Monday, 27 June 2016

Burnt Toast Syndrome

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 miserySo 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!


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Businesses: get disability friendly!

Yesterday in Carlton (Melbourne) seemed to be one of those bazaar days when Chloe was invisible to everyone else except me!

We decided to visit one of our favourite and very well known food places in Carlton. Miss Chloe had completed her lovely lunch and decided she wanted an ice-cream. There were a couple of people at the counter waiting to be served, so she waited politely and patiently for her turn. These people were served and left while the girl behind the counter completely ignored Chloe. She started serving people who had arrived at the counter well after Chloe.

I watched for a while – very unimpressed. I asked one to the lads on the floor if I could speak to the person in charge. He informed me that no-one was in charge. He asked what the problem was and I explained that my daughter was being ignored. I looked towards the ice-cream counter and the girl behind the counter was starting at us, with a very nasty look on her face (she still hadn’t served or asked Chloe if she was being looked after).

More people came to be served and she asked what they would like, in the end Chloe spoke up and asked for a mint ice-cream in a cup. The girl proceeded in putting the ice-cream in the cup, meanwhile Chloe had moved along the counter and said she also wanted cookies and cream (two flavours). Well this young lass continued to just put mint into the cup until a man (a complete stranger) beside Chloe told the lady behind that counter that Chloe was actually asking for two flavours. The lass then gave Chloe what she wanted AND THEN ASKED THE STRANGER if there was anything else he wanted!

Come on, this is 2016 - people with disabilities are actually living and being a part of our community, surely it is time businesses ensured their staff treated EVERYONE with dignity and respect and not make blind assumptions about them.

As we were leaving, we decided to go the shopping centre toilets. There was a large queue for the disabled toilet, as the ladies toilets were being cleaned. As Chloe was the only DISABLED person there, I moved her to the front of the line, no-one had a problem with this expect for the lady at the very front of the queue. As soon as the toilet door opened, she stepped around Chloe and disappeared into the disabled toilet - at the same time the cleaner re-opened the ladies toilets.

Chloe was standing outside the disabled toilet and as the very abled youngish woman came out, another woman walked up to her and asked her what her disability was. To which she replied, "I was before her". I'm sorry, but if there is a disabled person waiting to go to the disabled toilet - they have precedence over everyone else!

Surely in this day and age our communities are able to accommodate easily and comfortably people who are different and less abled?

Please, when doing customer service, instead of 'assuming some-one is just looking or can't speak or waiting for they mum/dad...ASK if they are right  - they may just be waiting to be served just like the person before them.....