This morning, on the school run, I got chatting to a nan who was dropping off her grandson. She seems like a nice lady, we’ve chatted before briefly, but today I walked away from our convo with a lovely feeling. The reason for this warm glow was the sobriquet that she afforded me throughout our tête-à-tête. She called me – ‘Queen’ 👑
Now, I’m certainly not of royal descent as far as I know (but then who’d have guessed about Danny Dyer), I’m not a superstar of drag à la RuPaul and I couldn’t sing Bohemian Rhapsody to save my life…but this schoolyard nan greeted and addressed me as ‘Queen’. “How odd” you might think, if you’re not from round these parts. However, if you’re from Liverpool like me this probably won’t sound so unusual. ‘Queen’ is an old Scouse term of endearment used to show affection. An older lady might call you Queen or a husband might call his wife Queen, in the same way somebody else might call you ‘sweetheart’ or ‘love’. Now, I haven’t heard this term used for absolutely ages, it’s not very common parlance these days and it seems to be dying out with the older generation. But it’s such a lovely, warm, down to earth expression, full of friendliness – it somehow reminds me of a simpler and kinder time gone by. Brilliant!
When I arrived home post school run, still bearing a regal glow, I caught an interview on CNN (random tv choice I know. The current soap opera of US politics is addictive – but that’s another story 😁). The guest was a lady called Emily Nash, Royal Correspondent for Hello magazine. Emily was discussing a new campaign launched by her magazine, called #HelloToKindness. The campaign is intended to promote kindness and change the way that people communicate online. It was inspired by the recent wave of abusive comments directed toward Duchesses Meghan and Kate, as described by sources from Kensington Palace. The campaign also wants to promote kindness in everyday life and is being supported by various celebrities and personalities. As well as kindness to others, the movement also endorses the ideas of self-care, compassion and kindness to ourselves. Very important skills, because in order to be kind to others it’s important to be kind to ourselves…and conversely, being kind to others is also a way of being kind to ourselves – it makes us feel happier. Like a big positive cycle.
I do always try to be as kind as I can to others and I teach my daughter and the children in my classes the same virtue. In my house you’ll find, amongst other stuff; kindness stones, children’s books about kindness, kindness elves and a big squishy heart cushion I use to teach self-compassion. I must admit though, like lots of other mums out there, I’m not always as kind as I could be to myself. I don’t take time for me, I’m pretty self-critical and I definitely neglect my health and wellbeing at times.
As you know, my plan with this blog is to try and change…I’ll definitely be introducing more self-care (now where did I put that ladyshave? 😆) and self-compassion. I’ve pledged that I’m going to be kinder to myself and I really hope that other mums might decide to join me along the way. In my next post I’ll share with you the very first step on my MetamorphoMum journey to change and we’ll probably have a bit of a laugh about my efforts. I can definitely say that in general I’ll be joining in with the principles of #HelloToKindness too, I think the campaign can only be a good thing in these times of division and intolerance.
I have to say though, I can’t help thinking we’re half way there already in Liverpool…I mean, where else would you be called a Queen by a virtual stranger before 9am on a cold January morning?! 👸 #LiverpoolQueensOfKindness
As the ancient philosopher Lao Tzu (cheers Wikipedia) wrote: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. ‘Well, if I’m going to be making such a momentous journey, I’ll require footwear that fits the bill’ I thought.
So I bought myself some snazzy, spring-themed, floral socks. Yeah, I know most people would’ve opted for killer shoes…but in my defence I spend lots of time in stockinged feet for work and I’m skint.
I wore my new spring socks to teach baby yoga today. It snowed outside. The socks, however, did their job and made me feel cheery. It’s the small things isn’t it!
I’m a mum and let’s be honest, we have less time to spend on ourselves than we did in our more carefree, pre-kids days. It’s hard to squeeze in a morning meditation when I’m sponging toothpaste off my daughter’s school tie as we dash out of the door. I run a little business too, so that just about kills off any ‘me time’ I might fancy. My hair’s generally a mess, I’ve long run out of skincare products, my eyebrows manage to be both unkempt and invisible at the same time and I wear make-up about once every two months. Am I painting the picture? 😁
It’s not just my appearance though, nope, this is a more holistic type of self-neglect I’m nurturing! I think we mums tend to place everybody else ahead of ourselves. I’m no expert but it’s probably part nature and a bit about how we’ve been socialised to view mothers. So in the queue of who takes priority each day, our kids (of course), our partners, our jobs, our extended families, our homes all jostle for position – with us bringing up the (mine’s getting more sizeable by the day) rear. We feel pressure to be everything to everyone. This can leave us frazzled, stressed and generally…well, not very zen.
I’m not even really complaining, to be fair. I love my kid, I love being a mum, but I do think I need to make some changes before I hit the big four-o next year…lest I turn into ‘Mrs Doyle’ (even she wore lipstick in one episode!). From now on I’m planning to work on myself a bit more, in all aspects of my life. I want to look a bit better, feel a bit better and grow as a person. I’m looking for my metaphorical butterfly wings. Hopefully this blog will help me to find them.
I’ll be writing about my life as a mum and of course my efforts to ‘metamorphosise’ (I googled, it’s a word) – including any successful or not so successful endeavours. Fancy joining me?