When I was younger, I worried about a lot of stuff. I remember a female boss of mine once telling me, “When you’re older, you’ll be surprised by how much you don’t care.” I didn’t think that was ever going to be possible, but as I’ve aged it’s become increasingly clear how right she was. At thirty-five, I’ve worked hard on my “It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it,” attitude, both about the choices I make AND the choices others make. Too often (either inadvertently or on purpose) we attempt to make others feel badly about the things they do differently in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. I am no longer going to allow anyone to make me feel bad about the following things.

~How I fed my babies.
Nope. So over breast vs bottle. No matter how or what my kids were eating when they were infants, I (or whoever was feeding them) gazed down on them with love and attention and wonder. We bonded, they were fed and loved, the end.

~That my 15-month-old sometimes takes a bottle.
My three kids all had a hard time with the transition to the bottle. James has finally found a sippy cup that he likes, but I still give him a bottle at least once a day. The bottle gives him comfort and since he doesn’t have a pacifier, I don’t have a problem with it. I stressed over the girls’ reluctance to give up the bottle; this time around I know that one day (soon) he’ll put it down for the last time, so it’s nothing to get worked up over.

~That my daughter watches princess movies.
She loves them. She also loves superhero shows, YouTube videos about the human body, and (her new obsession) detectives. She wants to be a “Doctor Inventor” when she grows up. Liking movies about princesses doesn’t make her vapid or helpless. She likes music and pretty things, and she likes  sports and mysteries and bugs. She’s complex like that.

watching Frozen

~That I use dry shampoo…a lot.
In the morning, I can wake up early and take the longer shower a hair wash necessitates…or I can sleep longer and take a two-minute shower. During quiet time when James is napping, I could take that longer shower…or I could watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. Sleep and The Lorelais win more often than not. Hurray for dry shampoo!

~Wearing a bathing suit.
I’d still prefer a full-body suit, but sometimes I’m going to put on a bikini and thirty pounds of sunscreen and I’m not going to give a second thought to my leftover belly or my love handles or anything else. Who cares? In my experience, most people are more concerned with how they look themselves than how anyone else looks around them. I care what Mike thinks, and I care that I’m having fun.

jumping in
I DO feel bad that I’m holding my nose as I jump in. That’s rookie stuff.

~That I re-wear a favorite shirt as often as possible.
A favorite shirt is not something to be squandered.

~How I feed my kids.
Sometimes they get organic, hormone-free, lived-in-a-mansion-with-a-butler-chicken, and sometimes they get McDonald’s french fries. I’m not gonna get worked up about it.

~That we talk about death and the people we love who have died.
Our loved ones who are no longer here are a part of our history and a part of who we are. We talk about them on their birthdays, or when we have special memories to share, or when questions come up, just like we would for any other member of our family. And if you think it’s creepy…I don’t care.

~When I cheat on my diet or skip the gym.
I WILL EAT THE COOKIE BUTTER WHILE I WATCH THE GILMORE GIRLS AND THEN I WILL NAP IN MY GYM CLOTHES.

~That I have bad days as a mom and person.
It’s okay…I get to try again tomorrow.