In general, women tend to take care of and accommodate the people in their lives before they take care of themselves. I believe that more women should know when it’s critical to put themselves before others and when it’s appropriate to take a “backseat”. You maybe thinking, “Audra, what do you know about what it means to take care of others before yourself. You are habitually single with no dependents and lean heavily on the advice from your parents to survive”. Those are all valid points to make, however, I’ve still been known to be extremely empathetic towards other people’s emotions and prioritize their needs before my own. The shitty, unsettling truth about putting yourself first is that the only total control you have in this life is control of the choices you make and the care you give yourself. Life is fucking hard and the people you allow into your life should feel honored that you chose them to give your time and energy to. Unfortunately, sometimes the people you need and want in your life don’t want and need you in the same way or at the same time. That fucking sucks and I wouldn’t wish that on any of us. I know what it’s like to have someone give up on you and since there was nothing for me to do to change their wants and needs I wish I could have learned to love myself and take care of myself before I was unprepared and forced to. As women we should follow our hearts and instincts and take care of those we love but make conscious efforts to stay in touch with ourselves. If you are married and have children take a day (hell, take an hour!) to check in with your emotions, feelings, wants, needs and make sure you find ways to work on those things for no one but yourself. If you are single take time to make conscious decisions for your personal mental and emotional health. Know that it’s okay to say no to best friends, no to dates, and no to your family if it means you are making an effort to make your happiness a priority. At the end of the day no matter who has come in and out of your life, or who has changed your life positively or negatively, we (our-fucking-selves) will always be the constant variable and we should treat ourselves that way.