Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Disapproval, Judgement.. and the Art of Not Caring

Many moons ago (well, ok, like last year), my sister-in-law and I had it out on the phone. I won't make a short story long by getting into the whole schmozzle, but it ended badly. The last thing she said to me before she slammed down the phone was, "You're a bad, bad, bad mother doing a bad, bad, bad job!" My response: laughter and the certainty that I was being Punk'd. Her main issue with me was the way I raise my kids. She got supremely pissed when I said to her, "I. Don't. Care. What. You. Think. Your. Opinion. Doesn't. Mean. Shit. To. Me." And yes, I said it slowly and carefully to ensure she did not miss a word.

Every day people judge us and find we do not measure up to their unspoken ridiculous standard of what we should be. Or they disapprove of the way we do things, or the decisions we make. To which I say, "Who really gives a shit what other people think?" It really annoys people when you tell them you don't care about their opinion of you, which is kind of fun, actually. Of course, I do care that my husband thinks I'm a good wife, that my friends think I'm a good friend, that my kids (when they are older) think I did a good job raising them, that my patients (when I actually get to go back to work) think I am doing a good job. I'm talking more about the other people in our lives who are more.. peripheral, for lack of a better word.

There is a valid basis to not caring what other people think of you; other people are not working at your job, or married to your husband, or raising your hellions, or worried about a family member who might have a serious health problem, or struggling in the million other ways that each of us struggle. If they haven't walked in your shoes, why do they get a say in how you should run your life? Who died and made them the Disapproval Police?

My best friend D (names changed to protect the guilty) has a fantastic way of living her life and raising her kids: if it is not going to hurt my family morally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, or mentally.. laissez les bontemps roulez!! (Let the good times roll!! If you don't speak Le French.) She let her daughters dye their hair funky colors like pink and purple and blue before they were even ten years old!! Horrors!! She let her 12 year old get her nose pierced!! For shame!! But no, not really for shame. I admire D a lot; she has the courage to let her children be themselves, in spite of what people will think and say.

And yes, I do let my children run around outside without a coat on (or sometimes footwear) this early in spring.

Yes, I did give my son a faux-hawk today and wondered if 4 years old is too young for funky hair dye.

Yes, I make sarcastic remarks to my kids that they have no idea what I'm talking about but I think are funny.

Yes, Hot Stuff and I think making jokes about each other (Hot Stuff: "Fatass." Me: "Why hasn't someone shot and mounted you yet, Bald Eagle?") and divorce (Hot Stuff: "I'm leaving you." Me: "Just make sure the cheques clear each month") is hilarious.

Yes I laugh inappropriately and am blunt and tactless and sometimes standoffish.

So go ahead and judge. It won't bother me one bit. I'll still keep kicking along, and I'm pretty happy with who I am and the way I live. Who really gives a shit what other people think, anyway?

1 comment:

  1. OH I SO AGREE!! WE are the ones who stand before God and answer for our lives, not all of the other "judges" so to speak!
    I have always been the mamma who let them pierce just about whatever they wanted to, bought the funky hair dyes, signed for the tatoos. They knew I wouldn't sign for anything that would be a detriment to them in school or employment. And guess what?! So far, none of them has turned out to be crazy ax murderers!
    They don't come with a manual, we just do the best we can and ignore the "haters"! You got the right attitude GF!


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