I have three sons and three grandsons. I am a therapist and talk about boundaries and meeting needs with people all day. You would think I would get this. But what I found this past week that with my family I am slipping into old patterns. Patterns like thinking only of what they would like, of what would make them happy. Is my family asking this of me? NO! Would they roll their eyes if they knew what I was feeling? YES!
And so I am left with just me and my lessening but still- there- feelings of I must take care of everyone or at least think of them before I do anything.. Certainly, a very common experience for many mothers and grandmothers. So let’s first all admit our problem. Then let’s commit to acting in healthier ways.
It is OK for us to do nice things for ourselves. What makes you happy? For me it is going for a bike ride. My bike needs to be repaired right now and I haven’t taken it to the shop because I have been pre-occupied with doing for my family. Ridiculous! I am going to commit to taking the bike in so that I can have some fun just for me.
What is fun for you? Reading a book? Going for a walk? Going out with girlfriends? Whatever it is commit to doing that at least once a week.
We all have lots to do. We all love our families. But the reality is that if you fall apart, you can’t help anyone. The reality also is that if you don’t do fun things for yourself you are going to get grouchy or depressed and take it out on the people you love.
The first step to solving a problem is admiting there is a problem. If you find yourself always gettingthe short-end of the stick, admit the problem is YOU and find some ways to feel special and happy.