I was in Ireland on Mothers’ Day a few weeks ago; the boys were with their Dad back here in England.The trip to Ireland had been booked months before and I realised I’d be away from my boys for “the big day” only when I noticed the ubiquitous Mothers’ Day marketing messages everywhere a few weeks earlier.
Unfortunately, neither boys nor Dad are very good at remembering things like Mothers’ Day! And I forgot to remind their dad to remind them (anyone else do that?!) I didn’t even receive a text until I sent a snotty missive at midday to their Dad: “It’s Mothers’ Day you know! Not even a text!!!”
However, other than a bit of irritation, it didn’t consume much of my thoughts on the day or afterwards.
Let me tell you why it didn’t matter
I realised that I don’t measure my worth as a Mother or as a Woman based on how well I’m treated on that one day of the year.
Of course it would have been nice to find a card surreptitiously hidden in my suitcase, but that was never going to happen!! ☺
The reason why? I know how to cherish myself. And knowing how to do that helps me to have a high self worth.
Let me expand on that
On my self-belief masterclasses, one of the strategies that I share is this:
“Treat yourself as you would like to be treated by others”
What this means is that YOU have to learn to be kind to yourself. You have to identify your own needs and if necessary, meet those needs yourself first, rather than hoping others will do so for you. It’s wonderful when other people (especially partners or kids) make us “feel special”, but I want you to feel special whether you have those people in your life or not!
I teach this in the context of helping women to boost their self-belief. But it goes WAY beyond that. I believe that it is a key ingredient in being a resilient, happy and successful woman.
I was running my self-belief masterclass last Friday at The Cooperative Bank for their Aspire Career Network. I asked a question:
“Who has _never_ bought themselves a bunch of flowers?”
In this particular workshop, only a few hands went up, but usually there are a fair number of hands that rise in admission of never having bought themselves flowers.
Have you ever bought yourself flowers?
**I have spoken to a number of women over the past few weeks who are living through very challenging transitions** – serious illness, separation, divorce, bereavement.
**It’s at these times when our self-worth – and therefore our self-belief, takes a knocking**. And it’s at these times where looking after yourself in the way you’d LIKE someone else to look after you is a good habit to have got into beforehand.
One of the many things I’ve learnt since I separated is that it is essential that I cherish myself. When you’re alone in the house with 2 kids, you simply HAVE to because nobody else is going to!!
Some Ideas for Cherishing Yourself – and Increasing Your Own Self Worth
Here are the things that I do to met my own needs and remind me that I matter, that I’m worth the effort!
- I cook a decent meal for myself when the boys aren’t with me, rather than just throwing something together “because it’s only me”
Tonight is one of those evenings.. home made burgers, sweet potato wedges, baked tomatoes and avocado. I even garnished the tomato with a basil leaf! ☺
- Dressing to feel good, with my make-up on, even if I’m working from home all day and not seeing anyone apart from the boys. I don’t do this every day, only when I feel the need – if I’m feeling a bit “frumpy”. When the boys see me “dressed for the office” they ask me “Where are you going?” and look at me strangely when I say “Nowhere!”
- Going to bed early with a book when I’m tired and I just want to hide away from the World. This means resisting the urge to re-commence work after the boys are in bed as well as resisting the urge to look at fascinating things on Facebook!
- Building a fire each evening and often lighting tea lights in the living room. Like most women, calm surroundings soothe me and the fire burning away helps me wind down in the evenings. Our wood burner is roaring every single night unless it’s summertime and the boys are expert fire starters!
- And of course.. buying myself flowers.I haven’t done this for a while, but today, I was at the greengrocers and noticed some beautiful gerberas. I love bright colours and I remembered the question I had asked at the workshop on Friday.
YOU matter – YOU are worth the effort
The more you cherish yourself, the more you will increase your own self-worth.
So, what are you going to do for yourself?
Will you buy yourself a bunch of flowers? Get to bed early? Take yourself to a museum? Put your make-up on, even when you’re not going anywhere?
Start treating yourself as you’d like others to treat you!