“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” -Dr. Seuss
Leave it to Dr. Seuss to have the perfect quote for every mommy who’s trying so hard to figure out how to navigate who she is and what she stands for in today’s society.
For me, life was always about standing out like a fabulous unicorn - I was an original and never wanted to be like anybody else. That is, until I became a mom.
For some weird reason, as soon as I had a baby I felt like I really needed to fit in. I wanted to do everything right and I honestly didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
So, I let myself be judged for every parenting decision I made. I desperately wanted to be a good mom to my son, the perfect wife to my husband, and seem cool to other moms. But trying so hard to fit in, I wasn’t doing a great job at any of those things. And, I honestly wasn’t winning any popularity contests either.
As a new mom, I went from being a confident decision maker to someone who needed to consult friends, family, blogs and books for every choice related to my son, our family life, and well really everything about my life in general. I’d like to say this only lasted for a few weeks, but truthfully I have to admit it was a few years!
At the time, each milestone was new and I was unsure of myself, so fitting in made sense. I know it probably came from my insecurities as a new mom, but now I’ve finally figured it out and I’m done fitting in!
Watching my son develop his one of a kind, carefree, happy go lucky personality is amazing. I love him for who he is. He is enough for me exactly as he is. Understanding this gave me the inspiration to show off my own unique colors.
One day watching him play it all just clicked for me. I remembered that just like my son Harry, I am enough just as I am!
So after years of listening to popular opinions, I decided to prioritize ME . That’s right, I gave myself permission to listen to my what my essential self craves, plot my own course and really go for it!
I’m a mom who’s making my own big, bold, fun choices and not looking for acceptance along the way.
Setting my sights on my personal and professional goals and focusing on making my dreams come true.
This focus gives me the freedom to be brave enough to say no to obligations that revolve around fitting in. And bold enough to say yes to trailblazing opportunities when they come my way.
I’ve found the courage to be myself, think for myself, and use my voice to stand up for what’s important to me. I’m strong enough that I don’t let people who don’t matter too much, matter too much to me!
And you know what the best part is? None of these things are bad for my son or for my marriage! Every day I’m modeling self respect and confidence to my son Harry. And my husband finds me way more interesting when I’m being myself than when I’m desperately trying to fit in. Guess what, those moms I was trying to fit in with notice me way more nowadays too!
So how did I muster up the strength to stop trying to fit in?
I gradually stopped focusing on what I thought “everyone” was doing and started listening to the subtle messages my gut and the energy around me were giving me about what I really wanted for my life.
I realized that I have the power of total choice in my life. I have the choice to focus on feeling good. And I love that! So, I’m putting my time and energy toward focusing on what brings joy in order to live my best life.
I decided to give myself a break. I quit judging myself and others around me. I figure if I just do the best I can and get out of judgement, everything feels easier and the energy around me becomes less stressful.
I started listening to my heart. My heart is pretty simple, it wants to love and be loved. So, I started doing more of what I love and less of the things that suck. I’m choosing to spend my time with people who are happy and fun and fill my life with positive energy. And, I’m avoiding spending time with people who I know are negative.
I don't take myself too seriously - I like to play and have fun now just like I did as a kid. I'm not too cool to dress up for Halloween, play tag on the playground, sing karaoke, play games or take silly pictures.
I’m finding little ways to honor my playful essential self everyday. I’m marching to the beat of my own drum, and loving it! Nothing beats having dance parties with Harry in the kitchen while cooking dinner.
I’m prioritizing being my true self. I’m unique and over the top and I make no apologies about it. I like to throw big parties, take big chances, wear big jewelry and have big hair! I’m occasionally crass and love to drink champagne because it makes me feel sexy.
I’m leading with my heart and feeling the love. I make a point to really feel the love that’s meant for me. I feel the love my son gives me when he greets me with a big hug at the end of the day. I’m grateful for the love I feel from my husband when he kisses me. I’m so lucky for the love I feel from my big family when they support me in so many wonderful ways. And I’m amazed by the love I feel from my friends who love me for being myself.
I’m so grateful. Every day I’m overflowing with gratitude for the women who inspire me to do more and be more in my life. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, and all the inspirational women I’ve met this year as an O Magazine Insider. Watching these special women share their truths has awakened the achiever inside of me. Giving me the confidence to keep reaching higher for more of what I know can be mine.
I’m thinking only of positive possibilities. I make it a habit to look at life through rose colored glasses. Sure, bad things happen from time to time. Really really bad things sometimes. But I do my best to find a silver lining to every situation and that seems to get the positive energy flowing again much faster than dwelling on the negative ever does.
Most of all, I’ve realized that the magic of being me is believing in me. I am meant to shine bright as an entrepreneur and as a mom. I’m harnessing my ambition finding great ways to stand out personally and professionally. One of the ways I’m doing this is by focusing on growing my family travel website WellTraveledKids.com. I created this website when I took the activity I love most, traveling with my son, and made it into my career.
When I look back on my life I want to feel like I really lived. I don’t want to feel like I wasted a bunch of time trying to fit in. I want to know with all my heart and soul that because I honored my true authentic self, everyone whose life I touched benefited. Especially my son, my husband, my friends and family.
So for all those moms like me who are miserable trying to fit in, I say give it up! Your kids, your partner and most of all YOU will be much happier. Next time you are reading bedtime stories listen to the wise words of Dr. Seuss and “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”