An overseas family holiday had long felt like a pipe dream. With young kids,…
Have you heard of ‘burnt chop syndrome’? It refers to the way people — particularly women, and especially mothers — sacrifice themselves in order for others to have better.
For example: A mum plans, buys, preps, and cooks dinner, and in doing so burns one of the chops. She gives that chop to herself, because she wants her family to have the best of her efforts, and she believes that because she burned it, she should eat it.
You can see where this leads to, right? It goes way beyond food.
The mum puts herself last. She wants the best for the ones she loves, but forgets to factor herself into that equation. She doesn’t reap the benefits of her own efforts in the way her family does.
I would love for all mums and mother figures to, for at least one day, take the biggest, juiciest chop for themselves (apologies to my vegetarian and vegan friends, but you know what I’m getting at here!).
Common gifts and treats for Mother’s Day involve putting your feet up, letting others take care of you (and I am absolutely here for that too!). But I love the idea of actually putting in effort FOR YOURSELF. Going to trouble FOR YOURSELF.
Now, you guys know I’m all about simplifying and streamlining, making our lives work for us rather than against us. So it might seem counterintuitive to create more ‘work’ for ourselves. This is not a long-term plan, but simply a once-in-a-while reminder that we deserve to come first.
Here are some ways you can show yourself that your efforts are amazing, and you deserve to benefit from them too!
- Enjoy your favourite meal: Family menus often revolve around what the kids will eat. If you have fussy eaters, that doesn’t leave many options. So this time, it’s mum’s choice! Spend time creating your favourite food, preparing it exactly to your liking, then set the table with the good gear, bring out candles and music, and really indulge in your creation, appreciating and celebrating your own effort. Compliments to the chef!
Tip: If cooking is not your thing, go pre-made or takeaway but keep the ritual.
- Go on a solo date: If dates are about impressing and enjoying the company of someone else, the same applies for a solo one! Where do you want to go? Spend time planning out your ideal date (it can be as extra or lowkey as you like), get dressed up, and enjoy your own fabulous company doing something that brings you joy.
- Movie marathon: We always pick movies that everyone will enjoy. Nope, not today! Choose a few of your favourite films, get your favourite snacks and drinks, pop on some comfy clothes and set up a home cinema experience — gold class, of course
- Take yourself shopping: Are you the kind of mum whose kids have the best of everything, meanwhile all your socks have holes in them and you haven’t bought a new bra in years? Stuff that! Go on a good old-fashioned shopping trip (not online) where the focus is on things you love. It doesn’t even matter whether you buy anything or not (cost of living as it is), the fun is in the browsing: go into stores you can’t take the kids to, take your time, look around, try things on, test out perfumes, flip through books, play with gadgets. Remind yourself of who you are and what you love.
- Read for pleasure: Feel like the only books you read anymore have illustrations? Spend time at your local library stocking up on new books you’d love to read, fill your keep cup with your favourite warm drink, grab a blanket, and take yourself outside (at home or a park) to read in the fresh air. Snacks optional (but recommended!).
- Create/learn/participate: Are you quick to add activities to your kids’ schedules, but miss out on your own? If you want to play sport, or paint with watercolours, or learn French, or act in a play, or any other activity that your heart desires but your mind puts on the backburner, now is the time to remedy that. Look into classes, comps and opportunities to fill your own cup. It doesn’t need to cost anything; even if it’s as simple as kicking a ball at the park, watching a YouTube video on writing short stories, or downloading a yoga app, the effort of organising it proves to yourself that your interests are important too. Then go do the thing!
- Put yourself first: If nothing else, on this occasion, serve yourself first. It’s an energy shift that will have knock-on effects for your self-esteem.
Happy Mother’s Day, beautiful! I hope you know how amazing you are.