The past few weeks, I've been "called out" a few times on my parenting. One man said to me, "Never, ever, ever let your toddler walk behind you". Another gave me very condescending glances and grunts as I spoke to my friend while bouncing my crying baby. And lastly, I was told to watch where I'm going with my stroller in a restaurant, I could knock over her hot drink! I'm usually so frustrated when I get criticized in public that I kind of just stare at the person for a second...and then walk away.
Once you're in that life stage of "optimal fertility", comments about lifestyle, life decisions, and babies seem to be around every corner. I think it's incredibly hard when so many of us get asked things like...
"When are you going to be ready for children??"
"You shouldn't have kids too far apart!"
"You shouldn't have kids too close together!"
"Are you ready for a second one already? It's been a while!"
Not only are these comments extremely painful, they're also just the tip of the iceberg. How many times do we casually discuss very personal things like who is pregnant, who is getting married, who is divorced, who doesn't have a child yet, who is possibly trying to get pregnant with no luck. Sadly, I've definitely participated in these conversations. We all want to know how everyone else seems to be "getting along", because deep down, we each want to fit in ourselves. I've realized more and more that there are more important things than fitting in. Things like... myself, my values, my courage, my family, my mentors. At some point, I have to decide that I can't live my life for the lady with the hot drink.