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Putting Yourself on the Shelf

Can you believe we're hurtling towards the end of the year? I know, the days are a blur of to-do lists, school plays, and finding that rogue piece of tinsel in the oddest places. But here's the thing - amidst the glitter and chaos, let's take a beat to revel in the perfectly imperfect mess that is us… I mean that is the holiday season.

So, confession time: who else is feeling the pressure (exhaustion) to be the Pinterest-perfect mom/grandma/human, with the flawlessly decorated home, and the Instagram-worthy holiday spread? If you're raising your hand, you're not alone. But here's my take on it: Let's put ourselves on a Shelf instead of the Elf on a Shelf. You know, less about exhaustion and angst, more about being present and real.

Here's the deal: you don't have to bake three types of cookies or handcraft ornaments like you're auditioning for a DIY reality show. It's okay if the decorations are a bit lopsided, and the gingerbread house leans more like the Tower of Pisa. Let’s lean into the imperfection as our expectation rather than the resent that comes with that feeling and narrative of not doing or being enough.

Now, onto the serious stuff - the hustle culture that seems to intensify this time of year. It's like we're all sprinting towards the finish line of the year, when sometimes we need to hit pause. So, here's your official permission slip to slow down. Take a breath. Maybe even indulge in a holiday movie marathon (no judgment here also, share your recommendations).

And here's a challenge: Let's turn the tables on hustle culture. Instead of being on the fast track to burnout, let's celebrate the small victories. Did you manage to get through the day without a major wardrobe malfunction or forgetting the school pick-up? That's a win, my friend. Let's revel in the daily victories that often go unnoticed. Recently, I spoke at a virtual conference on The Motherload and the organizer as a part of her thank you email shared a quote from author & poet Dominique Christina with me and I wanted to share with all of you: “Ordinary people do extraordinary things all the time. You've probably performed several miracles this morning just to get here”. Sit in that please. 

Now, for some action steps. First off, I challenge you to plan a "Mom/Aunt/Human on a Shelf" moment. Set aside some guilt-free time for yourself. It could be a cozy evening with a good book, a hot bath that lasts longer than five minutes, or just sitting in a quiet room savouring a cup of coffee. Trust me, the world won't stop turning if you take a moment for yourself.

Next up, let's combat the holiday hustle by saying no. No, you don't have to attend every event. No, you don't have to volunteer for every school activity. Your sanity is a priority, and it's perfectly fine to decline with a gracious smile. This includes those after hours work functions you do not have capacity for.

Finally, let's spread the "Mom on a Shelf" revolution. Share your imperfectly perfect moments on social media. Let's create a space where authenticity reigns supreme, and the pressure to be a holiday superhero fades away.

So here's to being a "Mom/YOU on a Shelf" this holiday season – embracing the mess, savouring the moments, and saying no to the hustle. You've got this, and you're doing an amazing job. Cheers to you, and here's to a season of genuine joy and authenticity (and let’s not kid ourselves, so many meltdowns)

Wishing you all shelf vibes or at the very least, remembering to move that little terror another day!



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