My kids are pretty well-trained. They rarely get in trouble for doing something without having first asked permission.
I noticed this so much this past weekend when I took them to a birthday party. Both of them asked me if they could eat a cupcake. My son asked if he could have a Dr. Pepper and my daughter asked for a juice box. (I said yes, in case you're wondering).
But sometimes, they don't. Sometimes, they go outside and ride bikes without helmets (gasp!) or get in the pool before it's been cleaned. Or my personal favorite, eat ALL THE HUMMUS AND PRETZELS in front of the tv. But most of the time, they come ask me first. This is because I've trained them to do this. A lot like I was trained growing up.
And while I think this is fantastic for raising (mostly) well-behaved, polite and well-mannered children, what does it do to them in the long-term? Am I setting them up for a stifled, unexciting life where they're too afraid to do anything without asking permission first?
I sure hope not!
Too often, I've not pursued my dreams or followed my passions, because I felt like I needed permission to do so. Or if I asked permission from another person or authority figure in my life, they said "no." But most the time, I never even stopped to ask. I just didn't do it because I assumed the answer was no.
But here's the thing...
YOU GET TO LIVE YOUR LIFE.
Nobody else has the authority to do it for you.
You don't need to ask ANYONE permission to live it.
The answer doesn't always have to be NO if you don't want it to be.
So I started thinking about things that we as women, often feel guilty for doing or even wanting to do. We come up with some story about why we can't, instead of why we can and we should. We are so busy taking care of everyone else and all the other things in our lives (#momlife) that we forget to take care of our most important asset...ourselves.
So I've come up with a list of things that I think, we often don't give ourselves permission to do, and therefore, we miss out on some of life's awesomesauce. So here you go, ladies, you don't need permission to...
1. Take time for yourself - whether it's a bubble bath, a dip in the pool by yourself or a 3-mile run, you can do this if you want to.
2. Go to the gym and workout so you can get a break from your kids for two gloriously uninterrupted hours. HOLLA!
3. Read a really good book and not finish it right away because you don't want it to end.
4. Go to bed early.
5. Get a massage.
6. Take a freaking NAP.
7. Unapologetically post as many selfies as you want to on social.
10. Brag about your kids.
11. Want to lose weight.
12. Not want to lose weight.
14. Want to look good in a bathing suit.
15. Eat the cupcake.
16. Be a stay at home mom.
17. Be a working mom.
This of course, is not an exhaustive list by any stretch! But it's def a start. It's my prayer and hope that we stop taking things so seriously all the time and start applying the same love and care you give to others on yourself. Because, friend, you are worthy and you deserve it!
Now, a word about grace. If you look at this list and it triggers you to feelings of shame or guilt, please, take your moment, feel it, and then release it. Because my intent is not for you to sit in guilt and shame. There is no judgment here and you shouldn't judge yourself either. Just notice it, let it go, and then take action to do the thing you most want to do for yourself. Because you can, my friend.
Do you see yourself in any of these?