It's actually incredibly hard to stop and think about yourself if you are a busy parent, employed or not. (see, I didn't say "working" or not, as everyone knows stay at home parents work incredibly hard too!! :P ) It seems my every waking moment is focussed on the needs of the family - furry members included. Even those silent hours in the night are all too frequently occupied with insomniac worries about everyone else - except me.
It can actually be quite scary to focus on yourself, Suffolk Carers recently undertook a survey about the personal health of carers in the county, because it is widely recognised that those who care for anyone frequently neglect their own health and needs. And the same is often true of parents who are not "carers" in the official sense, our anthropological instinct is to focus on our family, often at the expense of ourselves. At a very basic level being a parent is your priority, the rest of you is pushed a little sideways, or morphs into the new "parent-you" by necessity.