I am a natural born people pleaser. Ask anyone and they'll tell you I can't even pass a friend in need without putting my own life on a shelf while I help. I think I may have been born deficient of the gene that tells my brain to tell people "No, I can't" or "I don't care if you get upset that I'm not helping."
To offset my people pleasing, I do try my darnedest to take care of my own needs. I no longer am the kid wrangler every night of the week and I take at least one night and declare it free from all projects (save for an organizing binge or a trip to Target). I refuse to let anyone stand in the way of my Wednesday night Karate class or my Saturday afternoon Pole class. Those are my times, damn it, and no one's gonna take them away from me.
I realize I'm one of the extremely lucky stepmoms in the universe that gets along with her kids' mom. I consider her a friend and sometimes find I have more in common with her than I do my own husband (we've both been married to the same guy, both know his traits, etc.) If my husband is my foxhole partner, then she's my artillery manager.
Because we all get along so well, my stepmom worries have more to do with figuring out how much is too much when it comes to me, my involvement, my parenting, etc.
It's midweek at this point and already I've had a tough week. I'm physically exhausted, emotionally beat, burned out, and I feel like I'm going to come down with a wicked cold. Within the next 12 hours I will have gone to sleep, woken up, gotten dressed, dropped my husband off at the airport, finished a conference call and sipped 2 cups of coffee already. That doesn't even factor in the growing list of work-to do's I have sitting at the office.
I've heard my doctors say it enough times that I need to eliminate stresses from my life, but that's about as likely as eliminating my tax bill. I am a full-time working single stepmom with a 2 kids, 3 cats, a commuting husband and a house to maintain. Those things don't even factor in the stepmom stuff and the social media projects I get excited to do. I've considered cutting out the absolute non-emergencies, but frankly, if I cut out what I think is a stressor now, it only comes back to bite me in the ass later on. (Case in point: If I stop writing my by book then I'll only feel like a big fat failure which will make me feel more stressed out).
All of this leads me to my original question: How much is too much? If you're a people pleaser, what is your threshold for stopping and saying no and what are the first things to go when you need to de-stress?
I'd love to see your comments ladies as I find inspiration from y'all!