Worst Case Scenario:: The Subtle Art of Not Caring What People Think

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As moms, we often fret about what other people think. And it’s always a worst-case scenario.

the worst case scenario

What they think of how we are speaking to our children, what we chose to wear that day, whether or not our hair is in a messy bun, or the fact that we whipped out our changing pad to change our infant’s diaper on the floor of, well….wherever. 

The sad fact is, our id ego tells us that we are far more important than we actually are. Don’t get me wrong, mama. Of course, we are all beautiful and unique snowflakes. However, God-created perfection aside, there is a slim chance the majority of the people surrounding us really care about anything we are doing. Instinctually, if we didn’t look out for number one, we wouldn’t have survived this long as a species. So how do we tame our id ego and adopt the subtle art of not indulging in what other people might think? Because honestly, we are really indulging in what we think of ourselves when we do this.

Insert “Worst-Case Scenario”

I learned this trick from a dear friend of mine. She is so good at it from anticipating disaster to having back up plans for dinner. The way I use this handy little trick when I’m feeling a touch insecure is as follows:

I’ll take the example of changing or nursing my infant when and wherever necessary (i.e., a public place).

If I do this, what is the worst-case scenario? 

    • I get asked to leave.
    • I receive a stern lecture from a shocked passerby about my parenting skills.
    • I’m publicly shamed by a loud, rude, obnoxious know-it-all who clearly has never made a parenting mistake in their life.

If the worst happens, what will I do?

    • Finish my task based on principle and pride (my personal preference here) before politely and quietly leaving. Return home and immediately write a scathing, yet tactful, review on every social media platform I can find about how I was treated for doing such a natural and healthy thing to care for my child. 
    • Say thank you to the shocked passerby for their opinion about my parenting skills and wish them well with theirs. 
    • Find a new spot nearby to complete my task simply to shade my children from the onslaught of unsolicited and hostile parenting advice. Ignore rude people and realize they are making a far bigger fool of themselves than they are of me!

Lastly, remember and chant like a mantra that it is FAR more likely that no one will think to concern themselves with me than it is for any of the above to actually happen.

The point of creating a worst-case scenario is not to dwell on what could happen and how embarrassed and miserable you’ll be IF it happens. The point is to create a plan that will reduce your insecurities and help you feel prepared should such an event occur. 

After all, we all feel better when we take a little of that control back, right?

And in case you need to hear it, mama, you look great today. The clerks at the grocery store are going to treat you precisely the same way, makeup with jeans or a clean face and messy bun. Take it from someone who knows!

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sarahoogeveen
Sara is a career child welfare worker turned career mama. After having their first child, Marian (Feb 2017), she realized her true calling in life was to mom and mom hard! Sara resides with her husband, Blake, and daughter in West Omaha. They are expecting their second child, Henry, August 2019. Sara is a Nebraska transplant from Iowa while Blake grew up in Bellevue, NE. She has a professional background in child development, psychology, and human services, and puts these degrees to use every day in raising her children. Sara is a staunch believer in only being able to care for others when you also care for yourself. When she’s not momming, she can be found reading books from a book club she co-leads, cooking, or crafting.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for the reminder of not fearing others reviews of my LIFE! This world with still take a spin around the sun even when it seems as if it’s crashing down. Great article!

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