The Thin Line Between Selfish And Selfless

The hardest thing about being a wife and mother is figuring out where you end, and your family begins. It’s like, as soon as two become one, and then two becomes three, four, and five, we wake up and realize that we are only one fifth of the person we used to be.

We have new loves, and the things that we used to love are suddenly the source of our greatest guilt.

We feel bad for sleeping in. We blame ourselves for not doing enough for our families. And we squeeze time with our friends into the spaces between loads of laundry, grocery shopping, and carpools.

This is not me complaining–I know I am blessed. This is me observing that moms have a hard time defining boundaries.

I know I do. And I’ve talked to enough mom friends to know that I’m not alone.

This is why I am such a huge proponent of yoga for moms. It helps us accept that taking care of ourselves is not selfish…it’s actually the most selfless thing we can do.

Yoga keeps us grounded in reality. Regular practice teaches us to observe our thoughts, determine which ones are valid, and reject the ones that are false. It also makes us stronger, wiser, and more flexible…literally and figuratively.

We ultimately learn to flip the question. Instead of:

Is it selfish to take time away from my family to work out?

we find ourselves thinking:

How could I not work out? My family needs me to live a long, happy, healthy life.

We must put the oxygen masks on ourselves first, if we hope to support our families when they need us the most.

The truth is that sometimes I still feel guilty asking for a hall pass to go to yoga. I am thankful, however, that yoga has taught me to observe that thought, without reacting to it. It comes and it goes, and reminds me that choosing to fortify myself is the most selfless thing I can do.

IMG_9149 copyMy girls are the reason I practice yoga every day…

so I can be the fun mom who wants to ride the Alpine Slide in a dress!

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4 thoughts on “The Thin Line Between Selfish And Selfless

  1. A young mum has been coming to my classes twice a week since May. It’s been a joy to watch her transformation. She had never done yoga before but has taken to it like a duck to water and practices at home too. Her kids are 1, 3 and 5. She says she told her husband yoga twice a week was vital to keep her sane and happy and he can see how much benefit it is so he’s happy to get in from work and take over tea, baths and bed on class evenings.

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  2. Thanks for sharing, braithe an’ lithe! It sounds like you have some pretty amazing students. They are blessed to have you as their teacher!

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  3. Jen D says:

    I am still trying to find a yoga class/instructor that feels right in my new home. Not as many options like in CA. But working on it! 🙂 I need that deep breathing and mind body sync time.

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    • Jen, check out YogaGlo. It’s a great way to practice at home, and they have tons of options. Let me know if I can help you find a studio in your new home..always happy to help!

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