“I want you to be really, really selfish. The more selfish and nurturing you can be for yourself, the by-product for those that you love…is greatly enhanced.”   Greg Gumucio

“Contemporary research shows that happy people are more altruistic, more productive, more helpful, more likable, more creative, more resilient, more interested in others, friendlier, and healthier.”  Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project


The other day while out to dinner with my kiddos, I shared something I did when I was sixteen that they were not ready to hear.  Casey, my eighteen year old responded, “Mommmmm, you really need to stay on your pedestal!  In fact, you need to stay on it for four more years.  Once Maggie graduates from high school then you can share your stories with us.  But, not till then.”

Casey darling, you crack me up.  I get it.  There are just some things you simply do not want to know about me.  And, honestly, there are some things I don’t want you to know.

It is difficult for our kids to think of us as more than moms.  Just ask them how they feel about the fact that their mom has sex with their dad.  Casey’s answer, “it makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.”

Casey and his girlfriend Hailey

But what I am noticing a lot these days is that it is not just our kids that are having a difficult time, it is the moms themselves!  Many of our dreams and desires have been pushed to the back burner, smoldering away, while the everyday duties of taking care of the kids, house, bills, dogs, cats and fish consume us.  We then forget to take care of our physical, emotional, intellectual and sexual selves.  In fact, some may even prefer to gouge our own eyes out with a spoon than have sex with our husband after a long day of being a mom.

So, in response to this phenomenon, I posted this on The Yes Mom Facebook page yesterday.

A beautiful young mom who is quite dear to me replied, “Thanks, I needed this today.”

I am happy that I could help and I hope you did something really special for yourself.  I certainly could have used this reminder when my kids were young.  I admit I had a tendency of sacrificing myself, my health, and my happiness in the name of love for my family.  Actually, who am I kidding, I still do.  But, I am getting better at it every day.  I go for hikes, write, play music, travel, juice, spend time with my friends and yes, enjoy sex!

I have learned over the years, “You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s life ahead of yours and call that love.”  A brilliant quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower; although as all you moms know, there is not much sitting.

I have also learned that If you believe long enough that sacrifice at your own expense is love, it will inevitably turn into resentment, grief or possibly worse…depression, over-eating, over-drinking, affairs, illness or in my case breast cancer.

The most powerful teaching moments are the times we mess up.  Breast cancer was one of those times.  It had a profound effect on me.  I was a good mom, I still am, but I didn’t always take care of myself.  I didn’t make my happiness priority.  I had this idea that if I put myself before my kiddos, I was being selfish.  I was wrong.  It only becomes selfish when it is at other people’s expense.

By the way, I may be using moms as an example here, but this applies to everyone.  Everyone that gives themselves up!  Everyone that sacrifices their wants and desires by putting others first!  That does not mean that we should not be “in service” to others.  It means we have to take care of ourselves in order to be in service to others.

So, to all you incredibly beautiful, intelligent, women and men with stars in your eyes, books to write, mountains to climb, and businesses to start, let go of that white knuckle grip on believing your are selfish when you are taking care of yourself.  Remember you are worthy!  It is not selfish to be healthy!  It is not selfish to be happy!  It is not selfish to pursue your dreams!  It is necessary!

Oh, and one more thing.  “Casey, I have had sex more times than you would ever want to know.”  Love you sweetie!  Love you all!


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