Once you become a mother, it's so easy to forget about yourself and focus all your attention on your family. First, you stop brushing your hair in the morning. Then, you cancel your dinner with friends. Next thing you know, it's been a year, and you have not once stepped out of the house for anything other than to buy your baby's milk or to take him to see the pediatrician.

The situation doesn't change much even as your child grows older, does it? It sounds highly exaggerated, but you'd be surprised at how many moms can't list down eight things they enjoy doing.

If you were asked when you last did something for your own enjoyment, for example, would you be able to come up with anything in less than a minute? If not, then it's probably been a while. However important it is to take care of your family, you can't keep sacrificing yourself. Sometimes, it's necessary for you to be a bit selfish or, as psychologist Sophie Sim-Bate calls it, selftist. "Being selfish is done at the expense of another person," she clarifies. "Being selftist is doing things for yourself, thinking of yourself, nurturing your own goals and dreams."

So why is becoming selftist just as important as devoting yourself to your family? Scroll through the gallery to find out.


(First published as "Why we need to be selfish" in the "Personal Matters" section of Good Housekeeping Philippines' September 2001 issue. Adapted for use in FemaleNetwork. Additional reporting by Jennifer Chan. Screencap of Just Go with It courtesy of Columbia Pictures.)

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