Being selfish but a good mama - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 02-14-2013, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe I'm naive or selfish, but I am tired of people saying I can't do stuff anymore because I'm pregnant/about to start a family. 

I just got off the phone with my mom and she was lecturing me about how I can't spend money because I'm going to have a baby. Seriously, I'm the most frugal person I know! There are few things that I really enjoy doing enough to spend the money on. That's camping and festivals. I was super bummed a little bit ago that I wouldn't be able to go to the Ren. Faire, Rainbow, or camping (outside of festivals) this summer because I'm going to be too preggo. Then today I just decided that I'm selfish and as long as I am feeling well (obviously won't know that until the time comes up) I don't see a reason why I can't do these things.

My mom's two arguments were money, which I agree if I can't afford it I shouldn't go. And that it's of no benefit to the baby. She said if I wanted to take the kid to stuff when it's two or three then she will fully support me, and help me pay.... but there is no reason to go when he/she is in utero because it's not going to know anyways. She scolded me that Im being immature when I responded "yes, but is it so wrong for me to want to do things?"

My mom was always "my life is 100% my kids," when we were little. That's completely awesome yet at the same time I'm not sure if it's healthy. Especially since her empty nest syndrome was/is really bad. I'm not saying that I'm not going to devote my life to my children but I feel like i have to think of myself also. I in ny way mean to blame my parents here, but I feel like a lot of my self sacrificial nature comes from watching her struggle with putting everyone else first. I thought that's what love meant when I was a kid, to try to make another person happy even if it makes you miserable. 

I feel like pregnancy is actually making me a more selfish person. I look at myself in the mirror and think "this is the person I want to be for my kids." I want to set an example of strength, of confidence, and of love. I feel like if I can't embody virtues that I want to instill in my kids then I will be nothing but a hypocrite. I don't want my kids to have the guilt problems that I do, to have my insecurities, or my fears. Kind of like the "lead by example" thing.  You hear the phrase that you can't love another person until you love yourself. Well, I kind of see that but at the same time I love this baby within me so much it's making me want to learn to love myself more.... To take care of myself and not just do what's easiest, or what will make others happy. I want be happy, and share that happiness with my children. 

This turned into a lot more than "I wanna blah blah blah," but like anything else in life there is a bigger, hidden picture that would like to be addressed.  


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#2 of 10 Old 02-14-2013, 06:22 PM
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I have honestly never heard anyone say someone had told them they couldn't do anything for themselves once they got pregnant. That's a new one for me!

I adore my kids and I love doing things with/for them, but I also bring them along to things I want to do, and I certainly did what I wanted when I was pregnant. I mean, nothing dangerous, but you don't seem to be talking about anything dangerous.

I guess it's reasonable to consider not doing stuff if money is really tight and you have a lot of things you need to buy, but I disagree with any expectation that you do nothing that doesn't benefit the growing baby and just sit as an incubator waiting for the baby to be born.

I'm not sure how else to respond. I think my life is pretty child-centered, and I'm happy with that, but I am still my own person and have my own interests, and I feel no guilt at taking care of myself. smile.gif
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#3 of 10 Old 02-14-2013, 06:29 PM
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This is so healthy!!! By all means get into the groove of making yourself a priority because it will be difficult to start that when baby comes. I have a 22 month old and am expecting baby number two. Things I took for granted before kids (like privacy while using the toilet and daily uninterrupted showers) are just not the norm anymore. If anything, do the things you love BECAUSE you're pregnant and may have to go without for a while once baby comes. Date your partner, see movies, attend festivals, do the things you enjoy. It sounds like finances are stable and you don't overindulge. Go have fun while it's easier to do so and while you're out there, do something fun for me wink1.gif
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#4 of 10 Old 02-15-2013, 12:36 AM
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Honestly I do nothing for me. I don't have any friends. IM a 20 yr old mother of 2 and stay at home now after working the first 4 Months of last year. If I do something for,me I feel hproblem because I feel like I take away from my kids or husband. I never have anyone watch them so I can go out or have me time. I wish I could enjoy,more for me but I've always been the quiet responsible one. Now I do without most the time. My clothes are all hand me downs from my cousin and aunts. Last new clothes I got we're black pants for work that I wore twice cause they let me wear jeans.

Go ahead and enjoy yourself. If you have the money and feel okay spending it go ahead. Once the baby arrives it's usually free until 3 yes or so most places. Enjoy your pregnancy and your free time now. Soon it will be diapers. Bottles. No sleep. Too tired to go any where. For a few months anyhow.
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#5 of 10 Old 02-15-2013, 08:47 AM
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It is NOT being selfish to do something for yourself, it is ESSENTIAL as a mother. There is absolutely no reason you can't do festivals or camping while pregnant or with a baby as long as you are both happy and healthy doing it. Kids learn so much from just living life with mom and dad, not everything needs to be kid-centered to make it useful or beneficial. Do take time for yourself, you don't need to give up who you are when you have kids. That is very old-fashioned thinking IMHO.

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#6 of 10 Old 02-15-2013, 07:58 PM
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You'll have plenty of time to scrimp and forego your own luxuries (of time mostly) after the baby comes. I am glad for everything I did for myself while being pregnant, and before. I think it allowed me to really devote my time and attention to my kids in their earliest years without feeling resentful.  I agree now is the time to indulge (within reason, and you sound liek a reasonable person, you're not going to go into debt going to a festival). Your gut is telling you to build yourself up right now, go ahead. Once your baby is here, your gut will very likely tell you to put your baby first for quite a while, that's good too.

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#7 of 10 Old 02-16-2013, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by inconditus View Post

My mom's two arguments were money, which I agree if I can't afford it I shouldn't go. And that it's of no benefit to the baby. She said if I wanted to take the kid to stuff when it's two or three then she will fully support me, and help me pay.... but there is no reason to go when he/she is in utero because it's not going to know anyways. She scolded me that Im being immature when I responded "yes, but is it so wrong for me to want to do things?"


Pardon me for being blunt, but this is whacked. If your mom was objecting, because she felt this was actually detrimental to the baby, or carried some kind of risk for the baby, I'd get where she was coming from. But, why on earth should you be limited to only doing things that actively benefit the baby??? That's just weird.


I went and saw a couple of hard rock/heavy metal concerts when I was pregnant with ds1. I doubt he got anything out of them, but I did. I can't imagine spending a whole pregnancy making every decision about whether the baby will get anything out of it. That sounds insanely boring, and unhealthy.


My kids aer absolutely my biggest priority. I'm a homeschooling stay-at-home mom. When I was a WOHM, I spent almost all my off-work time with my ex and ds1, or with just ds1. But, even back then, I carved out time to read, and a dinner out with my bff once every 6-8 weeks. Now, I belong to a choir and attend weekly rehearsals, and do a big show once a year. I do think there are some fringe benefits to my kids from that (one of them being that they know I have a life outside of their orbit), but I do it for me. Why not? It's not hurting them.

I'm sorry. I've been a parent for almost 20 years. I've been around a lot of other parents in that time, including parents of my own mother's generation. I've never heard anyone say something so odd. You're not obligated to worry about whether the baby will get anything out of Ren Fest. OMG.

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#8 of 10 Old 02-16-2013, 05:41 PM
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I agree with the other's! Go and do the things you want! We lived a child-led but family centered life. Which means if one of us or both of us is burning out then we need to do what is best for the family!

Tonight for example I kicked my husband out and told him to go and have some "him" time the kids were driving him insane. I'm putting them to bed a bit early so I can have some me/quiet time without ANYONE bugging me. The kids were super trying today. So we are doing what works best for the family and all getting the recharge time we need for no money/not much money. But it's important sometimes to be a bit selfish and take that time.

Pregnancy is the best time to get things out of the way. You know you only have a short while to do things you can't do for a few years (+/-) and you also have this end date that is motivating at times to get some things done that you normally wouldn't otherwise smile.gif

You will change when the baby comes, but that doesn't mean you have to "lose" you either smile.gif

One more thing, it sounds like you are still discovering your boundaries, I would make that a large part of being pregnant. Because boundaries ESPECIALLY with family will be super important after the baby comes smile.gif

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#9 of 10 Old 02-23-2013, 11:58 AM
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I think it's healthy and good for kids to see that their parents have full lives. It's a burden for a child to think that they're the only meaningful thing in their parents' lives. Adults I know who were raised that way have a weird, guilt- and obligation-riddled relationship with their parents now, as if they're betraying their parents by growing up to have their own lives. It's sad.


Now, of course I'm not advocating being neglectful, or going out partying 5 nights a week while someone else cares for your kids, or spending all of the family's money on stuff that only benefits you, but having your own interests and hobbies is a good thing! 

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#10 of 10 Old 02-23-2013, 12:34 PM
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First of all, I really think you should consider finding another word to replace the word "selfish."

Selfish: devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

It is not being selfish to have your own interests, to care for and nurture yourself.

If you were going to so many renn faires in one season that you had no more money for diapers, food, or shelter for your child then that would be considered selfish. If you said, " I don't care that I'm pregnant, I am going to drink three glasses of beer a day," that would be selfish and harmful. If you said, "I know my growing baby needs healthy foods, but I don't care: all I want to eat for the next three months is red velvet cake and triple mochas," that would be selfish.

Having interests and hobbies outside of your children and partner's needs is not selfish or harmful. Enjoying your life, nurturing your soul, and taking care of yourself as well as your family is so wonderful and important. Don't let you mother's needs and ideals trick you into thinking you are selfish for wanting to enjoy your own life.
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