All these years of living as a lazy pampered wife had made me pretty accommodating where others were concerned. I used to adjust according to anyone’s need , squeeze in any undulations to the routine with ease , I had become the most gullible and cooperative person around .
Though an angry adolescent in my early years , I had transformed into the most compassionate, neighbourly and hospitable person, a people-pleaser you can say. It was not because I had become a ‘sanskaari patni ‘ or anything like that , but because I was in my happy place with agreeable surroundings. My husband being a sweetheart that he is , almost gave in (and still does ) to most of my requests and adapted just as I wished to my whims as well as my loved ones’ desires.
It was easier to deal with my own negative feelings and cheer my husband up than to handle the judging stares of others on saying ‘no’.
I had become so pliable that even when I was advised bed rest in pregnancy, I went and attended a family gathering alone after a tiring day of work just to please my side of the family.
And then from there on everything went downhill. The next day I was admitted with complications which just went on to pile on one over the other.
That day I realised , where kids are concerned , no one should come before them.
My husband who was too polite to refuse anyone’s request decided to categorically say ‘NO’ to anything that could bring any kind of discomfort to our kids .
It is not an attempt to spoil them , but with younger children , it is best to see their convenience and plan accordingly. Not only does their being cranky upset them and is unhealthy but will also cause you distress.
I am learning to get rid of my ‘disease to please’ . I have put an end to beating around the bush to explain my side . I am not a team player or a good sport anymore . Because I cannot be without making my family suffer with me for the ‘yes’ I said to not let people down. This niceness is troubling my kids and I am a very protective mother (you may tag me overprotective if you want).
I am back to being the grouch of the family, my temper rests on the verge of explosion but I cannot help it anymore . This time it’s not the kid in me but the kids with me , for whom I am responsible. I am not egocentric but I am clear about my convictions and priorities.
Do I feel guilty? Yes I do . I haven’t perfected the art of saying ‘No’ . Till I have a conscience I will keep feeling bad about it . May be I will be back to my people-pleasing self once my kids are big enough to be as accomodating as their father . But for now , I am just a new mom of two tiny infants to whom I have made a lifelong implicit promise of unconditional love and care , to be their anchor which steadies them while they embark on rough seas . Until then , I will maybe just try and say ‘No’ politely .
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