It's amazing the topics that run around my head while I'm doing something simple like loading the dishwasher. One of those thoughts today ran to people pleasing.
I am 39 years old. Yes, I admitted it. I'm 39 soon to be the big 4 O. So it comes as some surprise to me that I am still a people pleaser. Ever since I can remember I have found myself doing things someone else's way because I knew that's what they wanted.
Take my inlaws for example. I often find myself fussing over things and strain myself to be extra vigilante about things I would let slide when they are not around. Like eating off the floor. Five second, 10 second rule, smule. If my kids drop a chip or cookie on the floor, we blow it off and eat it. With my inlaws, that's not only horrifying but disgusting. I figure, hey, I keep my floors reasonably clean. Any dirt on it is their's after all. When my inlaws are around my kids are not allowed to eat snow. I figure if it doesn't have dirt in it and it's not yellow, what's the big deal? How could this glorious white stuff just made for eating be dirty and disgusting? I ate snow when I was a kid and I was never sick.
We put off taking our Disneyland vacation even though we have enough travel reward miles because we worry that the family will frown upon it and question us as to how we could afford it when we have so much business debt. Unfortunately, we had to use the cash we had been saving. So I can look at it two ways, it was a good thing we didn't go because we needed the cash or it was a bad thing we didn't go because now we don't have the cash to go. Either way, it was disappointing.
Then there's my mother. I've been married almost 12 years and completely live my own life, yet there are things I hesitate to tell her because I think she'll disapprove. When we bought our van, I didn't even tell my parents until the deed was done because I figured they'd think we were being financially irresponsible. I am pretty sure some of my thoughts regarding having a fourth baby, come from the fact that I know my mother wouldn't approve.
Try walking that line between your inlaws and husband. I learned very quickly that I couldn't please both my MIL and my husband. Let's just say she would like to be more involved in our life than hubs would like.
What makes us this way? I wish I knew so I could fix it.
I admire people that can say no and not feel guilty about it. People who can simply state their position and not be defensive about it. People who aren't afraid to ask for what they want.
Sometimes I feel like I haven't grown up at all. I may own my own home and have a family which I manage, I think, successfully enough yet some days it all seems so surreal that this is my life.