Why is it we find it so hard to say “yes” to help? Why is it our household can be out of sync, our workload unmanageable (or non-existent), our self-worth teetering on the edge and yet we still don’t want to say, “hey, I need some help here!”
Why are so many of us stuck in this notion that being able to do everything ourselves is not only viable, but safer? Why do we so freely spend time, money and whole-hearted-mind-body-EXERTION on our little people’s needs, yet come up with such resistance when it comes to doing the same for ourselves?
The silly thing is, it’s the kind of behaviour we would never encourage for somebody else. And it’s so easy to spot in others. We all know people who find it hard to put themselves first. We’re there, watching from the side-lines just wishing they would give themselves a break and enjoy some time to bathe in their own awesomeness. We want nothing more for the people we love than to be content, peace-filled, healthy, and valued. Yet, why is it so hard to commit to giving ourselves the same level of respect and importance?
The answer is probably different for everyone, intrinsically linked to beliefs about ourselves formed when we were too tiny to question them (it terrifies me how many ‘truths’ are formed when we’re tiny!). Beliefs our own parents helped shape, whether they meant to or not. Beliefs like: We should be able to do this on our own. Other people come first. You’re not in control in your life. You don’t deserve this until you’re more successful/wealthy/obedient.
We all deserve to be content, peace-filled, healthy and valued.
It’s only when we are content, peace-filled, healthy and valued that we can live our lives to the full and therefore fully provide for and love those around us.
It’s only when we are content, peace-filled, healthy and valued that we can live our lives to the full and therefore fully provide for and love those around us — the thing we are so naturally drawn to do as parents! We’ve all heard the adage: you can’t pour from an empty cup… And yet, we continue to find ourselves trying. (It can’t be just me?!)
Breaking these kinds of beliefs though is tough. There’s no quick fix. But reminders and encouragement go a long way and, thankfully, us parents ARE good at that! So, whether you are struggling with getting the house clean, struggling to get through your business to-do list, struggling to pick yourself up from weeks of broken sleep, struggling with the fact you haven’t pampered and preened in months and never quite feel your best… let’s encourage ourselves (and each other) to fulfil our needs so we can be the best version of ourselves too. After all, we deserve all the good things we keep wishing on everyone else.
In the spirit of this article, I’ve booked a haircut, booked a dentist appointment, had an AMAZING massage, restocked my make-up bag and just generally given myself a good talking to — telling myself that I need to take my needs as seriously as everyone else’s (and that includes as seriously as my business needs, because shock horror: WE ARE NOT OUR BUSINESSES).
And so, beautiful parents who are trying so hard to do it for our kids, I encourage you to do the same.
I know, I know. But your needs don’t matter right now… Except, they do.