I used to worry a lot about things. What I said. A possible confrontation. The whole argument would play out in my head, but it would never happen in real life. I’d worry about the future plus different scenrios of the future. None of it helped or really mattered as the future in my head never played out. I have lots of opinions on really dumb shit. I used to have more, so I’ve gotten better. People might assume that’s judgmental. I think it’s just having an opinion.** I’m loud about it, so that comes off bad. I gave a shit about a lot of things. I don’t know when it changed or why, but I got back to my roots.
My father taught us well. I don’t give a shit about little things because of him. He has self-esteem oozing out of him. He’s 6’4″ so that’s a ton of self-esteem to walk around. That shadow was long reaching as a child. But it was my Mom that fostered and helped our self-esteem grow. I feel like it was her Mother Mission: to make sure that her children were full up on self-esteem. With my Dad’s gene and my mother’s preaching, I think I was destined to be well stocked in the self-esteem department.
As a kid, good self-esteem means you don’t get into tricky situations. You aren’t spending your high school days doing things so the other kids will like you. There’s a certain amount of that engrained in high school, but good self-esteem means you won’t chase after affection endlessly.
Having good self-esteem is different as an adult. To me, it means you don’t give a shit. You’re comfortable with your You-ness. You aren’t chasing people or trying to be a certain type of Woman/Mom/Artist. Learning, but not chasing someone else. You’re too busy being You. You aren’t doing or saying something because that’s what you should say to appear normal and sweet. You aren’t saying Yes to something when you really need to say No. You’ve got your priorities and if someone thinks those are insane, you don’t give a shit. You just keep moving. Or not moving depending…
- I can tell you I didn’t spend my youth dreaming of being a mother. I can tell you I didn’t swoon at the sight of my baby covered in uterus goo (There’s a proper term, I assume). I can tell you this because I’m ok with it. I know that I’m a good mom despite my beginnings.
- I’ll share photos of my kid in the same shirt for two days. I can share a photo of my kid not wearing pants. I can share a sink full of dirty dishes because I don’t give a shit. It happens. No one is going to come take my kids.
- I don’t worry about typing “fuck” or “cunt” because it’s how I talk. If it offends you, you’ll move on.
- People seem to get really upset about other people’s parenting. Co-sleeping, breast-feeding, discipline, lack of discipline, bedtimes, eating, religion, home school, public school, private. Lord knows I had those concrete opinions in the past. I just don’t give a shit any longer. It works for them. Please don’t push on me cause I will push back. I won’t say you’re wrong with your choice, but it is wrong for us. And I’m comfortable with our own parenting. Even on days when I don’t want to parent one more second, I do and I’m comfortable with my skills. Just treat my kids well and we’re good.
We all have things that are important to us. Some lists are very long and others are very short.
Anything that conflicts with my list, I don’t really give a shit about. Anything in that list gets all of my attention and passion. I’m nicer when I’m not trying to please everyone. I think I’m a better wife, mom, and friend when I set boundaries. And I think I’m easier on myself when I screw up. I’m able to move on faster and not stew for days.
Saying, “I don’t give a shit” is really a crass way of saying, I’m comfortable being Me. I think it’s one of the most important things we can teach our children. More important than sports or getting all A’s. I think if I can help my children achieve their own You-ness, I will have 100% succeeded as their mother.
I’m not creating little narcissistic demons. I’m raising children who will be comfortable fighting for what they see is wrong. I’m raising children who won’t play the “Please Like Me” game. I’m raising children who will do what their hearts demands. For now that means I foster their own choices peppered with my own 36 year-old wisdom. In the future it will mean they will make decisions that I know are dumb. And it will mean that I might have to let them stumble. In the future, I might not agree with their opinions, but I want to hear them. Their You-ness isn’t mine and I will have to respect that. In the end, I hope it means I will raise two boys who really give a shit about the important things in life. Because everything else isn’t worth their time.
That’s my Mother Mission.
**I still have way too many opinions on things. I don’t give a shit if that’s bad or judgmental.