This is a story of how I learned to put myself first. I hope you will enjoy reading it and that it will inspire you to take action to put yourself first.

At the end of this page, I have included a link to a free guided audio self-haling that will assist you in putting yourself first.

Putting others first means putting yourself last

In my younger years, I was a serial people-pleasing over-giver. I was convinced that I needed to prove my worth by making sure everyone around me had their needs met. 

I also had a fierce desire for my children, partner, and friends to know that they were loved.

One Sunday evening, after completing a weekend working a 48-hr shift as a nanny for a family with infant twins and a toddler, my teenaged daughter raced into our home making a beeline for the bathroom, ignoring me as I attempted to check in with her. She then raced straight for the refrigerator and began furiously scrounging for food. 

The 48-hr shift

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Isn’t it obvious?” She rolled her eyes at me, shoving a piece of cold food into her mouth, “I’m starving.”

“But don’t you take meal breaks?” I persisted.

“Oh my God, mom!” She gave a scoffing laugh with another exaggerated eye-roll, “I’m taking care of three babies! There’s no time for breaks.”

I experienced her words like a stab through the gut. My first thought was, “I’ve completely failed as a mother.”

My entire experience of motherhood flashed before my eyes.

– The hundreds of times I had eaten the cold scraps of leftovers from my children’s plates as I stood at the counter after feeding them dinner.

– The countless times I’d held my bladder to almost bursting because I was too busy taking care of someone else’s needs to take a toilet break.

– The ongoing sleep deprivation I endured because there just wasn’t enough time during the day to do all of the things that I thought needed doing in order for me to be a ‘good mom’ or a ‘good teacher’ or a ‘good friend’… this list of over-giving-sometimes to the point of depletion-could go on and on.

Modeling vs preaching

Here, all this time I had thought that I was showing my children how much I loved and cared about them. When, in reality, I was modeling a total lack of self-care. I did not put myself first, nor did I model it.

My children didn’t get the message that their needs were important. Instead, they got the message that other people’s needs mattered more than their own, because that is what I modeled.

They learned that they needed to jump through hoops to show other people how much they cared in order to prove their worth because that is what I modeled. And they learned how to put themselves last, to not even get to sit down long enough for a hot meal, to eat cold scraps, and to hold their bladder far too long, because that is what I modeled.

Time to put yourself first

Right there in that kitchen, I forgave myself for not knowing how to model self-love.

I made a commitment that I would begin doing it differently. I would learn how to Love myself, fully and completely, so that I could model it for everyone I touched.

From that day on,

  • I committed to sitting down to a hot meal and eating at a slow, leisurely pace.
  • I committed to taking toilet breaks whenever my body signaled the need.
  • I committed to scheduling self-care time for regular exercise, meditation, journaling, do nothing time, or whatever other kind of time I feel I need each week.
  • I committed to practicing radical self-love by putting myself first, which included learning how to say ‘no’ when something wasn’t in my highest good.

Now, I put my own needs first. I fill my own cup and give from the overflow.

The benefits of putting yourself first have proven to be not only in my own highest good, but also in the highest good of everyone in my life.

I’m a better mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend in every way, because I show up well-rested, well-fed, well-nurtured, and fully loved. All of which supports me to be fully present and available to the people I most care about.

Put yourself first. It is not selfish, it’s caring.

Put yourself first – free audio healing

To assist you in putting yourself first I have recorded a guided self-healing. It is freely available on facebook

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