It’s hard to truly be yourself!

To put myself first or not first, that is the question…..
You know, I spent most of my life pleasing others, putting others needs before mine. I made some choices in my past that was going to make my life more difficult. And once I tend to commit to things, I really do stick at it despite my difficulties with it. But that wasn’t good for my emotional health. As inevitably it caused resentment in me.
It’s ok when it’s your children, your dependent children, who you have a right to take care of and their needs, emotional, physical and educational. That’s what being a Mother is!
 It’s a tough job and it’s taken me to my age now at 48 to finally do a good job on Mothering. Teaching your children to fly on their own. My last child is almost 11 and she is going to take longer than the others, but I’m confident with the skills that I have now as a parent that she will get there.
When your children grow into independent adults, you can sit back and relax a little. You’ve done a good job. They are now able to fend for themselves in the real world. They can earn their own money and they can pay their own bills.
When I was a kid, it was easier to become independent because my parents didn’t have the money to spoil us or indeed send us to college. That was ok, what we didn’t have, we didn’t miss. But it taught us to be workers at any cost. To work, to pay our way in life. That was a great thing!
When my dad was unemployed for ten long years in the late 1970’s recession, despite being on that horrible dole queue. He taught us to be workers, that the dole was a horrible place to be. My Father was a violent alcoholic during those dark years and through his pain, he still told us to be workers, to reach for the stars. God rest him.
And thankfully, we worked hard. Although none of my siblings earned enough to be wealthy, we have a good life. We have everything we need. We have a community of family and friends.
But when Ireland received a massive boom to our society, ‘The Celtic Tiger’, us Irish rushed in and began recklessly spending money on our kids. We began to teach them nothing. Values were dispersed and manners went out the window! Money was easy to come by. Us Irish didn’t have to work as hard. we got paid good money for little work. When the crash hit in 2007, Us Irish didn’t know how to cope. All of a sudden we had to learn how to work hard again. Earning money was difficult. Paying our bills was difficult and meeting our now spoilt children’s needs became impossible. Us Irish people began to think that we deserved things for nothing. We stopped taking our own responsibility for the state of our affairs. It was somebody else’s fault.
Now, Us Irish have to work very hard on relearning our children the values that we all learned in our growing up years, respect, gratitude and good manners.
 I will tell you, there was a beautiful loyalty among the poor and defeated when our crash hit. Us Irish people showed our wonderful personalities in sharing again. We comforted each other. We reassured each other. We supported each other. This is the good old Irish back again! The one that the World loves and admires!
Anyway, despite the pain and the loss and the worry that our recent recession caused. I embrace it. It has sorted out a few of our issues. What needs are and what wants are.
I now know that I need to put myself first. In relations and situations. I now know when I’m tired and I can’t socialise just for the sake of it. I now know what’s important to me and I need to make time to do that. If I don’t do this, I will be resentful and I can’t take that risk. And most importantly, if I don’t show my children that it’s ok to put my own needs first at times, they will not learn the lesson and they will make the same mistakes as I have.
 When I am true to myself, I am happy, I am content.
xx Jean

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