I was in a mommy cafe and met another mom with a little 3-year-old girl that still breastfed. The mom seemed stressed that I would judge her and explained to me why she was still breastfeeding. I told her that every mom knows what is best for her child. She was relieved when I said that since usually people judge her all the time she said.
She felt at ease after my comment and changed into a more relaxed mood. We talked about how her girl didn’t talk yet and how she felt she needed to justify her child’s situation all the time.
This got me thinking about the pressure society puts on moms. We need to shift our mindset towards a more empathic and positive one.
Since giving birth to Maya I have changed the way I react to people’s comments. I don’t want to be upset at what people say and don’t want Maya to feel negative energy so I focus on positivity.
The other day was feeding Maya with a bottle and another mom who I didn’t know said: “Don’t give up on breastfeeding”. She probably had good intentions. But I don’t think she realized that her comment might bring pressure and stress to a new mom.
The fact is that the bottle was filled with pumped milk. Sometimes I give Maya breast milk with a bottle because she is fussy and drinks better. Plus I know how much she is having.
The point is that mom didn’t know my situation and judged me. I could’ve been upset at her comment and confront her or simply smile and politely ignore it.
I’ve encounter many situations like this since pregnancy. For some reason, other women feel the need to tell you their opinion and it’s not always a positive one. Why does this happen and how can we avoid these comments from affecting us?
I’ve developed a six-step system to help shift my mind when encountered with negativity:
1. Evoke happiness
When someone says something you don’t like, focus on their happiness. They probably have a reason why they need to express their opinion and don’t realize the negative effect it can have on you.
So wish them to be happy in their life. If they are happy and fulfilled they will have less time to judge others. Be the rainbow in their cloud!
2. Have empathy
Every person has a story and a reason why they act like they do. When other moms comment on how you should raise your child it’s probably because someone did that to them. They feel the need to repeat the pattern.
So put yourself in their shoes and try to understand why they act like they do. Have a conversation about why we should support each other rather than bringing each other down.
It’s hard enough to deal with the pressures society put on us, so why not understand each other more.
3. Positive mindset
This one is a hard one especially when you are having one of those negative days. To apply this one I would suggest meditating every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. I did this all throughout my pregnancy and Maya is pretty calm because of this.
If you live in a beautiful state of mind negativity won’t affect you as much. Plus you will evoke peace and others will feel at ease around you creating a ripple effect of love and calm vibes.
4. Embrace positivity
Once you have a calm state of mind try to focus on the positive aspect of negative situations.
For example, when I was pregnant a woman I had met a couple of times asked me how far along I was. I said 7 months and she was surprised that I looked so small. She then pulled my hoodie up to see my belly… I was shocked! Why would a stranger do that! But I smiled and thought maybe she misses being pregnant (she has two small boys). So I embraced that thought and let her have that moment.
Of course, if the situation offends you completely you should confront it. But remember there is always a reason why people do what they do. So ask why they took that action and embrace the positive aspect of it.
5. Future thinking
We tend to be negative with the moment or the situation we are in. When we think of the future we can see a bigger picture and see the light.
I was at a mommy meet up and I mentioned we have a dog. Another mom looked at me with a negative glance and said we should give our dog away because it’s bad for the baby.
At first, I even doubted myself thinking how hard it is keeping an eye on both of them and thought maybe she had a point.
But then I thought of the awesome moments Maya would have with our dog. How she will grow up respecting animals and will be able to interact with them because she grew up with one. I imagined a healthy future and didn’t let the comment make me insecure.
Creating a positive image of the future helps avoid doubt and brings excitement!
6. Peaceful moments
Take a moment to relax after encountering a negative situation. Usually, we overreact to things and it’s better to calm down and find peace.
I was running late for the reading of my kid’s book “The Hip Heroes” due to the snow on the streets. I stressed out because I am never late. I kept thinking how other moms would be upset and judge me. But when I got there all the moms understood the situation. They know how things don’t always go as planned when you have a baby. I let peace in and things went awesome!
Instead of letting the stress overtake the situation. Take a moment to relax and let peace bring your mood back to a normal state.
When you encounter an awkward moment where you feel uncomfortable with unsolicited mom comments apply the six-step system. It will help shift your mindset to a more positive one!
If you know of another mom that might benefit from some of these techniques, please share this post with her. We can create a world of less judgment and more love. Let’s make it easier for moms to focus on empowering and raising positive kids.
Together we can create a better atmosphere for ourselves and other moms. One of peace, love, unity and respect!