When I was growing up, I was told I was “a sensitive child”. Later, I was “too sensitive”.
I remember yearning for people to like and accept me and how hurt I felt when someone was angry towards me. I felt uncomfortable feeling judged.
Fast forward thirty years later. I still want to be loved and accepted. (I think we all want that on some level, right?) It still bugs me a tiny bit when someone says something unkind about me and I get wind of it or I feel like there’s some negative energy from someone aimed at me. But in general…I have learned to not care as much.
We live in a time of instant everything…everything is available in real-time. I want something? I can go online shopping and have it at my doorstep by tonight. Unhappy with something someone I know said or did? I can videotape them doing/saying it and by day’s end, have thousands of viewers hating on them. Or lambast them on social media and stir the pot. It’s so easy these days to connect with others without actually connecting. You can post anything, comment on anything…with almost zero consequences. I belong to several online groups…I’ve had to leave some because of the drama. On the one hand, people seem to get offended over the tiniest things…and on the other, people can be petty, cruel, and unkind with their comments. It’s a fine line to walk.
As mamas…as SAHMs…as women…as people…I find we are under the microscope so much these days. Sometimes it’s from our own families and friends…our neighbors…our community…sometimes it’s online…
And sometimes, it’s from our own selves.
So…how do we quiet these voices?
- Stay grounded. Or, if you don’t already feel grounded, become grounded. For some people, this means getting outside and being in nature. For others, it means going to a place of worship. Maybe you like to do community service? Meditate? Whatever it is that makes you slow down, quiet down, and breathe…do it.
- Remember that you are doing the best you can. Motherhood is no joke. SAHM life is no joke. I can’t even imagine working full time outside of the home and being a mom. All of it is hard. We are all doing our best. Some days are better than others. Some days are fails. It’s ok. Life goes on. We live, we learn from our mistakes, we move on. Our kiddos are more resilient than we think. Everything will work itself out.
- Remember that YOU are in charge of YOUR family. People love to give advice…much of it unsolicited. Smile, nod, debate, argue…whatever your style is, remember: at the end of the day, YOU are in charge of YOUR family. It doesn’t really matter what others say you should or shouldn’t do…ultimately, it’s up to you (and your SO).
- Remove the offending presence, be it social media, a relationship, or group. Are you overwhelmed by social media? Do you have a toxic relationship with a friend or relative? Are you in a social circle that makes you feel bad about yourself? Time to nix it! I’ve had friends (myself included) take breaks from social media. Remember life before cell phones and all this “connectivity”?? It was simpler, more peaceful…ironically, we lived life more rather than posting, checking in, uploading, or comparing! Take a break from it if you need to. You can always come back. If you have a relationship that’s toxic…take steps to see if it can be salvaged or repaired…if not, reevaluate whether or not this is something you truly want in your life. Same with the group. If it’s not healthy and not bringing you joy…bye bye!
- Set some boundaries. Of course, it’s easier said than done to “cut people out”, especially if it’s family we’re talking about. In that case, set some boundaries! Certain topics can be off limits or you can simply say, “that is not up for discussion.”
- Find like-minded people. For all of social media’s downfalls…there’s also an upside. I felt so *HAPPY* when I joined certain groups and found kindred spirits. There is something uplifting about being able to discuss topics and ways of life with people who also do things your way.
Of course, unless we live in a cave, we’re not going to tune out ALL of the loud noises…but hopefully, this is a good start.