I, like every woman, am a weird combination of personality traits. Not weird in a Cybil way, but more in a Meredith Brooks, "I'm a bitch, I'm a lover / I'm a child, I'm a mother / I'm a sinner, I'm a saint" kind of way. And yes, I realize every reader now has that song stuck in their heads. You're welcome.
I am steadfast in my beliefs and I do not cower. If you say the R-word, I am on it like a dog on a bone (or a dog on my shoes, if we're using my actual dog as an example). I am pro things and against things, and while I know my friends and family might disagree, I will respect that, but I won't change. In contrast, I am a complete wet mop, door mat, knock me over with a feather pushover if you need something. I am easily guilted into doing whatever project or serving whatever function you need. Make a note, because if you need something, I will agree to it even when I don't want to. I'm handy to have around.
I used to assume that this need to please just affects me. I am pressed to fit it all in and I have the need to make it all really good, so I won't even half ass the stuff I don't want to ass at all. I'll do it well, but I've come to realize that it isn't just a weight I put on my shoulders. Its shouldered by my family as well.
When I am stressed to fit it all in, I stress my kids out, too. I work three part time jobs so I can be home with my children, but I am not doing them any favors when I bite their heads off constantly because their wants aren't fitting into my hectic schedule. How fair is that? We're tightly scheduled with the things that my kids want to do, and I'm fine with that because they deserve to participate in scouts and sports. But, then I add in my own junk and suddenly the 2 minute window I've created for a potty break is gone and my kid needs a drink of water which is outside the time allotted to getting him drinks and suddenly I'm snapping at him for the fact that he dare get thirsty when I am busy. Good thing I don't have him in daycare when he can get cared for with this much love and affection, right???
The funny part is that I can say no to my friends. I can tell them that I don't have time to go out, or I don't feel up to it. I know that they will love me (and/or tolerate me) regardless. Its the acquaintances I can't say no to. In my need to prove to a total stranger that I can do it all and help where needed, I am proving to my kids that I put a stranger's needs above their own. I'm showing that my time is most important solving problems that someone else can solve, instead of the ones in my home which need a mommy to do it best.
Well, I've decided today that I'm done with that. I am going to be a good mother, and to do that I might not be able to be a good school, PTO, church, scouts, work volunteer. I am going to say no to others so that I can say yes to my kids. I will still have my three part time jobs, but when I'm home with my kids, I'll focus on them full time. And for that, I'll be liked and appreciated by the ones that mean the most instead of those that matter least.