What others think of us is actually none of our business…
This is something that I continually remind myself and my clients of. We can spend so much of our time and energy on worrying about other peoples opinions, as well as the general opinions and expectations of society in general. We could say its not always a bad thing if we consider other people, however, if we are making decisions about our lives based on what others think instead of primarily considering our own needs and desires, then this can have a huge knock on effect in many areas of our lives.
I recently shared a picture of my husband and our eight week old baby on social media. He had the baby in a carrier and was sweeping the floor at the same time. He is actually taking the majority of the paternity leave as I run my own business, and so it was not an option for me to be off for any decent amount of time as the business doesn’t run without me, and so he is now off taking on the majority of care for our baby for the next seven months. As you can imagine this will potentially divide opinion, as it isn’t the norm in our society for men to take extended paternity and for women to go back after two weeks, but it has worked out wonderfully for us. We get to spend so much more time together as a whole family, my husband has had the opportunity to bond with our daughter on another level, and the flexibility has worked our really well for all of us. We know that we are very fortunate to have this option, and it hasn’t come without some challenges (certainly for me!) but overall we definitely wouldn’t change it.
The reason I am sharing this with you is because when we were deciding whether to take this option, it did come to mind how both of us may be perceived for making this choice, and some people were shocked and didn’t necessarily think this is how it ‘should’ be! Opinions such as me not fulfilling my duties as a mum by going back to work too soon,my husband ruining his career opportunities by taking time off and so on. If we had worried about being judged by others we could have been in a very different situation right now, both trying to juggle work and a new born as well as a teenager and what for? To reach approval from others? To fit in with societies expectations? It was a consideration, and I know that so many people stop themselves from doing what feels best for them due to fear of disapproval and judgement. Who decides what is best for us anyway? All of societies norms and people’s opinions are simply a build up of conditioned beliefs that they carry over a period of time, that are not often challenged, and also regularly do not actually suit us or our lifestyle but have simply become so habitual.
I wanted to write this as a reminder to anyone who feels they want more from life. That feels that they are holding off doing certain things due to fear of being judged, that you will be judged and thats OK! What if it doesn’t matter what other people think? What if it’s actually none of your business was they think? Take it from a 43 year old mum of a new born, with a stay at home husband, that your happiness will definitely not come from pleasing others, it will come from you putting yourself first ,and that involves sometimes making decisions that challenge the general norm. Go for it! You never know it may even turn out better than you ever imagined.
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