Baby Step #11 Where the Tiger Mother and this White Rabbit Dad Agree! (or, Recognizing Self-focus as Self-sabotage)

First photo ever taken of my family

First family photo

When you hear the phrase ‘family first’ now, do you think of the infamous Tiger Mother and roll your eyes? Well, stop it, and look at us.

No, seriously, look at us.

We look exhausted, right?

We sure are!

But guess what? We’re also as happy as we’ll ever be.

Yes, this photo depicts a unique occasion, but it reflects what’s becoming clearer to me every day:

If you put yourself first, you won’t be tired or inconvenienced much, but you won’t be happy for very long either.

My experience is that self-focus is secretly a form of self-sabotage. Like many addictive behaviors, it gives you a quick fix, but ultimately leaves you hungry.

Do I plan to tell Naomi this?

Absolutely. I believe the key will be to teach her to value her family and community at least as much, if not more, then herself. Frankly, I wish this had been more emphasized in my family and schools, but it certainly wasn’t in the culture in the 80′s and 90′s. This value has become more prevalent with the rise of the environmental movement, but I still believe this is one area where this fluffy, year-of-the-rabbit dad could learn something from the rabid Tiger Mother.

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As always, would love to hear your thoughts.

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4 Comments

Filed under Children, Happiness, Kids, Parenting, Personal Growth

4 responses to “Baby Step #11 Where the Tiger Mother and this White Rabbit Dad Agree! (or, Recognizing Self-focus as Self-sabotage)

  1. You’re so right. I have never been happier or more exhausted since having children: it was a revelation to me just how much I would change and grow personally, just by putting the needs of others before mine: constantly and completely…now for close to ten years. Be happy and love well.

  2. wendy

    The Ox, mom and grannie was awakened on this one… to a sermon from this mount, where computer glitching is often, and lucky for you and me, it was likely serendipitously…lost in cyber-land.
    I think #8 is different.
    I think everyone of reading comprehension age should be a member of “Empathic Parenting, society,” founded in 1978. You can read archives on line and I think you’d find this interesting:
    “Psychopathy and Consumerism” vol 18,issues 2,3,4, 1995
    I think of self first as an Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy, vital importance to harmony everywhere, within, at home and then about.
    Remember the old saying, “died of consumption?” That’s an “ism,” dis-ease of the mind, body and spirit.
    Time for me to walk-about my well-ness wheel…
    I feel a little “blogged down-ism”
    Peace

  3. Jody

    I distinctly remember when I awakened to my 2 week old daughter’s cries one cold night in December. I was exhausted, cold, and felt miserable as I stumbled across the room to her bassinet. And then magic happened as I looked down on her little face and cooed, “What’s the matter, baby?” In an instant I forgot all about my own misery and felt only for her. I trace that as the day I finally understood the POWER of selflessness. (She’s 31 now and is a wonderful mother to her 4 children.) Love your blog. Keep it up♥

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