Running Yourself Ragged? Why We Matyr Ourselves Even When We'd Rather Not
What would you say if I told you that mothers benefit from matyring themselves?
I know it sounds cracked.
Mothers, birth parents and parents socialised as women are absolutely conditioned to give, give, give until there is nothing left - to martyr themselves “for the good of others”.
This isn’t about the excessive load mothers (especially single or solo mothers) must carry in order for their family to be ok, I’m opening a discussion about the reasons behind us “going above and beyond”.
Humans (at least in westernised/colonised cultures) act in ways that benefit them, either in order to gain something “positive” or to avoid something “negative”.
There must be benefits to matyring ourselves or we simply wouldn’t continue doing it.
For example, if you are a parent who “does it all” over the festive season, have you stopped to ask why?
Yes, capitalism, patriarchy, etc., but also - what is the benefit to you behaving in this way?
Does it validate you as “the caring one”? Does it reinforce your security blanket belief that “if I don’t do it no one else will”, and therefore make you irreplaceable and important?
What are you trying to avoid? The disapproval of your own parents, the awkwardness of conversations, the fear of your kids being the “weird ones” if you break the mould?
Rather than looking for a new resolution to simply “stop putting yourself last” or an inspirational “self-love” theme for 2022, what if you turned your energy towards the excavating and dialling down whatever wounds this thought process brought up for you?
What would it feel like to let go of those stories about yourself, and of that version of motherhood or parenthood?
Think about it...
If this sparks something in you, I’d encourage you to listen to my “Anna Asks” podcast episode with with Bronte Spicer, a mental health pioneer whose techniques go way beyond talk therapy. The episode was released on 19th Feb 2021 and is available on all podcast platforms.
We’ve both released our books since then too. Together they will guide you through changing your life, and the matyring will fall away.
What’s left feels pretty amazing.
[ID: A selfie of Anna in a peach and blue dress leaning against a white door]
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