Becoming a Mom Helped Me Stop Caring What Others Think

Becoming a Mom Helped Me Stop Caring What Others Think

How one woman’s transition to motherhood allowed her to make peace with her own path.

By Lauren Brown

I recently read a friend’s status on social media about how practicing yoga is all about focusing on your own mat and your own practice. You do the moves your way, in your own time, and at your own pace. Someone can be up in a full handstand while you’re still in child’s pose – and both are amazing achievements.

For the one in a handstand, maybe she finally did it after attempting to get there for years and years, and for the one in child’s pose, perhaps it’s her first day and first step in beginning a workout regimen. Both are in the same class, both are relishing in their successes, and the progress of one doesn’t affect the other in the least. Your yoga mat equals your personal journey.

It was such an “aha” moment for me. That’s because I’ve always worried what others were doing, what others thought of me, and if I was keeping up. My mind was constantly buzzing with anxiety over everything from where I was in my career to if I said the wrong thing at a dinner party. It was an exhausting way to live. I was constantly creeping over onto other proverbial yoga mats, comparing myself, and making sure I was thought of in the highest possible regard. It took the focus off myself, my career, and even my marriage at times, because I was too busy watching and worrying about everyone else to focus on and enjoy what I did have.

And then, I became a mom.

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I never realized how laser sharp my focus was about to become on the tiny human I brought into the world. Being so consumed with every little thing she did – eat, sleep, poop, smile, roll over – left very little room in my brain to think about anything else or anyone else. My job was to make sure my daughter thrived.

When she started smiling back at me, it was all the reassurance I needed that I was keeping up and doing things just right. It was a freeing feeling to keep my eyes on my daughter (aka my own yoga mat), because it finally clicked that worrying about what others were doing was not going to get me to where I wanted to be any faster.


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If another baby we know is rolling over, sleeping through the night, eating solids, crawling, or hitting any other milestone before my daughter, I’m genuinely happy. It gives me something to look forward to and builds the anticipation – in a good way – for when my own daughter gets there. Other babies hitting those milestones before or after my daughter has no effect on us. It doesn’t make my daughter get there faster, it doesn’t make me a good or bad mom, and quite honestly, there’s only so long I want to focus on the other babies, because I don’t want to miss anything with my own.

It was just a year ago that I tossed and turned all night in a huff, because a colleague was named a vice president at a new job, and I was still at director level. Funny thing is, I was so proud of being a director until others I knew were getting bigger jobs. Today I hear about others’ promotions, and it barely resonates with me. I have plenty of meaningful work coming in on a flexible basis that allows me to spend more time with my daughter than I ever imagined. Sure, my brain is a little foggy from the lack of sleep, but I feel grounded and secure knowing all I need to care about is my cozy little yoga mat with just enough room for my husband, our daughter, and me.

I was so worried that having a baby would leave me frazzled, anxious, and spread too thin. Instead, it helped me redefine my priorities, redirect my focus, and let me enjoy the little moments and little things. I’m happy to look over at the other yoga mats to see what my colleagues and fellow moms are up to – but only for inspiration or to offer support. Anything else is just not my concern! And to that I say, “Namaste!”

What was a lightbulb moment that helped you stop caring so much about what others think?

Lauren Brown is a freelance writer and pop culture junkie/expert who just took on her most exciting and exhilarating assignment yet – new mom to an adorable baby girl!

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