Someone said to me, you must really not give a fuck what people think of you. You wear circle skirts, and loud prints and big hair flowers. You stand out.
I thought about it for a minute, and that’s just not true. I care far too much about what people think of me. I spend about 90% of my time thinking about what people think of me. I can’t walk into a room, or down the street to be with family without wondering what other people think of me.
I analyse every interaction with other humans, wondering what I could have done better or how I could have managed the situation differently.
The more I think about it, the more sad it seems.
It has become even more glaring obvious that I am far too quick to worry about others’ opinions since I became a mum. And what is worse is that I regularly adapt how I want to parent to fit what I feel other people want me to do. Why would I want my daughter to grow up seeing her mum’s opinion regularly discounted and trodden down?
That’s not other’s people’s fault. Everyone has an opinion, but I am under no obligation to listen to them. Much less actually act upon them.
I try to do the best for my family and daughter. The way I parent may not be the way others parent, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I must be doing something ok, she is thriving.
I want my daughter to grow up confident in her own decisions and in herself. I want her to be strong, and to continue being as wilful as she is now. I also want her to know that although her decisions may not always work out the way she planned, it is ok and she can dust herself off and try again. I want her to know that it is ok to disagree with the opinions of the people around her, and that she can forge her own path.
I need to find my voice, for her, and show her the strong woman I want her to be. Not the woman who allows others to dictate to her and lets her voice be drowned.
I want to be a role model for my daughter.