Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Sense of Entitlement

Recently a friend gave me a gift. With the gift came a note saying "This is for you, no one else. You deserve to have nice things too." It was a note only a mom would write to another mom, because we know the score: when you're a mom everyone else comes first, not because they insist but because we do. We do it to ourselves. We don't buy food the kids dislike, we watch the TV shows they like,we chose Hunger Games at the book store over that new book for adults we've been wanting to read.

This week in a cruel move, Hollywood is bringing out my two favorite movies of last year in the same week : The Hobbit and Les Miserables. If I don't have enough money for both come payday guess which one we will get? It wont be the one with Hugh Jackman, but the one with dwarves and wizards that everyone in the house will like.

Some of this adjusting of priorities is a normal part of maturing, becoming spouses and parents, in a word growing up. But as moms we tend to carry it too far. We are the last in our houses to get anything and we feel guilty if we do something that only benefits ourselves. 

Last month I bought a new winter coat. If you saw the hideous yellow jacket it replaced, which my kids mockingly referred to as the Big Bird coat,you would understand this was hardly a luxury purchase. I went to a local department store's winter clearance sale (held several months before winter actually clears out of Ohio) and found a nice coat on sale. So why do I feel obligated to explain to everyone that compliments it that I needed it desperately, that I practically got it for free, and so on? "You know," says another friend of mine, "you don't have to apologize for having nice things. You work hard, you deserve it."

"I deserve this." " I am entitled to this." Even "I need this."  These are hard things for most moms to say. We find fulfillment in sacrificing for our families and going without ourselves. We think of the long list of house repairs, child needs, splurges the whole family would enjoy, and so forth and we place ourselves at the bottom of the priority list.  But sometimes we find our families would prefer if we were a little selfish.  Before I bought the new coat I didn't realize how much the kids hated the old canary yellow $5.00 at the discount store Big Bird jacket, until they ceremoniously disposed of it, with one holding the trash bag open while the other threw it in. "It was so yellow mom" said my son shaking his head.

I was thinking about all this when I bought my Keurig coffeemaker last month.  We had a coffeepot already, so this was a luxury not a necessity. But I had wanted one for awhile. We set it up in the living room for now since there wasn't room in the kitchen, and I like to look over there and see it even when I'm not using it, a visible reminder that sometimes its enough that mom wants something, and there's no need to apologize or explain.

So moms, all together now: I DESERVE THIS!






34 comments:

  1. I'm not a mom, but I totally agree that moms deserve things, too. And not just things that they need, but things that they want. Congratulations on buying yourself a Keurig!

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    1. Thanks Bee. Of course anyone can fall into this sort of relationship trap but moms seem especially vulnerable.

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  2. Good for you, you do deserve it!

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  3. You deserve it all! My espresso machine was one of my best purchases EVER!

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    1. Thanks Stacie. Expresso is great too. We all need something a little above basic. A frill..

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  4. Of all the things a mom deserves, a nice coffeemaker is definitely top priority! I hope you continue to treat yourself to the things you deserve. :)

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  5. Oh, man, this post made me smile!! I have been thinking so much about this very topic lately. I have only been a mom 18 months, and I'm still adjusting to where the line is between my wants and taking care of my child. Compellingly written. (I even mouthed the words to myself! lol!)

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    1. Thank you. I've been thinking abiut it for a while, cause I notice uts a common thing among moms even with adult children.

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  6. I shared your post with "The Oxygen Mask Project," a group of bloggers who focus on reminding special needs parents to make sure that they take care of themselves, too. I know they will appreciate this story, especially that last sentence.

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    1. Thank you cynk, I am both flattered and honored, Special needs parents are heroes to me.

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  7. It can be so hard! Glad you are encouraging others and also learning to do this for yourself. I want your Keurig. :)

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    1. It is hard. At least once a day I think of practical things I should have bought instead. Then I go make myself some coffee and its all good again.

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  8. After so many years of putting everyone else's needs ahead of my own it's difficult for me to do those kinds of things too.

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    1. It is difficult isn't it? We really have to work at self appteciation.

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  9. I hope you get a lot of joy out of the coat AND the Keurig!

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    1. Thanks Daffodil, I think I will.

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  10. Word! I just ordered myself a necklace that I've wanted forever. Because I wanted it. And I'm not going to apologize for it.

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    1. And you shouldn't apologize. Rock that necklace.

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  11. I feel glad for you, that you know doing things for yourself is good for everyone. :)

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    1. It took me a long time to get there Natalie, but I'm working at it.

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  12. One of my favorite quotes along these lines is "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."

    Thanks for the reminder that we are worth it!

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    1. That's an excellent quote Dawn, sums the situation up perfectly.

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  13. This post makes me kick myself for ever tormenting my mom on her clothes/hair/lack of makeup when I was a tween/teen. If I only knew then, what she went through to provide for us. Good thing I let her know ALL THE TIME now how much I appreciate her.

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    1. I don't think I ever realized back then all my mom (and dad) went without either. I have a book that my parents rewrapped and passed between them Christmasses that they couldn't afford to shop for each other, a perfect symbol of parental sacrifice.

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  14. I ordered a comfy pair of yoga pants today and not only because my other pair was pilling and faded. Well maybe but I wanted them. Such an important message. And we moms should take care and support our other mom friends.

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    1. We do need to look after and support each other Gina. I bought that winter coat even though the zipper still worked on the Big Bird Coat. Sometimes you need to fix something even if it isn't broke yet, just because.

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  15. So true! I think it happens to all of us. It's a hard habit to break too. Good for you. I love the idea of a Keurig in the living room!

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    1. We call it the altar of Caffeina. The Keurig and all the little K cups on the table, under a picture a friend drew for me.

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  16. Moms do have a tendency to forget themselves. That Keurig in your living room will now remind you always to take care of yourself.

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    1. Exactly what I had in mind Anne.

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