5 Ways to Put Yourself First: I Personally Use #2

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This past weekend I enjoyed a night out by myself at a lovely restaurant.  While there, I watched as a mom sat at an adjacent table and never took a bite of her meal.  She instead fed or tried to feed her two-year old, while what looked to be her five or six year old and husband enjoyed their meals.  My food had come and gone while mom sat with a plate of food growing increasingly cold and pushed toward the middle of the table.  Dad and the older child were finished and watched as mom wrestled to get some semblance of nutrition into the stubborn toddler.

I wanted to go over and offer some assistance, but couldn’t from the shock of the father doing absolutely nothing to aid his wife.  The mom finally gave up trying to feed the child and gave him a bottle in which he happily took and was content.  Mom could now eat her cold dinner.

This whole scenario got me to thinking about how we as women, especially moms, tend to put ourselves last when it should be just the opposite.  I watched as my mom sacrificed her needs for the needs of her kids and I did it for my son, but does that make it right?

wornshoesI can remember wearing well-worn or as I call them “run over” shoes because I could only afford to buy one pair of shoes that month, so my son got the new pair of shoes The next month it was a something else that caused me not to get a new pair of shoes.  I also remember getting stuck with a rogue safety pin that I used to pin up a bra that was years old.  I would wash the same bra out day after day for years before I bought another one. Nevermind that I had pulled out all the wires and that it no longer supported my breasts.

Whether it is taking that relative to work that missed the bus because they overslept (which is not your problem by the way) or saying yes to yet another project at work; we as women often neglect ourselves.  The nurturer in a woman often renders us incapable of putting our needs before others.

LOI-Oxygen-MaskIf you have flown before, you can recall the instructions from the flight attendant to first put on your oxygen mask and then that of your child.  I would bet you my last nickel that many mothers will put the child’s mask on first.  So if you are passed out from lack of oxygen, who will the child depend on then?




Since no one wants to be sick or die, here are some ways to put yourself first.

1.  Just say “NO” sometime.  I will be the first to admit that saying no can be hard, but you can’t do everything or help everyone.  Trying to will only serve to make you frustrated, tired and utterly unhappy.  Now since you can’t do it all, assign tasks to those that are able.  Whether it is picking up the kids after practice, cooking dinner, or washing the dishes after dinner, make sure that everyone has a task to do so that everything isn’t on your plate.

2.    Allow phone calls to roll over to voicemail.  Answering the phone all the time can be exhausting, especially when there is always a crisis on the other end.  Let the call go to voicemail.  If it is important the caller will leave a message saying something like “call me back it’s an emergency.”  You will learn when it is and when it isn’t, depending on the caller.

3.    Leave the office on time for once.  ‘Nuff said.

4.    Assess your needs first.  Look at what you need mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically to survive.  If you are deficient, how can you give to anyone else?  You are no good to anyone sick or worse yet….dead.

5.    Decide that you will have some “ME” time and just take it!  Meditate, read that article or book you never got around to reading, or just take a power nap. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for it.


 How do you put yourself first?  Let me know in the comment section.

[Ian Coat Art & Illustrations]




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