For when you're tempted to please everyone

by Lauren Matthies


I am a definite people pleaser.  In school I always took pride in the fact that my teachers loved me, I had a panic attack in high school when I thought a random teacher (not even my own) was mad at me, I want validation that people like me, and I hate any form of conflict.

If we let the opinions of others define us, then we will never know who we are.

I started writing this post before Henry was born (five days to be exact) and I never finished it.  It's funny to read it now because my whole perspective has shifted.  Of course I am still naturally a people pleaser.  I want others to like me.  I get self-conscious when I don't get many likes on an instagram post or when I see what I've lost followers.  (How silly does that sound?)  I want my parents to be proud of me as if I am still a little girl.  I want my husband to think I'm the best wife and mother.  I want Henry to feel as if I've done everything right.

Well, that's not going to happen.  At least not all the time.  I will make mistakes, as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a person.  I will have people who disagree with me.  I will have people who judge the decisions I make as a mother.  I will lose followers and may never gain much notoriety.  No matter how hard I try, I can't please everyone, and I will lose myself in the process.

I want to practice extended breastfeeding, letting Henry choose when he is ready to wean.  I currently bedshare.  I believe in gay rights.  I love to eat.  I'm a vegetarian.  I still cuddle up in bed with my parents.  I take naps with my sister.  I like South Park.  I watch reality TV.  I don't like practicing certain types of headstands.  You get it.  The list could go on forever.  You may think some of what I said is ridiculous, and you may agree with it all.  That's okay.  It is who I am, and that's that.  I'm not good, I'm not bad, I'm just me.

So, of course I will still be tempted to please everyone.  It's in my human nature.  But, each time I acknowledge that I can just be me, my spirit will be a little freer and my life will be a little more joyful.