"You're too good for your own good."
Does that sound familiar to you? That, is pretty much the reason why I seem to get screwed over time and time again. I have this crazy notion [ *gasp*] that everyone is an individual and therefore deserves a chance to prove themselves to be decent. Unfortunately this means that by the time their true colours show, someone gets hurt. And that, isn't them, usually.
Whilst having a conversation with a friend last night [or rather, too-early-this-morning] we were discussing how it seems almost impossible for someone who is "too good" to be otherwise. In theory, it is simple enough. It is only a matter of time and practise. Once you get out of your "too good" comfort zone, and learn how to force yourself to be more assertive, and to put your priorities before others', then you're sorted. You will be wrecked by feelings of guilt for a while, but eventually your comfort zone will evolve and it will become second nature for you.
He pointed out to me "Ah, but you can achieve that easily by cheating. By bringing Creature's priorities first, you can justify being 'egoistic' whereas in reality you will still be bringing his/her needs first and foremost."
That gave me some brainfood to chew on.
Being a parent means that yes, your number one priority becomes your child. However, your life does not need to end the moment the child is born. I look at my mum, for example, and get pissed off at how she brings everyone else's needs before her own - at her own health's cost. I end up telling her off and trying to get her to set her priorities straight. I am sure that the vast majority of parents out there can relate. Gods know how many times, growing up, we swear to ourselves that we won't do the same mistakes our parents did.
To me, that means one thing. Yes, your child priorities should come first. But, don't forget your own needs, and every once in a while, do something for you. "Me" time is still important. If you don't look after yourself, both you and your child will suffer long-term consequences. Your child will grow up and look back at his/her childhood, and realise how much you have sacrificed for him/her. S/he will be grateful, sure, but not without feeling guilty and wishing they could turn back time and make you take better care of yourself.
Spare your child that unnecessary guilt trip - it is your choice entirely; they have no reason to feel guilty about it.