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Learning to be selfish as a way to be great parents

Guest post by Hannah Miles

When life isn’t going to plan, it can be easy to slip into feeling that things are just not going to get any better - especially when you’re faced with issues that seem out of your control, such as the health of your children (or a global pandemic!).

After our son William was diagnosed with autism, aged 2, I experienced a deep depression.

It wasn’t just the result of William’s diagnosis and the grief I felt for the loss of the future I’d imagined for my family.

For two years, William’s behaviour had been really challenging for us, even when he was very little he would scream Add to this a difficult pregnancy with my second child, my onset of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, and later, the diagnosis of a developmental delay for our second son Edward.

I lost all hope.

I felt that nothing good was ever going to happen for my family. I felt completely overwhelmed, and I lost the will to live.

But somehow, amongst the chaos that our lives had become, I chose myself.

'I chose myself'. Photo credit: Giulia Bertelli

This translated into deciding to let go of the negative mindset I had developed:

*I chose to see the good in our lives.

*I chose to look past the negatives and appreciate each of the gains my boys made – no matter how small they were.

*I chose to investigate ways to live a healthier lifestyle.

*In other words, I chose a positive mindset, and I haven’t looked back.

And mindset is definitely a choice.

Anyone can choose to focus on the positives and anticipate happiness, health and success – and be much better for it.

And it all starts with being selfish.

I was taught you have to work hard - and many hours - to achieve anything. And to be kind to others and help others first.

Not a bad message right?

But what if most of us go through life conditioned by media, and our society, to thinking it’s not OK to take time for ourselves?

Or that to follow your dream, and not work in a 9-5 proper job, means you’re lazy.

Or that taking a day to rest and look after yourself means you must feel guilty.

God forbid a weekend to yourself away from the kids!

When we are building a career and/or when we have children, often our individual needs go out the window, and we believe that to be a good parent, or employee, we must sacrifice being who we were or really are; and careers or dreams get put aside to just get shit done.

I lost my sense of self and had no idea who I was after having my kids, I threw everything into being a mum, and healing my boys, that I forgot to care for and love myself.

I was just a mum and not doing a great job of it because I wasn’t caring for my needs.

Slowly I have clawed back a great sense of self and refuse to do, say or be , anything that compromises that.

And let me tell you something: I have become a better mother in the process.

Learning to be selfish as a way to be great parents. Photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie

My suggestion is to put yourself first instead of always putting others' happiness, or their comfort, above your own - even your kids.

Does that sound bad to you?

Let me clarify: This does not mean being rude to people. No. Be generous and caring, as these are the essence of life.

It also doesn’t mean you cannot be a great parent, or friend. Yes, you will still have to feed and change your baby, and connect with your child, and nurture your relationships.

But by looking after yourself fully - that is, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, energetically - you will have loads left over to share.

Stop the conditioning crap and excuses and be selfish for once!

Add a positive mindset and you will have the knowing that anything is possible.

It will also give you the freedom to look creatively at the challenges you face, and find solutions that a negative mindset - or being exhausted, triggered and depressed - may have not allowed you to see.

This way of being will also give you an opportunity to see the help being offered by others, and to truly embrace it.

It is time.

Hannah Miles is the founder of Nourish To Health. She is a Keynote Speaker and Detoxification and Mindset Coach for ASD Families Worldwide.

Hannah’s purpose is to use her own struggles and the tools she has learnt to support families with love.

Hannah guides mothers to prioritise themselves with practical life tools that are easy to use, with little time and energy, so they can create a higher vibration life.


Support Group for Detoxification with Mindset Practices:

Instagram: @nourish_to_health


Youtube channel:

struggles and the tools she has learnt to guide and support families with love. Coll

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