Friday, January 3, 2014
When You Worry What Other Moms Think
Well, this is one of those things most moms don't want to say they do but it is something we probably all do.
Should I say it again?
We probably ALL do this.
We know we shouldn't. We try not to. We say we don't care...
Yet, that moment when your kids misbehave or say something they shouldn't or you do something that causes another mom's eyebrow to raise... well, we worry.
We wonder what people are thinking.
We question ourselves, worrying what so and so might be thinking or saying or wondering about how you parent, how you mother or how you handle family situations.
I'm not talking about major insecurity issues... I'm just talking about the casual worry or wonder that happens when you are mothering or parenting in front of others.
It is hard because every single family parents differently.
We handle things differently.
What we allow our kids to do or eat or have... What we eat or when we sleep or how we play or... it is all different.
And if we do it differently than another mom... it can be obvious and embarrassing and even frustrating.
Whether we are with extended family and the differences are blaring or we are out for a day with friends, worrying about what other moms think is a common yet dangerous road.
So if we all do it sometimes... and sadly, sometimes we are the other mom with the raised eye brow... what do we do?
How do we handle this worry?
1. Remember it is normal and natural to watch and to wonder. The human race learns by watching. So don't always take the raised eyebrow as criticism. That mom might be learning from you as you parent! Don't always assume the worst. She just might be thinking, "Hmmm... that was a great idea!"
2. Look at yourself. How DID you handle that situation? Did you over react? Could you have spoken differently than you did to your children? Were you being too strict or too lenient? Let God use some of that eyebrow raising to give you moments of reflection. If you find you were off, fix it. If you weren't... smile and move on.
3. Be confident. It is okay that families do things differently! If you are parenting as God has led you to do, stick with it!
4. If you are walking into a situation where you know you parent differently from the other families you will be with, be prepared for it. Talk it through as a family and decide ahead of time how you will handle situations. That will cut down on the head on collisions you might face. This is especially helpful over the holidays with extended family.
5. Don't dwell on it. Really. Philippians 4:8 was written for a reason. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Keeping those things in mind really helps me when I feel myself falling into the mom-worry trap.
Have you ever experience this feeling of worry? How do you handle it?
Fun on the journey,
*I'm over at my blog today talking about Parenting Through Apps and Social Media... I'd love your thoughts!