During our bedtime routine last night, all three kids were crying at the same time. All had their own unique “issues” going on that they were unhappy about. It was lovely. When you have three kids, crying is a given.
I can almost forgive the youngest because he’s almost two, but then there’s the fact that he’s almost two. So, that means crying happens a lot. And, while I firmly believe he has started using the word, “Mommy” as an expletive this week, he is mostly sweet and precious. That is until you dare to dress or undress him. Then, it’s like we are in the WWF, and we’re both determined to pin each other down. Even if it kills us. I’m convinced though, that it is the little moments, like wrestling with the baby to get him dressed, that are changing me into a better person.
You see, I was thinking today about my people pleasing self. She’s a sweet person. She likes it when people like her, and she wants to help others. She often has a hard time saying no, and she frequently over-analyzes things. To the nth degree. She’s worried, ya know, about hurting someone’s feelings, or that someone is displeased with her actions. And, she doesn’t want to disagree with you. Don’t get me wrong, my people pleasing self is really, really, great. You’d like her for sure. Because she’d always tell you that you were great, even if you really aren’t. She also bakes lopsided cakes for people and sings to them.
But, the thing is, she also has some faults. She gets hurt a lot. And, she is sensitive too. Not a good combination. She hates to see others cry, and she definitely doesn’t want to hold you back from what you really want in life. So, she sometimes sacrifices what she wants for the sake of others. And, sometimes, she has a hard time being honest, because people often don’t want to hear the truth.
But, one day my, people pleasing self became a mom. At first, it was hard for her to just be herself. In fact, she worried constantly about disappointing me, and everyone else in the world. And, she especially worried about ruining her baby for life. But, then she had another baby, and another, and my people pleasing self started to die a slow death. And, I’m happy about it. I owe it all to my kids.
I may sound cruel, but you see, my people pleasing self needs to chill the heck out. She’s got three kids now. She has to say no constantly, even when it results in unpleasant results like small bodies throwing themselves to the floor in fits of anger. She has to be honest too. She can’t possibly let her children make the same mistakes she has been making. She has to let them wear mis-matched socks sometimes, and she has to hurt their feelings on occasion by telling them they can’t eat candy for breakfast. But, the good part is, she also has to teach them to be themselves and not care what others think. So, while she’s teaching that to her kids, she’s trying to take her own advice too.
Don’t worry, parts of her will still be there forever. She will still be kind, sweet, and willing to help you when she can, but she has three kids now, so she realizes more and more each day that it’s impossible to do it all. She’ll have to say no to the adults in her life too, not just the little people. And, she wants to tell her kids to chase their dreams and believe in themselves, so the part of her that was scared to do that herself? Yeah, that part is withering away slowly, too. I say it’s good though. It felt like a lot of baggage for her (and me) to carry. And, my people pleasing self would have killed me if I didn’t get to her first. And, I have my kids to thank for that.