Some years ago, I coined 2 phrases. That is to say I put a couple words together that I had not heard put together in that way, but given there are over 7 billion people in the world, it would seem unlikely that those particular words had not been put together in that manner ever before.
Still, they are phrases I love and use often. The phrase I want to share with you today is Appropriate Selfishness. If you have been part of the Singles Scene for more than a couple hours, and even if you have not been single in over two decades, chances are you have spent a few minutes on a singles/dating site, of course having arrived completely by accident.
Before I really understood how incredibly turned off I was by the entire idea, I had perused my share of profiles. And one thing that I would notice was phrases such as, “Have two incredible kids and they always come first.”
It sounds romantic and warm and homey and fuzzy, doesn’t it?
I noticed this out here in the real world, too. Not just the oft-spoken phrase but the guilt-ridden anguish of an adult who thought they might not look like they were putting their kids or their family first every second of the day.
So, I have some tips to share.
First, embrace the philosophy of Appropriate Selfishness. This is the notion that you sometimes, probably far more often than you want to admit without that unhealthy side of guilt, need some you time. You are not a bad person for needing to refill your well. You are not a bad parent for just needing and making arrangements to get out for an evening, or a weekend… or a week.
And sometimes “you time” is really just you… not you and your partner. And just as you need time completely to yourself, so does your significant other. I have often seen one parent grasp the idea of Appropriate Selfishness a bit sooner than the other, and you can bet they heard an earful. “You aren’t doing enough”, “your family should come before a night with friends,” “Can’t you put that damn book down and help me with these dishes?”
If you are a person who makes dinner and does the laundry even when feeling dragged out and getting a fever, you are not putting your family first. Period. There is not really a question about this.
Putting your family first is when you do things out of love, not guilt… not because you are thinking how it will look to the neighbors.
I encourage you to take a little “you-time.” I strongly encourage you to have a discussion about personal needs with your partner and then your kids. If you want to teach your kids the greatest lesson they can learn in their life and probably could only learn from you, teach them to take care of themselves. Teach them that if they wear themselves into the ground, and can physically no longer care for themselves or their family because they are in the hospital with pneumonia or undiagnosable ailments, that that is the height of inappropriate selfishness.
Would love to hear about your experiences in recognizing the need for you time and what you did about it. Yes, you are actually being asked to talk about your vacation.
I am a humorous and inspirational speaker and writer, but Storytelling is my love. I am an open-networker and invite you to connect. Please feel free to join the conversation on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @Dachia.
The above was originally posted on LinkedIn.