You Might Be a People-Pleaser If

…your jaw drops as your spouse tells your ever-demanding toddler “No, you do not need the soap from the bathroom (which you are likely on your way to the bathroom to retrieve in a hasty manner) because the soap right beside you is fine.” Your jaw drops because you realize, Oh, you can do that?? You can just say no?? 

I would like to say the above scenario was a figment of my imagination…but no, my house…a few weeks ago…and I was NOT the one saying no. Sigh.

It doesn’t take me long to fall into a pattern of running myself ragged to please the insatiable…INSATIABLE “appetites” of my beloved daughter. Sometimes I actually want to see how far we can take this. How many aqua blue cupcakes iced with purple frosting and sprinkles can she eat before she will stop asking for more? Seriously. How many??  I fear she will. never. stop. not. ever. And just as ridiculous as her insatiable appetite for more lemonade or oatmeal or swinging or being held or one. more. viewing. of. Frozen, is my insane attempts to please this child. Seriously. What am I doing? What am I thinking? I will be heading out the door to prepare her wagon for a stroll all while juggling a sippy cup of her latest demand, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with her three favorite jellies (grape, strawberry, and apricot) combined to perfection,  all three pairs of sunglasses, her favorite blanket AND her shoe of preference before it dawns on me…HEY! Then comes the indignation…who does she think she is? She has no idea how good she has it! I stay home to meet every need. Why is this child never ever pleased? Why is it never enough for her? With the anger towards my darling girl comes the startling truth that I am the one in the wrong. If I had said no…at…say the request for THREE jellies in her sandwich, perhaps my resentment would not have built. And there’s also the startling realization that just because I can give my daughter what she requests, does not mean that I should.

She is doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing…she is a toddler. She is insatiable. And anyone who does not believe in human depravity has never gone head to head with a toddler. That is original sin played out in all its gory splendor. It’s almost breath-taking to encounter such unadulterated lust.

But I digress. So, in my happy home, there are two issues at work…a bit of a perfect storm really. First, there’s my daughter’s insatiable appetite, asking me to do more, more, more. And then there’s my unrelenting need to please her.

There is part of me that wants to throw up my hands and yell, “How in the world am I supposed to parent this girl if I keep making the ame mistakes? If it takes me way to long to realize I’m off track? I’m unhealthy? I’m seeking her approval again?” And there is part of me, the part that actually listens to the holy spirit, that is grateful for this opportunity…to travel with her…to let her watch me stumble, fall, repent, turn back, and replace my need for her approval with Jesus. Again. And. Again.

Ah. So grateful. So humbled. So. Blessed.

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3 thoughts on “You Might Be a People-Pleaser If

  1. And I wonder at this point, why did Jesus tell us to be like these little children to get in the kingdom of heaven? To be so focused on personal need, or really wants? It makes me wonder if those children were very well trained, or if Jesus ever spent time with toddlers. Just a thought here as I wake up this Tuesday morning. 🙂

  2. lol! I like Jennifer’s thoughts and I can soooo commiserate with you Jan! I am sure my oldest was fairly demanding but #2 is as you said like watching the original sin being played out in all it’s “gory” (I really like that). Thank you for being so honest, I love reading these, makes me feel a little less alone on how I feel 😉

  3. i find myself in a same predicament with my 16 year old daughter. I never ever want her to feel pain or endure the sufferings I did as a teenager. I never ever want her to question my love for her. I still want to protect her from the realities of the world… however now as she is preparing for college in another year, I am painfully aware of how my insecurities have hindered me in preparing her for the harshness of this world. Although I’m perfectly fine with her living with me forever, (and I’m not just saying that) I know that I have to pull back and let her fall and falter and fail, all the while sitting on the sidelines watching her figure it all out for herself. It’s a torturous experience, but yet I love every moment. The mother, the masochist.

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