One of the things that shocked me when I became a Mom was how much pressure there was to conform. It started with the baby equipment. Eventually, it turned into activities we were supposed to sign up for, the “right” schools, clothing, birthday parties, and on and on. But doing things just because everyone else is doing them creates an imbalance. In this episode, you’ll be inspired to be your unique self and enjoy the balance that being “you” creates.
One of the things that shocked me when I became a Mom was how much pressure there was to conform.
It started with the baby equipment. People started giving me advice on what the “best” things were to buy.
Pretty soon, I realized that there were also activities we were supposed to sign up for, schools, clothing, and birthday parties.
It gives me the heebie jeebies just talking about this.
Ever since middle school, I’ve never been as pressured to conform as much as after I had kids.
It’s not good for our kids, our health or our pocketbooks.
I’ve learned that the more “me” and unique I am, the happier I am. I’m curious if you’re the same.
I remember one very clear incident in my life when I learned who I was and uncovered my uniqueness.
It was when I fired my OB-GYN.
I was seeing an OB-GYN who was reputable and many people I knew used this practice.
But as you may remember from another episode, I have a brother with special needs.
The OB-GYN highly recommended I get genetic testing. I told her I didn’t want it and she was mad at me. She even forced me to sign a statement, refusing it.
She argued with me about my decision but eventually gave in. She was so convinced I needed the tests, she even had me sign a disclaimer.
She did order blood tests but told me they were standard and wouldn’t be for the genetic testing.
You can guess what happened. Lo and behold, a few weeks later I found out she did the standard test AND I had a $2,500 medical bill for genetic testing. Yes, she’d run the tests without my permission.
To say I was mad was an understatement. I never did pay that $2,500 bill and they never said a word.
I did extensive research. I called people. I asked around. I wanted to know what my alternatives were.
I found out that there was a midwife practice a few cities over that people highly recommended.
So I switched.
Very few people in my community used this practice. Almost everyone exclusively used either the practice I went to or ones that were similar.
Yet being different and going with the midwife changed my life. It was a beautiful experience where I felt respected and in control of my life.
I was so proud of myself for switching.
And that’s when I learned I didn’t have to be like everyone else.
Pretty soon my phone started ringing.
Women wanted to hear more about my experience. They shared many negative experiences they had. They didn’t realize there were other options
They were intrigued by my decision and my great experience.
I was different. And it was a beautiful thing in this circumstance.
If I hadn’t had this experience right when my first child was born, I don’t know that I could have withstood a lot of the other pressures.
Because there is SO MUCH pressure to conform once you have kids.
….To dress the same.
….To go to a certain type of daycare.
….Then a certain school.
….Then certain types of activities
I’m sure you have a lot of this pressure, too.
In every community, it’s different so yours will look different than mine, but the premise is the same.
Everyone does a certain thing and they expect that you will, too.
I didn’t see this coming. I haven’t experienced this much peer pressure since middle school.
How about you? Were you also surprised by how much pressure there is to parent like everyone else?
Being Different Is Hard
From my experience early on in my Motherhood with the OB-GYN, I learned to question a lot of the norms.
Sometimes, the norms were wonderful. The preschool that “everyone” went to was AMAZING. I was thrilled that the wonderful school was close to my home and had caring teachers. It was a joy for my whole family.
For the most part, I only “conform” and do things that everyone else does when I decide it’s best for my entire family.
And I won’t say it’s not hard.
When everyone else is going to after-school activities but I’ve decided that my kids need to chill after school, it’s hard.
When everyone else lets their preschool kids have electronics and we say no because our kids get wild after being on screens, it’s hard.
When everyone else is eating candy and junk and we don’t buy that, oh do we hear about it from our kids.
It’s hard to be different and unique.
It’s Worth It
If you feel this way and want to be unique but feel like it’s hard, know that it IS hard, but it’s so worth it.
Just like the experience of hiring the midwives was so awesome for me, even though I had to drive much farther and do something different than everyone around me, it was exactly what I personally needed.
Benefit of Non-Conforming
Why am I talking about this?
The reason why is because if you want to be a balanced Mom, it’s really hard to be balanced if you’re doing things just because everyone else is.
Sur, if it works for your family and it’s a great fit, by all means, do what everyone else is doing.
But notice if you’re doing something that doesn’t work for you, and the reason you’re doing it is simply because it’s what everyone else is doing.
I know sometimes doing things differently can be the absolute hardest thing ever.
But it’s also the most rewarding.
Are you with me?
If you’re doing things to fit in and be like everyone else, you’ll also be as stressed and unbalanced as everyone else, too.
Watch Your Intention.
You know in your heart if you’re doing things because they work for you and your family. Or if you’re doing them simply because everyone else does things that way.
And side benefit: Once you start checking in and doing what’s right for you, you’ll also save a ton of money.
Because often all these things that other people are doing are REALLY expensive. From the camps, to the clothes, to the birthday parties.
You’ll save stress and you’ll save money.
So don’t be afraid to be different.
Notice your intention. Are you doing things just because everyone else is doing them?
Or does it work for you, your kids, and the rest of your family?
If it doesn’t work, be brave and be different.
It’ll be hard at first but when you feel more balanced and content with your decision, it’ll make it all worth it.
I’m proud of you because being different isn’t easy. But you got this.
Because it’s really one of the most important things you need to be balanced.