“No one will respect you until you respect you.”
I can’t remember where I first heard it, maybe I imagined it (I have a habit of giving credit away to others) but it’s struck a chord tonight.
Shit hits the fan from time to time. And this past few days has been one heck of a struggle for me.
I’ve just had a moment of realisation…
Tonight my kids (who are old enough to know better!) disrupted a live masterclass I was holding.
I was a guest speaker for another business owner. A great honour and privilege.
The masterclass was being recorded to send out to people who couldn’t make it live, and halfway through they have my youngest complaining about yoghurt, and my eldest demanding I “just listen!” after they had an argument right outside the door.
Despite both of them being told I was going to be busy and shouldn’t be disturbed. The call was late enough for them to both be in bed, so it shouldn’t be a problem. And they’ve known about it for weeks. They knew it was important.
But here’s the thing… they decided they come first. Just the same as when they’re asked to tidy their things and choose not to.
Who’s to blame?
I am!! And this isn’t Mum guilt and “my kids can’t be blamed.” They are blamed. They’ve lost privileges because of it.
But I’m to blame:
They don’t respect my time
They don’t respect my space
They don’t respect our home
They don’t respect their belongings
They don’t respect my privacy (or each others)
I’m a single mum, so I expect it to be a push and to be stretched in a million directions. And because of that, I choose to let go of a few things.
It means I don’t have a space of my own because I’ve let the kids have an ‘open door policy’ to wherever I am.
I haven’t enforced boundaries or rules around when I’m working because I’ve bent it to suit them and their needs… so now “I’m working, don’t disturb me” is meaningless to them… so meaningless they don’t see a problem with shouting me during a live masterclass!
Well, it is a problem.
It’s a problem that’s affecting my business, not just my wellbeing.
And it goes much further than the confines of an online masterclass and my kids.
I disrespect myself in so many ways I can’t even think of where I still do respect myself.
My past relationships screamed of disrespect
My friendships with certain people could only be described as toxic.
My time is dictated by others more than myself.
Even my finances are stretched to accommodate others before myself.
None of its good enough.
So it’s time to take a stand and make a change.
It’s time to put myself first because that’s where I should be.
Not because I’m better than anyone else, but because I should be my own priority.
Just the same as you should be yours.
I should be setting an example of what I will accept and tolerate from those around me.
I should be setting boundaries and limitations around my space and my time.
My energy is my responsibility
My time is my responsibility
My livelihood is my responsibility
None of it should be put on hold to suit others.
I’m not a martyr, nor am I saint. What I am, is a woman; A business owner; A mother.
The order is intentional. And no, my children are not my lowest priority/responsibility. But they’re third on the list for a reason.
Firstly, I am a woman.
I am my own being. I have my own needs and wants. We read so much about “self-care”, and it’s something I really need to pay more attention to.
If I don’t take care of myself first, and respect myself most of all, then no one else will. I’ll be setting myself up for further failure.
Secondly, I’m a business owner.
This is the life path that I chose for myself. I don’t have a job that pays holidays and sick leave. I’m not running a 9-5, paycheck to paycheck life.
I’m running a business.
This is where my money comes from. My livelihood. Without this business working, I don’t have a roof over our heads, or food on our table.
I need to take care of myself so I can take care of business. I need to take care of business, so I can live life and take care of my family.
Which leads me to point 3. I am a mother.
My children are my responsibility, 24/7/365. Everything I do should teach them to be the best they can be. This means respecting themselves and others. Following their hearts and dreams. Teaching them that it’s ok to say no. And it’s also ok to hear it. (“UGH! No is Mums favourite word!”) My responsibility as a Mum is to show them how to set and respect boundaries.
Do you find yourself guilty of disrespecting yourself? It’s a hard one to own up to. We’re taught, especially as women, to put others first, especially as Mothers, but it’s time we put that to pass.
What ONE thing are you going to change from here on out? Where are you going to set a boundary, or say “No” and stick to it?
Other people may struggle to adjust at first, but they’ll soon get used to it.
If not, they’ll ship out and that’s their prerogative.