Selfish is a word that I’ve seen, felt and heard lately.
- A provider told a client to not be selfish and choose what’s best for the baby when choosing where to birth.
- I found myself feeling selfish for my self-care practices.
- A fellow business owner posted about how we all need to be more selfish.
There are so many mixed messages for us. It’s important to take care of ourselves, but to what extent? How far are we ‘allowed’ to go in our self-care? Till it makes someone else uncomfortable? Till someone says you’re being selfish?
In my opinion, there is nothing selfish about wanting the birth you want. It’s YOUR birth, not your care providers, doula’s, partner’s, family member’s or anyone else’s.
There is nothing selfish about caring for yourself, making sure your needs are met, especially when you are caring for others. Whether those others are brand new humans, partners, clients or anyone else. My therapist says that if your needs aren’t met, you can’t give to others without risking resentment.
There is a difference in setting boundaries to care for ourselves and being selfish, I’m not sure I know where that is for me yet, but I am working on finding it. When do you feel selfish? Is this something you’ve run into?
In watching new parents, I find a lot of them forget about caring for themselves except on the most basic level. We have needs beyond food, sleep and shelter to keep ourselves filled up to serve others. We need touch, words of encouragement, receiving gifts (more than just presents), acts of service, and quality time with our community. (Anyone else love the 5 Love Languages?!) There are many things we need to feed our minds, bodies, and souls, and we all find fulfillment in different ways.
In a world without an immediate community, getting these needs met by people besides our partners can be hard. Establishing good care for ourselves is important, whether that means getting massages, abhyangas, having a doula, getting postpartum help or just planning for people to visit you. Please don’t feel selfish for getting your needs met, the world is a better place when we are all filled up and able to give and connect to each other.