I am a selfish mother. And I am completely OK with that.
Last weekend we went out-out. We left the kids with their grandparents, and headed into London where we had a lovely lunch at a grown-up restaurant.
This was a restaurant where kids did not exist. There was not a kids’ menu. There was no high chairs. There was no baby changing facility. There were no kiddie-friendly colouring sections of the menu to remind me of how very selfish I was being.
We then went to the Belowzero Ice Bar. Again, there were no kids. No soft play corner. No juice boxes. No toddler-friendly snacks.
It felt seriously indulgent. We were sipping on champagne cocktails, enjoying lovely wine and sampling delicious food, spending money that of course could have been spent on doing something with our kids.
This is not the only instance of me being a selfish mother.
Sometimes I ask them to play on their own when I have other stuff to do.
Sometimes I allow them to be bored because I want to sit on my arse and read a book.
Sometimes I check Instagram while the kids are playing at the park, or soft play.
Sometimes I eat chocolate out of my secret stash while the kids are distracted. To be fair, I see this as a selfless case of protecting them from childhood obesity.
I read all of these things and my instinct is that I should feel bad about this. Not giving all of my attention to my kids 100 per cent of the time? Quick, call social services.
But, do I feel bad? No. I don’t.
I know I am a good mother. I put the vast majority of my time every single day into making my children happy and healthy.
I take them swimming, to the park, on long walks, to soft play and shopping for treats. We do crafts at home, I let them choose what we watch on television, I always say yes to another cuddle.
I wash their clothes, I cook their food, I care for them when they’re ill, I changing their beds, I bathe them, I make sure they get to bed on time and have a good, healthy night of sleep.
I am happy to do these things for them, but I know that I am way way happier doing these things for them if I get to be a little selfish every now and then.
That means that if a chance to go out for lunch without kids arises, I take it whenever I can.
If you are currently in the thick of the newborn days, or trapped at home with zero childcare, those opportunities to be selfish are probably few and far between.
However, you do need to find the opportunity to be selfish, even if in just the teeny, tiniest of ways.
Eat the last piece of cake.
Take an extra long shower while your other half watches the baby.
Watch This Morning while your little one entertains themselves on the floor.
We’re trained to believe selfishness is a negative thing. I think that doing things for yourself is actually the total opposite. Take care of you, and you will take care of your children far better.
So after reading this, I hope you’ll find a way to put yourself first this week. Put yourself first not just because it’s Mother’s Day in a week, but do it because you bloody deserve it. And you need it.
If being a selfish mother every now and then is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!