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Stop Being Unhappy: Be Selfish, Advises Greenwich Parenting Expert

Parenting expert and Greenwich resident Jane Wyker advises being "soul selfish."
Parenting expert and Greenwich resident Jane Wyker advises being "soul selfish." Photo Credit: Submitted

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Moms who experience fatigue, frustration and resentment may be surprised to learn their emotions have a startling cause: They feel bad because they’re not being selfish enough.

This insight comes from Jane Wyker, a parent educator and author of “Soul Selfish: The Awakening of a Good Girl.”

Taking care of children can be an all-consuming task, says the Greenwich resident. When mothers feel like no one is noticing or appreciating what they’re doing, or worse, taking their hard work for granted, they may ask themselves: “When is it my turn? When is someone going to take care of my needs?"

Wyker's memoir, published last June, discusses the fact that childhood experiences lead women to unconsciously take on roles in the hopes of receiving love and approval from parents and other authority figures.

As a young child, she admits she took on the role of “good girl” prioritizing everyone else’s needs while denying her own. This influenced her entire life, including the decisions she made in her first marriage and raising her children.

In her 30s and unhappy, she embarked on a journey of discovery and personal growth. Her key realization was that happiness begins once you embrace what she calls "soul selfishness."

"To be soul selfish is to love yourself enough to give to yourself what you give to others: love, time, attention, gifts,” she says.

“If you’ve been asking yourself, ‘When is it my turn?’ you will be glad to know your turn will come as soon as you are willing to prioritize yourself enough to put your needs and desires first some of the time.”

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