The other day I was at the park with a friend. We decided it was time to head home so we went to put our kids in our respective cars which were both parked on the street about twenty feet from one another. I went to put Hudson in the car first and out of the corner of my eye I saw Holland hovering around the trees at the edge of the park. Before I knew it she had her underwear and skirt around her ankles and was peeing basically on the side of the road. So, what did I do?
I stuck my head further inside the car and pretended that I didn’t see my daughter peeing. I could see my friend about to say something to me, so when I about thought Holland was done, I looked to my left and acted shocked and appauled that my daughter was peeing. My friend nodded in agreement and was happy that I had finally seen the horrid occurance ;).
What was really going on inside my head when I glanced to the left and saw Holland was on the edge of pulling her pants down:
“I really don’t want her to have an accident in the car seat and I want to go to the bank on the way home so it would be much easier if she just peed here. I will just stick my head inside the car so my friend doesn’t think that I am letting her pee on the side of the road. So, then it will be convenient and I won’t seem like a bad mom… yeah, that is a good idea.”
Why do we care what people think? We do… every day, we dress for others, we cater to others, we try and please others. We try and control how we are perceived. That is fine as long as we are being authentic. What happens when we aren’t though?? Was I being authentic?… not even close. I was trying to seem like I teach my child to use an indoor restroom when clearly that is not an expectation for the Taplin family :).
I am not a people pleaser… but, even me… the “I don’t care what others think” girl does care. I do care… I want people to like me, I want people to think I am worthy of their friendship, I want to be someone who is respected and liked back.
Authenticity in relationship is scary. It requires releasing control over our masks… over the facade of our best self and allowing others to see us for who we truly are.
Do you have people with whom you can be truly authentic?