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A few months ago, just as the weather was starting to warm up here in Melbourne, I sat in the the courtyard of my favourite cafe enjoying some sunshine and a much needed coffee. It was a blissful moment of alone time and I was content just to lean back against the warm brick wall and close my eyes.

The only other people there were some new parents. How did I know they were brand new parents? Firstly, the sheer volume of stuff they had with them {as a second-timer, I shove a spare nappy and pair of undies into my handbag and we’re off}, and the conversation they had once they’d sat down.

Do you think we should get her out of the pram? I don’t know, it’s a bit sunny. But she might get too hot. And the nurse says a bit of sunshine is good for them. Did you put sunscreen on her? No, I thought it was meant to be bad for their skin at the moment? Well then should she be covered up? But it’s before ten, isn’t it? Sun is ok before ten. I don’t know…who told you that? The doctor. What about if we get her out but keep the muslin on? I might need that if I have to change her. You’ve not got a spare with you? No, but I have got a blanket, we could use that maybe?

By the time they’d decided what to do, their coffees were cold and the little one needed a feed.

I’m not writing this to bash new parents. Hell, I’ve been there – the responsibility is terrifying. I was fully expecting someone to tap me on the shoulder as we left the hospital with our first daughter to say ‘stop, we’ve just realised you haven’t got a clue what you’re doing…’

But they don’t. They just let you out there – with a whole new person in your arms – and you have to work it out as you go.

Desperate to be sure they’re doing the right thing, the vast majority of new parents try to parent via committee. They try to make decisions that will keep everyone happy – them, the baby, the nurse, the doctor, the mother, the mother-in-law, the friends….

It’s impossible, and it usually takes a lot of tears and heartache before you finally realise the only way forward is to trust your own intuition.

Parenting by committee is one thing. But how many of us live by committee?

Maybe you want to collect every single piece of relevant information before you make a decision, and end up getting nowhere fast because you’re drowning in facts. Or perhaps you put everyone’s needs ahead of your own, and end up without even the smallest scraps of time for yourself.

Or perhaps you’re just terrified of making a decision because you have people in your life who blame you for their unhappiness.

We’re all guilty of this to some degree.

Because, to a degree, we all want to keep other people happy. After all, life is easier if we’re surrounded by happy people. Interactions are more pleasant when people are content. And none of us want to be the person who causes pain to others.

But…what happens when making other people happy means that we’re unhappy?

If our loved ones’ contentment is incompatible with our peace of mind? If trying to make sure we don’t cause harm to others means we cause tremendous harm to ourselves.

Trying to keep everyone happy, to make decisions that encompass and consider every possible permutation and nuance of a situation will lead to one outcome only.

You losing out.

And you have a responsibility to yourself to make sure that doesn’t happen.

You have a responsibility to make decisions that work for you first and foremost.

Yes, balancing everyone’s needs is great…but most of the time impossible.

Yes, giving people what the want will generally make them happy…for a short time, anyway.

But let’s be clear – you are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness or peace of mind.

Just your own.

So…it’s time to get used to being unpopular. To get used to pissing people off. To get used to saying ‘no’.

Because – no matter what you do – you are going to disappoint someone. And I’d far rather that person not be yourself.

If you’d like to book a personal power reading to work out just how you can start stepping into your power, head on over to my store. You can also sign up for my newsletter to get access to monthly Dark Moon readings, designed to help uncover just what we need to release each month.

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