mama/caregiver/auntie working themselves to the bone? Never asking for help? Feeling constantly burdened and stressed? Never having time for themselves? Depleted of spontaneity and fun? Feeling like they’re living someone else’s life? Do you think that little person is going to grow up caring for themselves, valuing their time and energy, and creating a life they adore? 🤔 Of course not. Whether you realise it or not, your actions are rubbing off on someone who needs a better example.
(See how I did the guilt-thing there? 😉 See I know what you’re like missus, you only begin to listen when you see that it’s about someone else!)
It’s the whole ethos behind that phrase, ‘Happy Mama Happy Baby’ and there’s a reason that phrase exists. Because your exhaustion reflects in them. Your resentment reflects in them. Your sorrow reflects in them. And your happiness reflects in them. And what’s an essential ingredient for your happiness? You occasionally putting yourself first! 👏
Reason #2: Your mental health needs a guardian.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt (and learnt HARD) over the past 20 years of adulthood, is that you’ve GOT TO both nurture, and listen to your intuition. She’s got your back lemme tell ye, through anything and everything. And by that I mean, when you can feel yourself buckling, when you can feel yourself trying to carry too much, when you can feel yourself losing your sh*t from never having a moment to do you, or be you – hear what your intuition is yelling at you my friend!
You need to put yourself first!
Because the alternative? Well let’s just say, I can vouch for it being horrendous. If you continue to ignore what your intuition is telling (or yelling at) you, and you plough on regardless, your mind and body are gonna catch up with you in the most challenging of ways. Believe that. So please, guard and protect your mental health, guard and protect your intuition, and guard and protect your time to be you, whether that be relaxation and respite or finding and following your own dreams – you need it!
Reason #3: No-one is coming to save you darl.
Now I get that this sounds a bit bleak on the surface 😄 but it’s bang-on the truth so it has to make the cut (and there isn’t really a way to sugar-coat it!) But you making sure that there’s a balance, you making sure that there’s some oil in your tank, you making sure that you put yourself first, works in the same way that your health and wealth does.
It’s on you.
No-one can, or will, fix it for you. People can care about you and want what’s best for you, but if you eternally set a precedent of being last on the list, then that’s forever where you’ll be and how you’ll be treated. No-one can do your sit-ups for you to get a six-pack. No-one can curb your spending for you if you’re in debt. No-one can make sure you’re taking care of yourself when you’re neglecting yourself.
It’s on you.
Reason #4: You’ve gotta put on your own oxygen mask first.
One of the cardinal rules of aviation ay, and it 100% applies in this instance too. If you don’t choose to put your own oxygen mask on first, you won’t be of any good to anyone. In fact, I’m gonna say that again, just so it absorbs. If you don’t choose to put your own oxygen mask on first, you won’t be of any good to anyone.
The people that need you, that lean on you, that rely on you – the very best way you can be there for them, is to be there for yourself first.
And none of this is to say that every moment of every day has to be all about you; that you have to become some selfish diva; that you have to say no to every single person that asks something of you; that you should be ignoring the needs of your little ones. Re-read my intro ❤️️ I’m allllll about truly sharing the love and looking out for others.
But what I AM saying is, sometimes, somedays, it NEEDS to be about you. Sometimes, somedays, you SHOULD act a bit selfishly. Sometimes, somedays, you WILL have to say no. And sometimes, somedays, you NEED to come before your little ones. Because how can you possibly share all that unbelievable love you have for others, when you’ve not ever poured that love into yourself? It’s not an infinite resource, it needs topping up!
If you’re close to running on empty and loving on others is your absolute happy place, if you love giving everyone else the best of you, I hope you now know what to do.
If this has helped you in any way lovely, I’d tickle your toes with delight if you gave me a mention over on Instagram 😉😜 until next week beauts 💋