February 25, 2014

Deserving a Break

I frequent parent advice articles. Every time my children reach new milestones, or are going thru a new struggle, I can't help but to research every different opinion available to see how to best deal with the situation.

One thing that really bothers me is the "you deserve it" angle that almost every single article tries to shove down parents' throats. Make sure during XYZ struggle, you take some time for yourself... you deserve it! It's a very effective advertising campaign as well: the "you deserve to buy our product or to spend money with us" angle. Come, stay at our hotel. Come, get a massage. Come, buy yourself new cloths. Come, get your hair done, after all, you deserve it!

Really? What have I done that is so monumental that I need to reward myself like a little child. I give my daughter treats when she does something good. Not because she deserves them, but because it reinforces a good behavior that I'm trying to teach her. We, the parents, are adults. We should not have to reinforce our good behavior with a reward. We should just 'be good' because we know that it is whats best for ourselves and our family.

I often find people giving me verbal reinforcements for being a good mom. Although I appreciate the thought behind this, and it does validate the work I do, it again raises the question of what we deserve. I feel like if I do a good job being home with my kids, I shouldn't get a reward. Being a good mom/wife/etc should be the bare minimum of my life.

Sometimes there are things that I need. There are times that I need a break. By need, I mean if I don't have a break soon, my ability to do my job will decrease. Does needing a break mean that I need a vacation? No. Does needing time alone require money? Nope. Needing a a break can be fulfilled by a shower, a book, a run, or writing in a blog.

Let's get rid of the entitlement. The "I deserved this" posts on Facebook only highlight our immature, childish side. Because ultimately, feeling like you deserve something takes the joy away when receiving something good.