Anthem for the People-Pleasing Freakazoids


This morning I woke up with a line from Office Space repeating in my head. “Corporate-accounts-payable-Nina-speaking…JUST a mo-MENT!”

I am Nina.  I do my darndest to stay perky and follow all the rules.

But this week, I am de-perked and ready to flip a little tweety bird at life.

How about you?  Are you de-perkied, too?  Are you sick of trying to please everybody in your life?

I’m exhausted and realized I’ve been on my hamster wheel for too long.  The constant worry that I’m getting it right, that I’m pleasing the people around me, has me running my stubby little legs around and around.  Metaphorically running.  Please.  As if I have to explain that.

My kids’ stompy feet remind me daily that I’m not pleasing them, and I try to comfort myself with the knowledge that I’m standing between them and a lifetime of unshowered video gaming.  If I could find a way to harness the energy coming off my daughter’s eyeball rolls at me, we could power the whole house.

I made it to yoga class for the first time in weeks and spent a large part of the class huddled in a ball on the floor.  You might call it “child’s pose,” but I know the truth.  It was “huddled in a ball pose.”  (Speaking of balls – that’s how I should start all my sentences, really – my instructor had little balls of powder on her skin from a failed experiment with baby powder after a run, and I snort-laughed and fell out of crescent pose when she said innocently, “I can’t quit looking at my balls.”  Could you have handled that like an adult?  I could not.  I adore her.)  While in Huddled in a Ball Pose-asana, I felt completely drained of all life force.  Couldn’t even muster the energy for smiling.  And honestly?  It felt good to just show up and offer nothing.  I had nothing for my sticky yoga mat and the other people in the room.  I was a little blob in no way contributing to the area around me.  And it was good.

And so, here is our anthem for the people-pleasing freakazoids:

We are enough.

We are doing the best we can.

Just for today.  Let’s don’t put the pressure of forever on our shoulders.  Just for today, you are enough.  You are doing the best you can.  Which is enough.

People will try to tell you differently.  People will say the darndest things to you.  A couple days ago someone told me, “Oh I’d love to write but I don’t want to neglect my kids.”  Um.  Hashtag neglectful writer mom.

I am enough.

This is the time of the year with testing and the schools want me to take my night owl, party till dawn, breakfast-skipping kids and force them to get a full 8-hours and a protein-packed meal before the bus comes to cart them to their doom.  I am doing the best I can.

We are enough.

Alex tried to talk to me about taxes and I just started rubbing my face.  Talking about numbers always makes me start rubbing my face, like I’m coming out of a long accidental nap and need to snap out of it but I can’t understand what anyone’s saying and so I rub and rub my eyes to wake up.  But I’m doing the best I can.

My friend gave me these new socks, and I love them, because I look down and remember.  I am a great mom.  So are you.

We are enough.

We are doing the best we can.

Remember this: God loved you before you even got out of bed this morning.  Whether everything you touch turns to gold or you never lift your head from the pillow, today, you are enough.


Previous ArticleNext Article
  • OffTheCuffCooking

    I wish to hang on to this today. Kind of for other reasons than you, since I am still not a mother after 7 years of impatience… But I try to remember that I also HAVE enough. Even if my dreams of raising a family never come true, I have enough. Even if I lose everything I have right now, I will have enough, because God knows our path in life and is already at work behind the scenes.

    • Melanie Dale

      Oh friend. I feel your impatience. I’m aching with you and for you. You are whole and enough and complete. And also this waiting and wondering does suck, oh how it royally sucks. Love you.

      • OffTheCuffCooking

        Thank you, sweet nerd friend.

        • asnair

          On days like that I thank God for the things I do have. One of my teenage sons died a couple weeks ago and now I celebrate the days we all manage to get clean clothes on & make it to the bus stop on time. Lots of hugs makes any day bearable.

          • Melanie Dale

            Oh my goodness, asnair. I have no words. Aching for you.

          • Erica Bancroft

            (Hugs) to you today

  • Sabrina

    what a great post!! love how real you are. Wish I could meet some folks up here that can just be real like that. Such a challenge. It is hard being a mom and sucks a lot of the energy from you. Loved your book, i just moved to a new town a year ago and still haven’t found any mom friends. Everytime I think I am getting close I make the mistake of sharing about something in my life and then I think I scare them off. Being a mom can be a lonely world.

    • Melanie Dale

      Sabrina, you’re right. It can be lonely. I hope you find your people soon. It’s so hard being the new kid. Praying for you right now.

  • Liz

    *sigh* I need to hear this like everyday. The monkeys swinging in my brain make me *feel* like I’m not doing a good enough job even if they don’t outright *say* it. It’s all I can do to shut out the noise and cling to God’s promise to work all things together for the good of these children that I seriously think I’m permanently damaging somehow with each impatient remark, tired ignorance and hour of boob-tube–regardless of the fact that it’s Team UmiZoomi, and therefore, feels less brain-numbing than educational. People-pleasing-perfectionist-control-freaks unite!… And tell each other to give yourselves some grace!

    • Melanie Dale

      Grace, grace. You are enough. :)

  • Erica Bancroft

    Speaking of balls: a friend of mine was an instructor for one of those high-energy dance workout classes during which she wore a headset with the foam ball over the microphone. In the middle of an especially exhilarating session the mic was cutting out due to being soaked with sweat at which time she asked her class to excuse her so she could go “wash her sweaty ball”. Bwhaha!

    On a serious note: THANK YOU for being enough. Your candor provides a much needed positive answer to “you mean, I’m not the only one?” and a welcome dose of the best medicine – laughter! At ourselves, with each other. In this culture of independence and isolation, whether technology can be blamed for the end of the world or not(pretty sure sin has something to do with it – just sayin) we can be thankful for the tools we have to use to encourage each other, honor our Creator, and get a laugh, too! #typingthisonmysmartphone

    (Hugs to all you Sisters. You are enough. )





Oh hey! Wanna be friends?

  • Get exclusive emails each month.