Monday, March 4, 2013

Why being selfish makes you a good parent

I know many will not agree with this post, but these are my thoughts and feelings :)

These days it seems so many kids are just given things without earning them. They are never made to deal with their problems, and clean up their own messes. They're babied way past the infant stage.

I adore my kids and I love being a mother, but I will not baby my kids. I will not clean up all their messes. I will not do things for them that they can do themselves....or that they should be learning to do themselves. If this makes me a bad mother in your eyes, then there's nothing I can do to change that.

I know some some people may consider me a selfish person. I do things all by myself. I enjoy being alone, or just me and my husband. We like doing things without our kids. We spend money on ourselves. I like to wear nice clothes. I have hobbies I buy things for. I take a dance class. My husband likes to work on his hot rod and golf. It doesn't mean we love our kids any less by not spending every spare dime on them (Cause trust me, they have PLENTY!) I think it shows them a good example of making sure you cultivate your relationship with your spouse and also that you need to take time for yourself and treat yourself. I want my kids to grow up and know it's okay to do things just for them. Not all the time, but spoiling yourself is okay. More than okay. It's a necessary part of life. I think we're happier people, and happier parents, because we allow ourselves to still be us as individuals and as a couple. And I think that's a great example for kids.

I won't do things for my kids. I mean, yeah, if it's something they physically cannot do, I do it, but most things, I make them do themselves. My daughter is almost 10. She can get her own beverages, her own snacks. I don't need to do that for her anymore. She can clean her own room. She can hang up her own coat. Though I do fold the laundry, she has to put hers all away. But I'm sure soon that will change! LOL! When it comes to school work, she must do it all on her own. I won't help, other than to try and explain things and help her come up with the answer on her own. I never spell words for her if she asks. I say "How do you think it's spelled?" And she'll tell me. If it's wrong, I help her sound it out and figure it out on her own. (Cause let's face it, the english language is pretty damn confusing sometimes!) I think too many kids are waited on hand and foot. I want my kids to be mature responsible people...not lazy bums who will always expect to be waited on. And hopefully my example will show them they should not be the one waiting on people either.

I truly believe when a parent does too much for their kids, they are providing them a serious disservice. I feel my job as a parent, after love and affection, is to prepare my kids for their life. I can only shelter them for so long. There will come a time when they will need to survive on their own. It's my job to give them the skills to aid in that. And learning by example and experience is the only true way to learn anything.


  1. I agree all the way. When my kids were in 1st and 3rd grade, I started letting them make their own lunch (with a little looking over their shoulder to make sure some good things went in the lunchbox!). Hubby thought I was mean...of course, here he was still having me make HIS lunch. LOL. But my kids were/are fine with it. In fact, in 6th grade my daughter came to me laughing because a girl in her class complained about the lousy lunch her mom made. My daughter was like, "Well, then make your own lunch! You're a big girl." Heh.

    I knew a lady whose kids had never done laundry in their lives. And when they went out of state to college, they were in a world of hurt. Now who did she help out by doing it for them all those years?

    1. Exactly!!!! My daughter gets her own breakfast in the AM, and she's in 4th. I do make her lunch, but mainly because she takes cheese and lunch meat (like a lunchable-she hates the cheese that comes with lunchables!) and I am not comfortable with her using a sharp knife yet! LOL! She can be kinda klutzy sometimes.

    2. Piper, I sympathize with being called mean. I've been called that by adults who saw me not coddling my sons. They are still young, kinder and 1st, but I've noticed that when I baby them, they act more like babies. When I treat them as though I believe they can be big kids and take care of themselves, they're more likely to do it. I still love and act silly with them and all that, but babying doesn't help. And now, I've noticed that they want to do things on their own. They want to get their own snack, for example. I guess that mean I'm on the right track. We'll see how they turn out in 15-20 years to know for sure. :)

    3. Good for you Laura! I am not a parent, but I like most women are married to a man whose mother did nearly everything for him... Hence I have had to be hard on him, getting him to do household chores - women shouldn't be totally responsible for the house. We perpetuate the lazy man, we molly coddle boys and then when they are older we wonder why partners / husbands are lazy and act like five year olds.

  2. Stephanie, I think this is a healthy parenting perspective. Our job as parents is to teach our children how to be healthy, productive adults. And I would not call this selfish. I would call it teaching them responsibility and self-discipline, necessary aspects of a good life. If a parent is always "selfless" he or she only increases the general amount of selfishness in the world.

    Thanks for taking a stand on this.

  3. It's NOT selfish to do things for yourself. I spend lots of money on my zumba classes and my hubby & I do stuff alone all the time. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't be the best parent you can be.

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