I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again for those that haven’t heard it from me, but this parenting thing (and marriage for that matter) are a big glaring mirror, with a reflection of who you really are staring you back in the face. Until I got married, almost 11 years ago, I would have said I was a giving, selfless person. Sure, I was stubborn and assertive, Type A, and knew what I wanted – but, I surely wasn’t selfish! I think it took me 48 hours of marriage to see that for what it really was — denial!
Then enter…. parenting! That took the realization of being selfish to a whole ‘nother level! I realized that I pretty much lived for myself, doing what I wanted to when I wanted to, until I had this little dependent life come along. Now I was structuring my day around someone else’s needs – sleep, eating, activity level, etc. Woah! And you’d think that gets easier as they get a little older and more independent, but you’re wrong. With a 6, 5, and 22 mo. old – I would dare say that pretty much most of my day revolves around their needs. Is this a problem? Not at all, it’s the job I signed up for. Did I know what the job would entail before signing up? No! But I’m okay with it.
I can’t go where I want to go when I want to go unless I want to load 3 littles up, and schedule around the baby’s nap. Even then, it SO wouldn’t be the experience I was looking for probably anyways! I would love to have a clean house – organized, caught up on laundry, food in the pantry, etc. But I set aside my time for doing this to push my children on the swing or read “that” book one more time. I would love Friday night’s out with my hubby. With shoes, clothes, food, educational supplies, etc. to buy for our family so the money is otherwise being used or along with the circus we’d have to perform in just to make it happen – we choose to stay home and watch movies on Netflix instead. Same thing with time to myself – what mom wouldn’t love more of that?!
I feel most days I get it right, until I look at myself in that mirror. I KNOW there are many other places that aren’t so noticeable where I choose selfishness rather then selflessness – showing annoyance when interrupted, hurrying through the bedtime routine in order to move onto “my time”, “watching” my children rather than “being with” my children, letting the baby cry at night so I can sleep, and so forth.
But for today (and tomorrow at that), I want to choose selflessness. I want to intentionally love with a spirit of “others first” – whether that is my husband, my children, or my friends. I want to think lesser of myself, my time, and my priorities. I want to make others feel they are valuable to me by elevating their priority in my life. If this means letting the hubs sleep in for a day or so rather than me, or listening to the Chipmunks Pandora station when I’d rather hear Jack Johnson, that’s what it looks like. But first I need to choose it in order to make it happen.