Theresa Prior Westmeadows

Hey Mumma (*speaks in best side-mouthed, the-kids-are-listening mumble*) – the kids listen far more to what you DO, rather than what you say.

I see you. I truly do.

Mumma, you are doing everything in your power to give your kids the best of everything – an amazing education, a variety of extra-curricular activities, weekend sport, a loving home, amazing nutrition, positive behaviour guidelines and constant, confidence building praise.

And there is no doubt in this world that you love your kids with every single fibre of your soul.

But just like when you try to sneak that last bit of chocolate as you hide in the pantry, our kids hear and see the things we least want them to see.

Like the way you talk to and about yourself.

Like the way you double, no, triple check your full-length side profile in the mirror before you leave the house.

Like the way you hop on the scales every morning. After you wee, of course.

They see the way you put yourself last. The way you put off getting that medical check-up. The way you go without so they can have more.

Those little eyes and ears pick up on the way you let others talk to you.

They see the way you deprive yourself at meal times, the way Mum’s plate looks different to everyone else’s.

‘Do as I say, not as I do’ is an old adage, created to explain away these confusing adult behaviours to the kids that will one day mimic them.

Your kids see you. They see you role-modelling adulthood. They see what their increasing years should look like.

They see how they should treat themselves.

So, Mumma. Don’t hide your own expectations and self-worth in the back of the pantry with the covert chocolate. Role model the best expectations of yourself so that your sons and daughters understand that they should have self-worth as adults.