Standing up for myself.


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.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Venice says:

    Goodness! I’m amazed you held on so long. I can understand since for a long time even I was a people-pleaser, however, stopped being one 5 years ago. This much I’ll say, you may get hate, and some extremely close relationships may break, but at the end of the day, you can at least live with yourself for standing up for something you believe in.
    I’m glad you took a stand!

    1. Arch says:

      Thank you for backing my stand! Also, thank you for visiting and taking time to comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. paatiamma says: is the right thing to do..I am also a people I totally understand your situation. Good that you stood up for your kid and for yourself. More power to you !

    1. Arch says:

      Thank you. It’s always good to hear from others that what you did was right. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. It’s ok to be a people pleaser if what you get of it, is bigger than what you lose by going out of your way. I wouldn’t call myself a people pleaser – but yes, I always have a niggling thought that maybe I should be, because then I would be liked more? But that, I think doesn’t actually happen. In this case, I am so glad you drew a line – your baby is yours first and you get the first call on how to handle anything when it comes to him. Like I said, I am not a people pleaser, but when it comes to my baby, I think I am downright aggressive at times! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  4. Anu says:

    Gosh! I’m glad you took a stand! The fact that he didn’t cry could mean that he wasn’t enjoying it otherwise…sometimes we need to put our foot down, what the so called elders do need not always be right just because it’s the norm and is being done that way all along!

    1. Arch says:

      Yes. The sad part is they don’t agree to another person’s point of view.

  5. I think this will help you in the long run and people will understand or they won’t, any other discomfort now is temporary ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to (and still do) not like confrontations – I always think I want to only control what I can from my end and make it easier for all. But I have come to realise that not letting this discomfort get the better of you is also something I can do from my end. Everything else will pass. But it is so lovely to see your boy growing up – time flies!

    1. Arch says:

      It sure does. Thanks Piyu. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve been MIA. all good?

      1. Thank you for checking on me Arch – am doing good, spread out thin, but good ๐Ÿ™‚

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