Everywhere we turn there is the message that women need to give themselves a break and have a treat:
- Girlfriend, put your feet up and enjoy a mani-pedi. You deserve it!
- Hey mom! Following an afternoon with your crazy kids, you deserve a stop at the mall to treat yourself to new shoes or that designer handbag or, well, whatever you want!
- Life got you down? Retail therapy, baby! You deserve it.
The underlying theme is that women are being too hard on themselves — juggling the duties of being mothers, wives, professionals and caretakers of aging parents — all at once. Women must stop punishing themselves and the first step is indulging in some retail therapy.
So then instead of punishing ourselves by plowing through life without a break, we punish ourselves with making purchases that sit on a credit card accumulating interest, creating anxiety and marital conflict, and holding us back from our goals.
Before you get all defensive about how these indulgences are required to get you through the week, consider the source of your notion that you need a massage every week. Were you really raised to believe this to be a basic part of human maintenance? Or was the idea planted by the ad you saw promoting therapeutic benefits of someone sliding a scalding hot stone over your greased-up skin?