So today I did something, which probably didn’t go down too well with someone and yet it made me feel better. All my life I’ve been a people pleaser, I try my best to be as accommodating as possible and see to that the other person is not hurt. What have I got in return? A lot of sadness and disappointment.
The fact is people don’t appreciate nice people. They take advantage of them. They take their daily good deeds for granted. It becomes a norm for the other person to keep being nice, no matter what she’s going through.
My baby was about 5 months old, when I got back home from my mother’s place. From that day till today, my MIL used to give my son a head bath. I was used to a different approach, but I could see where was coming from, so I made peace. To her and my FIL it was normal for babies to cry during bath and my FIL found it odd, if my son wasn’t crying someday. He would ask, “what bath did you give, I didn’t hear any sound”.
The bath procedure on the other hand looked like manhandling to me. So rough are her ways. But to all of them, including my husband, it seemed normal, because that’s what they’ve seen and been brought up with. So I just closed my eyes and ears and put up with it for a long time. Though I felt like expressing my opinion to my MIL many times, I stopped myself thinking she would feel bad, after all it was her grandson and she would want to do things for him too.
Lately it had gotten worse, with my son beginning to cry loudly, even before the bath. He would know the moment they would apply oil for a massage. He on the other hand, enjoys his bath on all other days. He loves to take a bath. It was getting very taxing for me to hear him cry like that. Despite telling her many times, my MIL wouldn’t slow down or pacify him during the bath.
Today, when he started crying loudly before the bath, asking for me, something in me shifted. I walked right out of the room and told her that I will give him a head bath and took him with me. Even after telling that, she came into the bathroom and told me that she will do it and that it’s normal for him to cry. “He does that every time, anyway”. I told her that “I feel bad when he cries”. She made a face, as if I had uttered something horrible and walked out of the bathroom.
I went on to give my son a bath, which he took with no crying. He and I were both calm and peaceful at the end of it.
Normally, I would have felt guilty for expressing how I felt, just because it hurt the other person. I wouldn’t think about how I was getting hurt in the process. It was always about the other person. But if people around us aren’t so considerate, maybe we should rethink too. Also, sometimes we just have to take a stand about things and do what is right, not thinking too much about everybody’s feelings.