I’m always amazed when I catch my daughters displaying a healthy sense of entitlement. Though we’ve tried not to spoil them, they still think they inherently deserve many things like food on demand and round-the-clock entertainment.
I used to worry that this sense of entitlement meant I was raising spoiled kids. But then I heard the wise, funny Elizabeth Gilbert speak about entitlement at a book talk and on this podcast. The truth that stuck with me was this:
Entitlement doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
Think of it this way: Because they’re so young, my girls are free from the judgments we place on entitled people. They don’t view being entitled as a bad thing – hell, they don’t even know what the word means. So instead of worrying about appearing entitled, they just go through their days asking for exactly what they want and need. I think that says a lot about their self-worth.
And yet for some reason, most moms – myself included – have decided that entitlement is a bad thing. We don’t want anyone to label us as entitled women, so we’re self-sacrificing to a fault. We have trouble accepting help or favors because we don’t want anyone thinking we’re getting special treatment. And we rarely ask for things we need or want for fear of appearing greedy.
The problem is when we’re living our lives from that place, our self-care and self-worth suffer.
That’s why I’m taking Gilbert’s advice to try and reclaim the word entitled for myself. It’s not about thinking I deserve everything I want or about believing I’m entitled to an easy life. The entitlement I’m embracing is the kind that reminds me that I am a whole person with needs and wants. The kind that reminds me that I have a right to carve out some time for reflection and self-care. The kind that says I deserve to pursue my dreams. The kind that will build my self-worth, not destroy it.
YOU deserve to feel entitled to the same things in your life.
If you’re ready to embrace that idea, ask yourself if the following questions.
1. If entitlement wasn’t a dirty word, what would you let yourself believe you deserved?
2. If you weren’t worried about what other people thought or how your actions looked, what would you feel entitled to receive, experience or explore as a mom and an individual too?
I’d love to hear what answers you came up with in the comments below.
P.S. If you want to feel entitled to a life outside motherhood but just don’t know how to do that, my three-month coaching program can get you there. If you’re interested in learning more and discovering how to better balance motherhood and me time, please book a free coaching call.