I feel like a lot of the stress we can bring on to ourselves as mothers (and fathers) is the worry about what other people will think of our parenting and/or our child’s behavior.
“How does this make me look as a mom?”
“They’ll think I’m horrible!”
“It looks like he’s a bad kid. He’s not! HE’S NOT!”
To this I must ask, why do we care?! WHHHHY!?
Growing up I wasn’t someone who cared about what people thought. I felt that quality helped me be who I am, make life-long friends, and be more compassionate toward others. I wasn’t afraid to make a mistake and if I did get embarrassed, it was easy to shrug off and tell myself (and believe) people who loved me didn’t care I just did/said that.
However, when I became a parent, this fear that everyone is watching and judging threatens to consume me. Everyone is watching and judging as usual, but now, I care. WHY?!
I suppose I’m not 100 percent confident in being a mom. I mean, it’s weird. Me? A mom? So because of that, it’s harder to tell myself I’m all right with what I do or how I act. I’m molding another person! It was OK when I was steering my own ship, but now maybe I AM embarrassing (Whaaaa?) or wrong or something else. There’s no book to follow!
MOST of the time I don’t care, but there are instances, like when I walk around the corner away from my three-year-old when he won’t leave the giant cage of balls at Walmart, tell him I’m leaving him, and he’d better get going if he wants to come with me. (Meanwhile, you know I’m NOT, and I’m watching him like a super spy peeking around the corner at him while he contemplates a life at Walmart.) I’ve had people throw me looks. Like, weird looks of “you told him you’re leaving him?” or “YOU’RE NOT WATCHING HIM!” Seriously? You think that people of Walmart? They do. I can see it in their eyes! I still stick to my guns but my heart sinks, I put my head down in shame, and I bite my lip to keep from explaining myself to the judges…then, Lincoln wises up and comes with me.
It’s also hard to write for this blog because of this -- I often write something, reread it, then go back and add in all my explanations, apologies and excuses.
I’m catching myself, though, and taking some help from junior high/high school me. Why would I care what people think if I know I’m doing it right for me/him? I’m not hurting anyone so why wouldn't I just do what I do? If people don’t get “it,” that’s OK and not my problem, right?