I have a dear friend who had been a stay-at-home Mom when her four children were young. She told me a story of what happened to her one Christmas morning a few years ago when her four grown children were in their early twenties and still living at home because they were in various stages of going to school and/or working.
With Christmas music playing in the background, her husband and children were gathered around the decorated Christmas tree, all the presents she and her children had shopped for and carefully wrapped were passed out and within minutes all that festive wrap lay strewn across the floor, the stockings had been purged of their contents and a cacophony of joy filled their house. What no one noticed is that my friend had not opened her presents. Not even ONE. And that was because she didn’t have any.
It was not until the family had put all their booty away and she began preparing breakfast that my friend’s one and only daughter gasped and cried out, “Mom! You didn’t get any presents!!!!”
My eyes filled with tears as she told me this story because I had just been complaining to her about my last Christmas wherein my Christmas stocking lay sad and flaccid with a package of tissue, mint gum and hand sanitizer that I had bought myself, while the stockings of my husband and sons (which I filled) were overflowing and burgeoning like fat sausages fit for someone who says, “Fee Fie Fo Fum”!
If we have constantly put the wants and needs of others before our own, who can we blame when others treat us the same? Now, please understand I’m not trying to place any blame, shame or guilt on any one of us, but what I’m saying is that we have to instill upon ourselves and those around us that we are a priority and important as well. We don’t always have to be last on the list. We draw boundaries.
For instance, when my kids were very young, I would take my showers when my husband was home and ask him to please occupy my children so that they would not disturb my only 20 minutes of “alone time” in the day by banging on the door, crying hysterically like I had abandoned them for life! My husband did such a great job that to this day, they still don’t bother me while I’m in the bathroom.
By having some self-respect, we teach self-respect to our children and more specifically, to our daughters. Think of it as a more valuable inheritance than any amount of money.
-Tessa L. Charles
-Tessa L. Charles
“You are a priority. Not an option, last resort, or toy. Don't allow anyone to treat you like anything less.”- Ritu Ghatourey