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The kids are back at school, some normality is starting to take shape. It’s time to put ourselves first a little, our health, some “me time”, a routine and some of those goals (or if you read my article last month, some standards) into play. It feels good to be getting back on track. But the thing is… are we really putting ourselves first?

Because if you are like me, that dreaded feeling sets in.

Parental guilt.

The little voice in your head that says, “I want to go for a walk, but I really should get that load of washing done”, “I really love the look of that mango, but it’s (insert someone else in the family’s name) favourite, so I better not eat it” and the constant list goes on.

I counted one day, how many times I put myself last and put others first. It was over a dozen times. Am I a martyr for being like this? Maybe a little, but mostly I do it because I want those in my life to have the best, and I have been happy to take a backseat. But eventually it comes at a cost.

As parents, society tells us to put our kids first. I see so many parents working so damn hard, and going to extremes to give their children the absolute best they possibly can have. But are we creating a monster here? A generation of self-centered kids who expect to be put first all the time? I honestly think so. Last year, I interviewed Janine Allis, Founder of Boost Juice, and I asked her how she balances such a massive company with over 160 stores globally and raising three kids. She said something to me that has made me feel a little better, which was, “my kids are living my life now. When they leave me as adults, they will be off living their life”. And it’s so true. I’m not sure about you, but my parents cared for me, sure. But did they put my needs first above their own? Very rarely. I grew up living my parent’s life and I am now living my own and I am just fine for it. This little statement made me feel less guilty as a parent myself now.

Less guilty for putting my work first to provide for my family as I am the primary income earner.
Less guilty for having a weekend to do as I please, to give me time to re-energise.
Less guilty for eating that mango, because you know what, I love mangos too, dammit (especially in a daiquiri, but that is besides the point)!

The thing is, we can’t be amazing parents if we aren’t amazing people. To be an amazing person, we need to do things that make us amazing. Which is, do the work that we love, do the things that we love, eat the foods that we love, and have some time that is just for us to do with as we please.

So, get out there and be the person that makes you super proud to be you, and I am pretty confident your family will be proud of you too. And that makes a much happier family all round.


  • Bree James

    Bree James, epitomises ‘entrepreneur’. From starting her first official business at the age of eighteen, to running one of Australia’s most successful regional publishing companies, Bree has entrepreneurial DNA in every fibre of her being. The eternal solution finder, Bree’s innate ability to seize opportunity and fill market gaps has attributed to her huge success in the business world. But she’s more than just the driving force behind her own enterprises. Working with organisations around the country, Bree is also an acclaimed presenter, author, podcaster, travel writer, YouTuber, performer, and an inspirational mentor to small business owners everywhere. Her philosophy in life is to be brave, be bold and be brilliant.