When my children see me reading, they call it Mummy time.
Recently I attended an all-female event for women over 40 – I’m not quite there yet but I now feel much more prepared for all the things that are coming at me after that particular milestone.
During the event, guest speaker Tracy Secombe, author of From People Pleaser to Soul Pleaser talked us through her journey from a busy career woman, wife, and mother who from afar looked to be killing it at life, to someone who overcome by grief was cracked wide open enough that she finally could see that she was dying trying to kill it at life. The irony.
The women in the room could clearly relate to the feelings of doing so much for others, both out of love and not, and as a result not nurturing ourselves.
Tracy asked the room to take a quick 5 question people pleasing quiz to see how high on the people pleasing scale we were. With 50 being the highest anyone could score, describing them as a through the roof people pleaser, I scored a 3! Yes I’m gloating. #brag
I love positive reinforcement, I always have, since as young as I can remember. We all do. But as an adult, wife, mother, and someone with limited personal time, people pleasing has never really been on my spectrum.
I am surrounded by people who are pleased with who I am, and I surround myself with people that I am pleased with. We are all people that believe pleasing our souls is a huge priority in this thing we call life.
During Q/A, a woman who described herself as a mother with two small daughters, asked how she can prevent her daughters from being people pleasers. I wanted to answer this question. I felt my arm wanting to shoot up and my bum wanting to boost off the chair. I know the answer to this one, I thought. Because I role model this in my house daily.
I believe one of my greatest responsibilities as a mother is to raise children that believe they are important, and not just as children. As children they get extra attention, and they are our biggest priority. But I want my children to become selfish adults.
Yep, I said it.
When my children become adults and have partners of their own, I want them to know they are still people deserving of their own time and space and friends and hobbies.
When my children become parents I want them to know they are now parents, as well as partners, and people deserving of their own time, and space, and friends, and hobbies.
When they start their careers I want them to know they are not just their job but they are also people deserving of their own time, and space, and friends, and hobbies.
I want my children to become adults that actively prioritise self-care for the benefit of living their best life, experiencing all the versions of themselves, and be gifted with love from other healthily selfish humans.
In my home when I am going out for a social occasion with the ladies, maybe a brunch or birthday, we talk about how mummy needs time to have adult conversations. We talk about how mummy needs to do some of the other things that make her happy, and excited. We talk about how mummy needs to connect with her friends, just as they do when they are at school or go to birthday parties or play at the park.
When I am reading a book the children refer to this as mummy time. They know that I love to read, and when I see my children pick up books of their own and flick through the pages beside me, I see the future, and how mummy time will soon be the way that they indulge in self-care when they become busy adults. I too learned this from my own mum.
I’m role modeling behaviours that I want to see in my children as adults, so we can have a generation of adults who are living big lives that they know and believe they are worthy of.
I’m role modeling being a human who only has this one life to live, and I want my children to make choices for themselves and others with kindness and joy at the forefront of their minds, not guilt.
People pleasing shouldn’t make your life harder. You’re a person too; please you.