Why You Need to Live for Yourself too and Not Just for Your Kids

in #ecotrain4 years ago

As parents, we often feel obligated to do everything for our kids and give them the best of everything. While this is great and I definitely relate to this feeling as my world does revolve around my son, I have now realized the importance of living for yourself as well and taking it easy on yourself when it comes to parenting.

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Yes, we need to look after our babies and work hard to cover their basic needs and to provide them with a good lifestyle, but that should not be our only goal. We need to live for ourselves too and when I say that, I really mean it. What I have seen in most parents here is that they word arduously, day in and day out for their kids and family and think about only themselves.

Not only do they do that, they also say it out aloud and make their kids feel that too. Honestly speaking, I did that previously as well. I was working late at night and when my son asked me why I wasn’t sleeping, I told him I had to work hard to make sure I give him a good life and to fulfill all his wishes. There is nothing wrong in saying that really, but that’s when you don’t look at the long-term effects of this behavior.

When we keep thinking that we are working hard and living a tough life to give our family a better lifestyle and to make sure we give our kids a bright future, we rewire our brain to think that way. Day in and day out, we feed this exact suggestion into our brain and when something is repeated, it turns into a strong belief. So by constantly saying that we live for our kids, we nurture this belief too. As we age, this belief grows stronger and our never ending struggle to live for our kids and keep them happy keeps growing as well.

You may think that it is alright to nurture this belief. I felt the same too. However, there have been some experiences in my life currently that have now forced me to think otherwise.

When we grow older, we are mostly not left with a lot of energy to do things that we used to and live life the way we used to. We then want time from our loved ones and since we feel the closest to our kids, they are on top of the list. (I am referring to most of the people; this may not be true for some people.) At that time, we start associating a lot of our expectations with our kids and not just when we grow old, even when we are young parents, we do happen to expect a lot from our kids.

While we want our kids to do and behave the way we want to, they may not agree with us. They are likely to think differently, feel differently, nurture different beliefs and make different decisions in life because they have had exposure to situations and experiences different than you. So your child is a different person than you are and that is perfectly alright. However, when he/ she does not do as we want and chooses to hold a different belief, that may hurt us. Not only do we feel hurt, we may feel betrayed as well. We feel pained because we see them going against us. We do not realize that they are different individuals and can think differently. However, we feel that because we have done a lot for them and have killed ourselves for their well-being, they owe it to us to think, feel and behave like we wanted them too. This is rooted in the belief I talked about earlier.

Because we have taught ourselves to think that whatever we do is for our kids and then act accordingly, we feel this gives us the right to own them and because we have that right, we can force them to do anything we want. This I feel is completely wrong and needs to be stopped. We do not own our kids and can never own anybody really and we need to stop feeling that. We need to live for ourselves too and stop feeding the wrong suggestions that whatever we do is for our kids to our mind. Because if we don’t work on this now, we will forever become victimized by this belief and keep nurturing the need to own our kids.

I have seen many people suffer from this desire and live miserably. When they don’t see their kids behaving like they want or spending as much time as they want with them, they feel hurt, betrayed and lost and then they start nurturing bitter feelings for their kids. If you are a parent, I ask you to please live for yourself also. Use your earnings to pursue things you want and focus on your happiness as well and not just that of your kids. Yes, when your kids are happy, you feel happy too but that’s just one way of being happy. Focus on things that bring you happiness only as well and engage in them every once in a while. I am doing that now and honestly, I feel a lot more positive than before. Not only that, but living for yourself and changing your belief that whatever hard work you do is because of your kids, you free your mind of undue stress and let go of the huge pressure you unconsciously place on your kids to conform to your values. This feeling is great for sure.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Looking forward to having some interesting conversation on this one.

Love and light,

Sharoon.


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I'm not only upvoting. I shared this on other social media. So many parents are afraid to admit that it absolutely sucks to simply becomes a slave to fiat currency for the bare minimum needs and never actually "be there" for your family. Individuals wind up having to work so hard to pay bills because we no longer keep the family unit together and work as a cohesive unit sharing responsibilities. We no longer provide our needs, we voluntarily slave for them. Well, that's changing. We are breeding a new generation that is returning to old values and old lifeways that are far more effective at facilitating happiness than this capitalistic, consumerist droning. Thanks for standing up and shining your beacon of hope for humanity. I see you found @ecotrain too. I just delegated a little yesterday. Watch for my 👁❤️ posts, I'm sure you'll like them. I'd also like to tag you in my next #discussion post in a week or so. Hope that's cool. I'm a stay home Mr. Mom of 2 unschooled kids. See you on discord sometime.

I am so glad you found this worthy of reading and sharing. Means a lot to me. I feel as parents, we put enormous pressure on ourselves and that pressure in turn makes us pressurize our kids. I wish it does stop sometime. I am trying to bring that difference in my life at least. Looking forward to be a part of your discussions and to talking to you in discord.

Hi, I loved your post. It caught my attention because I think the same. I do not have children, but I am a daughter, so, for some time now I have noticed a debt that our children must have with our parents, which rather than helping the children's growth and independence, generates anxiety, guilt (for not doing what parents want) frustration (because you do not achieve your own dreams, if not what your parents want) and a lot of dependency. I think that now with all the information you have, these parenting paradigms are changing. I tell you that it would make me happier to see my mom grow up and be in all areas of her life and her dreams, than to see her enslaved to her children. When I have my children I plan to do it differently, everything has its moment and the children, although they are part of your life, are not the universe of your life. I have seen many mothers saying that they only live for their children, I think that this is wrong, they must live for themselves, because in the end they are individuals with needs, dreams, goals.
I have thought about this for a long time, even from a very young age. I do not complain about anything my mom has done for me, I just think (with great respect) I would do it differently. I wish you could do this post in Spanish, I've shared it on Facebook but my followers are Latino, we hope this message reaches many more people. Thank for saying it!

Thank you so much for this beautiful comment. You are so right about everything. My mother too feels that one needs to live for her children only because that's what she did and barely has a life of her own which I think isn't fair to her. I don't know Spanish but maybe I could do a translation.

Try to do it and I'll help you correct it, you can write me by discord whenever you want. Thanks to you

Great advice!

Thank you. :)

i agree with every word you have said...how are we supposed to make people around us happy if we are not happy with ourself...
Children really are dependent on their parents...emotionally also...

Yeah you are right but this cycle needs to be slowed down if not stopped completely.

I agree that we need to live for ourselves and our kids. We also need to take care of ourselves so we can always take care of others. It's troublesome getting sick and no one will take care of your kids. It is the same as not living your life well for the betterment of your kids future and yours.

Yes you are very right. Being there for yourself needs to be our priority too along with being there for our kids. Thanks for stopping by :)

My husband and I decided not to have kids, because I have a genetic disease that would be passed to my female offspring. As far as the discussion on your thoughts on parenting go, I agree with your way of thinking as stated in this article!

So sorry...but you can have male ones...

It's not something you can actually choose, though.

Yeah you cannot make that choice without the intervention of technology and maybe thy don't want that.

Yeah....they are the best judge regarding this matter...All we others can do is have best wishes for them...

You are such a strong woman! More power to you and thank you for this lovely comment. :)

Because we have taught ourselves to think that whatever we do is for our kids and then act accordingly, we feel this gives us the right to own them and because we have that right, we can force them to do anything we want.

I see this a lot, and it bothers me so much. My parents never pressured me like this, and I hate to see others feel this crushing obligation to be what their parents want, even if it doesn't make them happy. I'm glad you recognized and have started to change this thought pattern in yourself. I can only hope that more follow this idea! ❤️

Aww thank you so much. This is so heart warming. I wish you did get re-assurance from your parents, but you know, life isn't always how we want it to be. It takes a lot of courage to share your personal stuff with others so thank you for being so strong. <3

My parents were lovely, and encouraged me to pursue what I wanted, and I'm very grateful to them. I just wish all of my friends could have had such a loving experience!

Oh okay. My bad for not understanding it properly. Glad you received love from them. :)

No worries, and thanks!

Finally someone pointed the issue. Kids become the number one priority automatically when we step into parenthood. We try everything to give them comfort and best of things in life. Meanwhile we have to think about ourselves too. It could be anything from pursuing dreams to activities we used to like before kids.
Simple example from daily life, I find comfort in reading books and going on walks with my husband. After my son born, I almost forgot these things. I was always busy in taking care of him 24/7. When depression started to set in, I realized what's lacking. It wasn't that I didn't find happiness with my kid. I just needed ME-Time from time to time. So I continued with my book reading habit. And we leave our son with our parents sometimes to go for a little walk like old times. It seems an insignificant thing to do, but believe me I can't explain how refreshing my soul becomes for days.

You are doing a wonderful thing by taking out time for yourself and for your husband. This is great. I used to do a bit of it when my son was younger but not much and felt miserable mostly because of that. Fortunately, my beliefs and ways of raising my son have changed for the better. I give him a lottt of quality time, but I try to give myself some of that quality time as well.

I think being a parent is one of the most difficult things one could do. Perhaps made so much more so by societal expectations (or even self made ones) to raise the perfect kid, who will be a little version of yourself. But that's not how life works. Children are their own people. Guidance, love (for your kids and for yourself), and genuine care and consideration help. These things matter more than money, more than throwing all the consumerist goods at them. And perhaps also being present within ourselves. Great post :)

Being a parent is the toughest thing I ever had to do, but you know what it is doable especially if you let go of the societal expectations like you said. Such wonderful advice you gave above. Thank you so much!

Everytime I read your post, I always think this "I hope I can meet you in person one day".

Real and genuine sharing.

I will also learn to live for myself because sometimes I felt I owe it to my son when I gave birth to him with a congenital disease. So anything happen to him, I feel bad and I try to live my life just for him.

Thank God my husband tries to help me in this - to live life for myself too so he arranged someone from church to also learn all the skills needed to take care of Jansen, so that I can have moments that I can live for myself.

This is a great reminder for me. Glad i found your post.

-hugs-

Aww the feeling is mutual! I so want to meet you and a lot of other lovely people I found here. That's so nice of your husband to understand your needs and be there for you. So happy to hear that. :) Love for you.

Thank you for sharing this. As mum to two young children it is very easy to get caught up working for their future and not spending enough time to teach them values. Our children only really need us for a short time and if we miss the window it's gone. I also do believe that children are able to grow up to be a more wholesome individual when their parents are happy and whole. But if I am always tired and unhappy and the marriage relationship is not good then they grow up wondering if something is wrong. So yeah sometime just aking a step back helps to bring this perspective to mind. I am glad I found your post.

Very well said! Our children do need our attention and happiness because when we are happy, we can keep them happy and teach them the right things too. Thank you so much for this lovely comment and reading my post. :)

From my own experience I have learnt that a happy parent is far more important than killing yourself to provide the absolute best things for your children. At the end of the day your kids need you and your love and happiness, they don't really care about all the stuff. Happy parent = Happy children.

Yeah they care about stuff because we make them care about it. They can do alright without the stuff really like you said. Great comment! Thanks a lot. <3

So very true. It's hard on the parent. Then the child feels the burden of guilt. It's important to do for our children because we really want to do for them and not because we feel obligated. And when we want to do something nice for ourselves, that is incredibly important as well. I really need to do more of that.

Like anything in life its a balance. A balance between a perception of selfishness and being selfless. And ultimately the balance provides more benefits to sitting at each end of the spectrum for both the parents and the kids. In a perfect world one would align their interests so that living for oneself and living for your kids are in fact one and the same. This is hard to do with traditional week long 9-5 jobs. In cultures where this is not the norm there is less of a sense having to go to 'work' for the kids, rather the kids simply form part of day to day life.

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