Amanda Viviers | 98five blogger
Grab a cup of coffee, sit in a circle with me and together let’s repeat…
“Hi, my name is Amanda (insert your fabulous name here) and I am a people pleaser.”
One of my greatest weaknesses in life is that I care. I care so much, that my brain fogs over with the constant weight of responsibility to make everything in my world OK.
I often text people just to check in on them and when they don’t reply, I think that maybe I’m the one who has done something wrong. People around me behave badly, storm off from conversations and yet I find myself reeling wondering how I could have changed their response. People pleasing is my kryptonite and I am actively seeking change and freedom in this part of my life.
Just this morning, I made our bed and looked underneath my bedside table and realised that a plastic toy gun, that probably landed there mid-flight between my two children wrestling on our bed, has been there for a good two weeks. I can see the dust settling and the eyes rolling, yet for once in my life, I just don’t care anymore.
The non-violence crew, whose opinions are so very valid about our children not having toy guns.
The Marie Kondo fan girls, who think that the gun, because it hasn’t been touched lovingly in over two weeks, then it should be thrown away to the massive plastic rubbish pile.
The non-plastic groupies, who think that the gun should have been made with wood to draw my children away from their evil screens into the forest.
The tribe lists go on and on, then some more.
Tales of A Tuesday morning
On Tuesday this week, I sat with my daughter on the floor of her dance class. To tell you the honest, raw truth, even though I have been hashtagging #tuesdaysarefordancing, they have been far from jovial. This last Tuesday was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I sat trying to convince my two-year-old to listen to her teacher and she slapped me across my face.
I did what any self-respecting parent would do is sat her in the corner, in front of the whole class full of ‘mummy and me experts’ and I wanted to crawl into a glass of wine for the rest of my life. I quietly asked my beautiful rule breaker to say sorry “for slapping Mummy’s face” and she refused.
Ever so embarrassingly I dragged her out of the class screaming and we drove the whole way home both crying. This is the second time this year that we have done this very thing.
Do you know what hurt me the most about this terrible part of my parenting week?
Was that I was more concerned about what the other mums thought about me and the embarrassment that chilled right down to my toes. I was so embarrassed that all I wanted to do was pull out of that class and never, ever return.
Often my husband and I have to say to ourselves, she is only two. Two.
Not five, not three yet, two. And two-year-olds break the rules. It is like they are hardwired to make you angry!
I shared this last week on my social media pages and it went a little crazy.
How To Be A Mum in 2017:
Make sure your children’s academic, emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, physical, nutritional, and social needs are met while being careful not to overstimulate, understimulate, improperly medicate, helicopter, or neglect them in a screen-free, processed foods-free, GMO-free, negative energy-free, plastic-free, body positive, socially conscious, egalitarian but also authoritative, nurturing but fostering of independence, gentle but not overly permissive, pesticide-free two-story, multilingual home preferably in a cul-de-sac with a backyard and 1.5 siblings spaced at least two years apart for proper development also don’t forget the coconut oil. (This is why we’re crazy.)
I am realising that one of the greatest difficulties of our social media age, is that we are overwhelmed by all the information that is bombarding us. We are overwhelmed trying too hard to do it all, be it all and keep everyone’s opinions at bay.
Then you add in people pleasing. The peace keepers. The empaths. Those who just want to keep everything OK and that is an important part of their emotional well-being and health.
We need wisdom and strength to be able to decipher what is information, what is people pleasing and what opinions we just need to let roll off our hearts and lives.
We need the wisdom to be able to say no when the people pleaser in us just wants to say yes to stop the awkward conversation.
We need the wisdom to stop ourselves from running after someone when they choose to remove themselves from your life.
We need wisdom and strength to reform our self-worth from what others say and do, to be able to sit comfortably in the discomfort of it all.
and most of all self-discovery.
This is my prayer for us sitting in this circle today. That we continue to find strength in those broken parts of ourselves and that most of all, that we are kind to ourselves in the midst of the wrestle.
Amanda is a writer, speaker, creative coach, wife of Charl and novice Mum to Maximus and Liberty. She’s published three books and can be found in her beach shack, writing her fourth. Her daily blog is a Christian Media & Arts Australia best digital media project award winner. Amanda is a presenter on radio across New Zealand and Australia and is the co-founder of Kin Women; a network created to inspire women. Along with her husband, she is co-owner of surf brand, Maximus and Liberty. They manufacture surfboards, stand up paddle-boards and merchandise to fund youth surfing projects globally. Driven by a passion for social justice, Amanda loves supporting projects for children in developing countries. Teaching children to live creative lives, beyond the circumstances, is something she pursues daily. www.amandaviviers.com | Follow Amanda on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest