For the month of October, I am joining over a thousand other bloggers by linking up with The Nester for 31 day blogging challenge where we post about one topic each day for the whole month. After lots of consideration, I have chosen to take a journey through this book, 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha Home the Mary Way, by Sarah Mae. Check out more information about the book from my 1st post here, and see my intro post with the links to the entire series here.
Hi! My name is Ashley and I am a people pleaser.
Seriously it is a problem. Ok, so its kind of a BIG problem. It is a big problem in the way that I go around pleasing everyone else and I make myself completely miserable in the process. Here is an example. A few weeks back, I went shopping. I spent the most amount of money on myself in one day that I have in our entire marriage. I have finally been loosing the baby weight, but am not in this awkward place where I'm too small for my "post-baby" wardrobe and still too be for my "pre-two-babies" wardrobe. I didn't even own a single pair of pants that fit. I spent way to much time scouring the clothing rack, bought things that fit, simply because they were on sale (read "cheap" or a too-good-to-pass-up deal). I didn't get them because I liked them particularly or because I was attached to them. However after several of them sat I'm my closet for over a week unworn, and I returned everything in my closet that still had a tag on it. In the same trip I also bought my husband two new pairs of work pants (he needed them), and purchased each of my kids a new pair of pajamas as the weather has started to turn, and they needed warmer sleep wear. See everyone is happy, I met the needs of my family.
The problem is, I didn't meet my needs. I am still super stressed out every morning while trying to find an appropriate outfit for work. I also now have a shoe crisis. Our wonderful dog enjoys chewing my shoes, and ONLY my shoes. I have been forced to get rid of many pairs, and some I donated that I just hadn't worn in the last few years. Now, I am struggling, because I can now count the pairs of shoes I own on my hands, and I don't own a single pair of sensible flats.
Here is my thing.
(what this day's reading is really about)
I feel guilty meeting my own needs/wants. I feel guilty to take time for myself. I feel guilty to spend time talking to my friends when I "should" be cleaning, or preparing things for the week. I feel guilty buying fully priced clothing for myself, even at stores like kohl's, but don't even blink at cute outfits for my babies. I honestly struggle with this for a few reasons. I have this deeply engrained feeling that being selfish is wrong. Buying things (even cheap things) for myself is selfish. Buying them for others is not. Spending extra money on myself is not ok, but spending it on my husband or kids is fine. I also don't like to spend money on making things look "pretty". I'm slowly getting over this, but it is a battle (in my head I'm looking at the price and calculating how many starving children we could feed). I have been living in this guilt trapped life of how things "should be" in my head. I had a long talk with my husband about this. I basically need to get over it.
I feel outside pressures, for "not spending enough time with my kids" because I work away from the home. To maintain a "perfect household", to dedicate myself to my family fully. Attempting to live up to these types of expectations, and the crushing guilt of failure is making me miserable. I am the only one who can change this, it is me who has to shed the "ideal" of these crazy expectations I put on myself that is driving me (and therefore the people I share my home with) crazy.
Do you do this? How do you push past it?