‘I just wonder if they think I’m a DREADFUL mum?’ a self-crucifying (yet highly successful) mother confessed to me earlier this week over a steaming cup of hot coffee. And she wasn’t referring to her children’s assessment of her parental skills either. This inherent fear of judgement was attributed to those other mums at the school gates. I quickly reassured her and moved on.
‘Do you think that they think that we are totally MAD?’ a friend called me to ask as I sprinted to catch a bus in the pouring rain. I honestly had no idea who or what she was talking about but pacified her all the same.
‘But what will THEY say if we book a holiday THERE?’ He asked me last last night. I was too tired to even respond, let alone question the logic.
But, right here and now – after these three questions and so, so many more – I am realising that I (quite frankly) don’t give a damn what the next person thinks about any personal decisions I make in my life. Anyone disapproving or querying or even daring to judge me is quite frankly irrelevant – as long as that decision works for me and us and them. Actually, it doesn’t even cross my mind to peer over the garden fence to see how and why others lead their lives.
So, am I in the minority while all the rest care about those ever-present Jones-es? Of course it’s human nature to want to be liked and accepted but a burning need to ‘fit in’ will absolutely prevent you from being YOU. In reality, I can’t see how this over the shoulder glancing could ever work out well. Oh and one final word of warning, all the Jones I know are in a constant state of flux so, just when you think you’re finally slotting in, someone somewhere will change their view and BANG! you’ll find yourself flung back out in the cold.
This column first appeared in The Lady where I am their Mum About Town.
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