It's a question I ask women a lot, it causes women to really look within themselves and decide if they really love who they are as a person, not a mother, not a daughter, friend, sister, etc. But really, love themselves as a human, a person.
We're told daily that we shouldn't be selfish, love your kids more than you love yourself. Love your partner more than you love yourself. Love your friends and strangers more than you love yourself. Of course, nobody says it like that. THAT would be mean. The demand to love others comes from the favors, charities, meals and the questions (god, the questions). Naturally, you love to take care of your family and friends, if you didn't, you wouldn't have a family (at least not one that likes you) or friends. There's something fulfilling about cooking a beautiful meal for your spouse and hearing how delicious it was. Or your kids actually saying thank you for cooking dinner and then eating a bite before saying 'yuck' for once (we're not looking for miracles here). It just feels so good to help others feel good. And then that beautiful meal is over and your meal is cold or you have to clean up the kitchen or the kids are being little jerks again, whatever it may be, however little the stresses are, it's still a stress and it still effects you. Can you relate? Maybe not that specific scenario but something similar?
It's the end of the day and the kids are in bed. The house is quiet. The animals are licking their paws loudly and your partner is holding the remote and maybe his balls. And your drained. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Everybody is happy in their place and the day is FINALLY over. Hang on. Wait. Stop. The day is over and not one mention of your happiness. Sure your husband came home and asked how the kids were today or how was work or whatever he asks. And you said the kids were fine, Sally drew a horse looking thing at school and Benny did a thing at soccer and Rover shit outside and Allen at the office didn't irritate the shit out of you with his gum smacking today. Routine stuff with routine answers. But the reality is, nobody asked about your day or your happiness or if there's anything you would like to do for yourself. You haven't showered in two and a half days (I really haven't), the gym membership you have isn't getting much use, etc, etc, etc,.
You have spent your entire day, almost every day, taking care of everyone around you except you. You're exhausted. You're feeling ugly. Your brain isn't working quite as well as it once did. Your nails are starting to look like eagle talons. Girl. Why? Why aren't you taking care of yourself? And I don't mean taking care of yourself to look good for others, I mean you're tank is running on empty and the oil needs a change but you're running on fumes and the oil is burning strong. You're so busy filling everyone else's love tank that you forget about filling your own.
If you are giving, giving, giving but never receiving, you're eventually going to run out of love to give. And then what? Then you're left with the same mouths to feed, bodies to hug, cheeks to kiss, homework to check and an empty feeling in your soul because you forgot to take care of yourself. There's nothing selfish about taking time out for you. You used to have hobbies that you pushed to the wayside in order to devote more time to your family. Pick up those hobbies again or find a new hobby. Take an hour everyday to take a shower and give yourself a facial with the door locked. Read a book, you used to love to read, pick up a book and devote an hour to reading every night, in the quiet with zero interruption. Ask your partner to take care of dinner and then don't complain when he gets take out or lets the kids eat cereal. Do something for YOU because YOU are important and YOU matter. Your kids and partner and animals and family will survive on their own for a couple hours, they may not like it but they'll get over it. You're not a servant. You're not a slave. You're a person and you are important.