I have 2 pieces of toast - one in each hand. In one hand I have a beautiful golden brown piece. The smell reminds me of a cosy family kitchen. In the other hand, I hold something you find in the bottom of a camp fire - burnt toast. Which one would you choose?
Let me add something to this scenario: these are the only 2 pieces of bread left in the house and you don’t get paid until tomorrow. Your child is waiting for breakfast. Which one do you choose now?
Burnt Toast Syndrome is more prevalent in women than men, but men, you need to listen up, because what you are about to hear and learn will be one of the keys to a happy life.
When a woman is on the labour table having her baby, something else arrives with that precious parcel. And once this bundle of joy is placed in our arms, we hear ourselves promising we will protect them from harm and pain - no matter what. The love is so enormous that they become the most important thing in our lives. And so begins our burnt toast journey.
‘It doesn’t matter that I am so tired I can’t function I have to because my baby is calling me and I must go’.
'It’s fine that my dinner is cold, I have to tend my children first, and make sure they are all happy.'
'Oh, I missed lunch. Never mind, at least I was able to drop everything I was doing to ensure my darling got to her party.' The list goes on and on and on.
Although we take this role on, we are also getting a little bitter at YOU lads and eventually our children:
'A little thanks would be nice.'
'Don’t you see what I do for you?'
'It would be nice if you could do something to help.'
'Why don't you ever do anything nice for me?'
And that list also goes on.
I am here to tell you why they don’t tend to that list. The reason is that we have shown them with our actions that we don’t consider ourselves worthy of anything other than crumbs. We show our offspring that we will do anything for them – no matter what - and they have no idea that what we are doing for them is what we call sacrifice! They don’t know to be appreciative because that is all they have ever known!
Often if our partner does notice what is happening and dares to ask if he can help, we shoot him down, telling him “It’s easier to do it myself, by the time I explain everything to you, I could have done it myself.”
I am here to tell anyone who suffers from ‘Burnt Toast Syndrome’ that you need to wean yourself off it. The saying: ‘If we are no good for us - we are no good for anyone' is spot on!
When I spend too much time in Burnt Toast land, I find myself getting really resentful. If I am resentful and feeling sorry for myself, my loved ones whinge at everything and I have more misery! So I have to stop! Yes, I love my children to the moon and back but I love myself even more!
Now if there is only 1 piece of toast left – I get my loved ones to share. I eat a hot meal and have found the world doesn’t end when my loved ones are forced to wait. Instead, they see me treating myself with kindness and dignity and that is what I get back from them in return. I accept help – even if I have to take the time to explain. I have also figured out that my right way isn't the only right way!
So to all the people here that suffer from burnt toast syndrome – it's time to start looking after the most important person in your life, and showing others that you value yourself, so they, in turn can value you.
And to the partners (or partners to be), you can assist by offering to do things that allow your loved one to be valued. Their no is not an option. When we learn to share the burdens and to say ‘I am worth it', we never accept Burnt Toast again!
And I need to finish with: I am worth it and so are you!