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.