How has dressing up as a dragon helped me realise the importance of teaching my Sprog to be comfortable in his own skin?
Halloween is here and that means a lot of the baby groups I attend have themed classes, where they promote fancy dress for the babies.
Err, excuse me? What about the parents?
I LOVE dressing up and announced at one of the classes that I will be donning a costume along with Sprog. The teacher was over-the-moon I wanted to get involved, the other Mum’s not so much.
There was a mixed reaction, some laughed, some were encouraging, others gave a bit of a ‘why the hell would you want to do that’ look.
I was a bit taken a back. Although it’s only a minor example, it made me realise that I’m going to come up against a lot of judgmental behaviour, the worst being the dreaded ‘school gate’ politics.
It got me thinking. How do I ensure that Sprog does what HE wants to do, what makes HIM happy, to make sure he makes his own choices and not need others to validate them? Including myself in that. That he follows his OWN path.
Hopefully, by showing him from a young age, that we, as his parents are comfortable in our own skin and know what makes us happy, even if it isn’t the norm. Including dressing up as a dragon…
My parents always taught us to concentrate on ourselves, not compare ourselves with friends and focus on what we enjoy doing. This has stood me in good stead and overall I’m comfortable in my own skin, there have been blips along the way, but that’s only natural.
It may have taken a while, but I finally know what I enjoy, what my priorities are and that I really trust my gut instincts and won’t be swayed by random people’s opinions.
Over the years, I’ve made some rather life-changing decisions. I left a well-paid career in sales because the company didn’t support me through a period of being bullied by my boss. Many would have suffered through this because of the comfortable wage, but I valued my self worth above this and was confident in my abilities to find work elsewhere.
Rather than jumping into another similar sales role – which, I secretly hated – I took a break and after reading a book, decided to cycle round the coast of Britain with my father.
Returning, I followed my passion, and through a twist of fate managed to become an editor of a new women’s cycling website. Never in my life had I written an article, instructed authors, organised a photoshoot, but I trusted that I could learn these skills. And I did.
There is never one approach to how you live your life. In the town that I live in, a small community, everyone knows everyone and it’s easy to fall into the mould of what every else does.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, if YOU want to dress up in a dragon costume with your sprog and that seems a bit out there by the other parents, ignore the looks and just go and DO IT!
Those parents who scorned are most likely secretly terrified/jealous, and under those judgmental looks is a jealous person who wishes they could do what made them happy rather than conform.
They see you rocking the normality boat and they yearn for you to validate their behaviour by acting in the same way. Well sorry, I’m not going to make the same choice as you love, I’m going to dress up as Mrs Dragon with my Sprog and LOVE it!