The moment your new baby comes into your world, a tide of emotions comes rushing to the surface, joy, awe, pride, fear and love. As a new mom you naturally want to give your new bundle of joy everything you can: opportunities, love, things, experiences, good memories and more. And as the years progress giving becomes an expectation, reaction—a habit for many moms.

I’m a giver, most moms are. However, when we give to the point of exhaustion, resentment and self-abandonment, we’re doing a disservice to our children, partners and careers.

Take a look at your calendar. Go ahead pull it out now. I’ll wait.

Notice anyone missing? Are you on it? I’m not referring to your roles but to the authentic you—the woman who enjoys being in nature, dancing till she’s drenched in sweat, writing poetry or lying stretched beneath an oak tree with a really good book. Have you given to her lately?

Here’s something I urge you to do: Become more Selfish. Yup, I said it and I mean it. I know, I know, no one wants to see themselves as being selfish, least of all moms. Do any of these statements sound familiar?:

  • “Nobody likes a selfish person.”
  • “Stop thinking about yourself!”
  • “You have to think of others first!”

As little girls many of us were warned against being selfish. It meant that you were: stingy, heartless, not a team player, bitchy and a host of other negatives. It meant you’d end up lonely and alone, like the little lady in Old Maid. It’s no wonder why so many of those girls grew up to be moms who put themselves, their needs and wants on the back burner.

But what if you redefined selfish, embraced a new viewpoint? In my work with executive moms, I have them do just that. And I want to offer you the same opportunity. Ready? Here it is:

Self-ish /selfiSH/

  1. Audaciously and with intention reconnecting to your authentic Self; a homecoming to the deepest and truest part of you
  2. Discovering and expressing your passions and creativity
  3. To be Self-centered when it comes to improving your health, increasing your energy and reducing stress

It’s all about perspective! And this one serves the people you love, your career and you…long-term. So by taking care of and honoring your deepest and truest Self, you inadvertently take care of everyone else too! You’re more energized, present, grounded and happy, which is what everyone wants.

Since you already have your calendar out, take a good look at it again. Be honest with yourself. Must you be the person to do it all? If you were being Selfish, what could you pass off to your spouse, friend or colleague? WARNING: this may involve relinquishing a bit of control and perfection.

So are you willing to see things differently? Will you allow yourself to be a bit more Selfish? Trust me, everyone will be glad you did.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about how to improve your work-life balance.

~Akanke

Akanke Adefunmi helps professional women shift from stress to success in their work-family-personal life. You are always invited to attend one of her free work-family-self balance webinars or join her monthly Working Moms Virtual Retreat. Follow her on Twitter, @Akanke_Adefunmi, Like her Facebook page, facebook.com/claimyourshero
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