real life

When do you grow out of trying to please people?

I don’t often write about my Mum even though I think she is wonderful. She raised three kids and worked full-time and cooked lovely dinners and made us laugh. She’s very funny and witty, but she also doesn’t take any prisoners.

I know I’m really lucky with parents. Apart from the fact I’ve had the most secure and loving childhood (my parents still live in the house I was born in), they are both fit, healthy and active retirees. In between golf and yoga (yes, Dad does yoga now) and travelling and nights out with their friends they still have cups of coffee together.

After 54 years of marriage I have no idea what they are still talking about. Mum has always been able to break things down to their bare essentials.

The other day I found myself, once again, running late and annoyed I had made myself late by saying yes when someone I sort-of-knew asked me to do a favour. I’m sure they would have been fine if I said no as that is the point of asking. They were just seeing if I could do it and if I couldn’t they would have asked someone else. But I said yes to dropping off three kids from a party and it screwed up the rest of my night.

When I told my mum – no doubt complaining and frothing at the injustice of my situation - about the situation I put myself into, I could tell she couldn’t comprehend. Not the stress I was in, but why I simply didn’t say no.

“Why didn’t you say, ‘Sorry that doesn’t suit me’?” she asked (over the phone as we live in different States).

Oh Mum … she doesn’t get it.

Or maybe she does and I’m the one who needs to get with the program.
My Mum has always been careful to not interfere too much and respect the way I want to bring up my kids.

It sounds simple: “Sorry that doesn’t suit me”.

Could you say it next time you’re asked to do something you really don’t want to do?

Jackie xx

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