Motherhood

Motherhood Mantra

Motherhood Mantra

Cup of Jo has been running for 13 years (!) so we’ve decided that every week, we’ll be highlighting one of the most popular posts from the past. Here’s one of our favorites, originally published on March 23, 2015…

Have you read Amy Poehler’s memoir, Yes Please? I expected it to be funny. But I didn’t realize it would also be wise and sharp and dive deep into what it means to be a woman. Here’s one of my favorite parts:

I have many friends who have had natural childbirth. I applaud them. I have friends who have used doulas and birthing balls and pushed out babies in tubs and taxicabs. I have a friend who had two babies at home! In bed! Her name is Maya Rudolph! She is a goddamn baby champion and she pushed her cuties out Little House on the Prairie style!

Good for her! Not for me.

That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.

What a brilliant mantra, right? There are countless ways to be a good mother (and person), and we should trust our guts; we know that intellectually. Still, at certain moments, it can be hard not to sometimes compare yourself to others, and then doubt yourself or wonder if you’re at odds if you’re taking different paths. But in the end? “Good for her! Not for me.” Brilliant.

Have you read Yes Please? I’d definitely recommend it.

P.S. 15 career tips from smart women, and 21 surprising parenting ideas.

  1. Mia says...

    Love this so much! Thank you for the reminder x

  2. Jenny says...

    I love this quote! Can I indulge in a little nerd fest? I prefer the term vaginal delivery to natural childbirth because I don’t think natural childbirth is specific, and it shades people who choose to facilitate vaginal birth with anesthesia, or who require surgical intervention. I’m an aspiring ob/gyn (third year med student) and helping people assert autonomy over their bodies and lives is what inspires me to keep doing flashcards all the dingdang time.

  3. Mirjam Jarbo says...

    I became a mother for the first time in November 2015. Because of this post I read Yes, Please! during my time at home with my baby girl. Good for her, not for me, became my mantra – and something I kept repeating to friends that were pregnant. So nice to see this post again. I now also have a son that was born in 2018, and it is still my mantra! Love from Oslo!

  4. Love that book because I wasn’t expecting to love that book. What a breath of honesty from a funny and vulnerable person.

  5. Becky says...

    My four are big kids now (20, 17, 15, 13), but my mantra was always “Age appropriate inappropriateness.” They seem like effing cuckoos, but it’s what kids do and it’ll pass. Just redirect and keep breathing.

  6. I love that book!
    My life mantra as I parent little kids come from the wise Gretchen Rubin:
    “If you can’t get out of it, get into it.”
    Kids are getting up at 5am? We might as well have a tea party! Potty training? Let’s call it a naked party weekend! I think about it a lot during these long socially distanced days- we are doing a lot of family sleepovers, face painting, fort building– our version of “getting into” being together all the time!

  7. love this quote, it’s something mothers need to reminded constantly. I find that i’m super confident at job but not so much as mother. I always doubt myself if i’m doing enough, if i’m being too strictly, if i’m not opening their mind fast enough, etc.

  8. Stefanie Morris says...

    Yes! I love this. Alison Roman would have benefitted from this advice…

  9. Nina says...

    Pretty sure I got this mantra from your blog, but:
    Babies being babies.
    I don’t have babies anymore- they are 6. But, man, that mantra got me through it.

    Now I have 6 year olds and I guess my unofficial mantra is: they aren’t going to snuggle you for much longer. It makes me appreciate every moment with them, even when they are screaming “you are the worst mommy ever!”

    • Liz says...

      I totally got that mantra from this blog, too! I think it was Joanna’s pediatrician (or her mom’s pediatrician) who said, shrugging, “Babies’ll be babies.” (Or some similar thing.) It got me through a lot of new-mom worries.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh yes, Liz, it was my sister in law!

  10. Abby Schiavello says...

    Where is the “just add water” original post? I want to send it to my sister and I can’t seem to find it.

    • Molly says...

      I read that forever ago and it has helped so many times over the years. If your baby is bored, put some water in a pot and let them splash. If their tummy hurts, give them some water. Need a mid day activity for a toddler… play with the hose, take a bath or my sons favorite activity, “washing” dishes in the sink. Literally in any situation, just add water…problem solved.

  11. Emma says...

    My mum told me, “do what works until it doesn’t.” My daughter is still young, but I’ve used it for issues around feeding, sleep, etc.

  12. My mantra is “You don’t know what you don’t know. Everyone is doing their best.” I’ve been a foster mom and dealt with incredibly traumatized and difficult kids and in public you wouldn’t know by looking that I wasn’t their birth mother. When they acted out I couldn’t (and would never want to) explain to every passing stranger how these children have been traumatized and that I’m not a lousy mom and they’re not a bad kid. I am now an adoptive mom of a boy with some challenges and we have similar moments, even though we look like totally normal, healthy, upper middle class Portlanders. Our very visible struggles had an invisible context. I realized this is probably true of everyone to some extent. I don’t know what challenges folks are facing, so with that knowledge all I can really do is assume that they, like me, are doing their best.

    • cg says...

      I have something similar:
      You do the best with what you know until you learn more.

  13. b says...

    This should be a life mantra.

  14. Paulina Villegas says...

    I think this is such a great motto In all aspects of our lives. I do not have children and maybe never will but I still think of so many ways this motto is applicable in my life. Including not having children!!

  15. Sarah says...

    Some of my favorites are “Just add water” (got that one from COJ and it works wonders for my two-year old—a bath or some time in the sprinklers instantly boosts his mood); “They don’t remember anything before they’re five” (so WHATEVER), and every word of Anne Lamott’s “Operating Instructions.” It is my personal scripture when I have a new baby because it is just so hysterically funny: when she calls her newborn scum because he won’t sleep, I completely lose it every time.

    • CEW says...

      Just add water is sooo awesome. I saw that a few weeks ago on here and it has already helped me so much with my son too. (22 months.) We’ve never taken so many 2pm bubble baths or had so many 7am excursions to the kiddie pool.. but he loves it every time.

    • Jessica says...

      Operating Instructions is one of the most underrated books! Her words got me through some long, dark nights of sore nipples, new motherhood loneliness, postpartum depression, and a truly craptacular physical recovery. It taught me how to reach out to my village and really find humor in the “scummy” parts of life with a newborn. It’s one of my most gifted books for new parents. The honest words of wise women are worth more than rubies and gold! Praise to the mothers & women that came before us.

  16. After four daughters — I unequivocally support this mantra!!!!

  17. Natalie Taylor says...

    Such a great book and I’ve been meaning to re-read it.

  18. Yes to this absolutely! I also try really hard to avoid the trap of mum-guilt – I wrote about it here, in case it’s of interest – https://themumandthemom.com/2017/02/05/why-i-have-no-mum-mom-guilt-and-nor-should-you/
    …and feel like the good for her / not for me / no guilt is especially important right now, it’s so easy in isolation to fall into a trap of silently comparing ourselves and feeling like we don’t measure up somehow.

  19. Kristin says...

    A friend recently shared this with me as I was expressing anxiety over some challenges with my three-year-old, panicked about the teenager he might become. She said, “Parent the kid you have today.” It has made all the difference in my ability to be present for his needs now and to take the stress out of shaping what the future might look like for him.

    • Amy says...

      I just saw an Instagram post from Sarah Bessey where she said that when her kids were little, she began to pray, “Let me mother out of my best hopes and not my worst fears.”

      I’m going to be repeating that one to myself a lot as my kids head into their pre-teens.

  20. celeste says...

    Ever since your original post, I’ve read the book and will say this to myself occasionally. The best part about it? It reaffirms YOU know who you are.

  21. H says...

    I don’t have kids, but recently became a step-parent & I keep thinking about something I read in Cup of Jo — I can’t remember the exact words, but I remember it as “why not say yes?” Mixing milk and mango juice? Why not say yes? Hockey pucks in the freezer? Aluminum foil collections? Why not say yes? It helps me remember that I used to love to freeze milk, put food coloring in everything, and generally feel like I was discovering life like a mad scientist, too.

    • Laura says...

      I love this!

    • I love this. I’m a step-mom and it’s definitely the most challenging role of my life. It has challenged my marriage and all of my personal values. Do I even like children? (Most of the days: no) Do I want to live in a mausoleum (Most of the time: yes). How do I square that with the person I really am: someone who follows my dreams and never takes no for an answer. I’m gonna give the “Why not say yes” mantra a try, see what happens. It can’t be worse than what I’ve been doing, right?

    • CandiceZ says...

      I think about this all the time – it’s become one of my mantras!

  22. Sarah S says...

    This seems particularly relevant today as I’ve been reflecting on Alison Roman’s critical comments towards Marie Kondo and Chrissy Teigen. Perhaps she could have simply said, “Good for her, not for me.”

    • M says...

      Yes!

    • Anna says...

      TOTALLY.

    • Amber says...

      Yes! Can someone please send that advice to her lol?

    • LK says...

      I’ve been thinking about that all weekend. This is so true.

    • Nina says...

      YES! Her comments broke me heart. I really like all of these women and it hurt me personally that one would judge another. Your comment is very soothing. Thank you!

  23. I use that mantra all the time after reading her book! “Good for her/him/them. Not for me.” Takes a heck of a lot of guilt and pressure off.

  24. Sasha L says...

    I love “good for her not for me”. So many ways to be a good enough mom, and just to be. There’s not one right way.

    The corollary, “she’s wonderful (smart, beautiful, accomplished, together, wise, cool, chill, amazing) and so am I” also helps me a lot. It’s easy for me to see the great qualities in other women, and in doing so I’ve often felt less than, so I started reminding myself that I am all of those things too. It helps.

  25. Abbie says...

    I have repeated that mantra almost daily since reading that book. Thank you universe, for Amy Poehler.

    • Julie G says...

      yes! same here! thank goodness for Amy Poehler :) and COJ comments!

  26. This is perfect! …and absolutely to the going both ways someone commented. Good for her, not for me. Good for me, not for her! Love it!

  27. Sasha says...

    The wonderful breastfeeding peer support group La Leche League has a saying, “take what works for you, leave the rest.” I’m a birth doula who also teaches birth education for expecting parents. I’ve incorporated this teaching into my classes. Mamas, do what works for you, and don’t judge the rest. So many right ways to do it.

  28. mother love her child

    • MC says...

      This has been one of my favorite things to say for years!! Go Amy & Cup of Jo!!

  29. Love this! I just had my first child. I got hundreds of stories before birth and even more now. Even though I know everyone is different it is hard not to compare my experience to theirs, down to the last minute detail.

  30. I think that is brilliant also….it reminds us as women not to police each other’s choices, and that womanhood is diverse.

  31. I love this, it’s like one coworker once told me that something that works for me doesn’t necesarily have to work for you, my reality is different that yours and that of anybody

  32. Hmmmm, what about “good for me, not for her” as well? As moms, we can also get caught up in pushing our own agenda about issues we feel passionately about. It’s good to remember that something like this goes both ways :)

    • Aga says...

      Oh, yes! Great point!

  33. I just finished Yes Please! It was so funny and so insightful. My favorite mothering tip is telling your kid that they are allergic to pot and if they smoke it they will die….I’m adding that to the back burner in a few years.

  34. Listening to the audio version of Yes, Please now – it’s great!

  35. yes, definitely definitely applies to life overall, not just motherhood. it keeps popping into my head in very different circumstances!

  36. kiwigem, i love that; and jennifer, how smart to remember to apply it to ourselves, too.

  37. shan_shay, thank you so much for your sweet note, that means so much to me! xo

  38. I believe you have done a great job of using this motto throughout your blog. When I was pregnant I stumbled upon your blog when I was insanely googling something to do with breastfeeding and I was instantly soothed and reassured by the information I read. So thank you for continuing to support this mantra and parenting style!

  39. This goes right along with my own personal mantra, “Who am I to Judge?” I received “Yes Please!” as a Christmas present but haven’t cracked it open yet. Now I’m really looking forward to reading it on our Spring Break trip–it’s a long drive from Michigan to Florida! Hopefully this will make it more bearable.

    • Emma says...

      I just read this and thought “Is this woman freaking INSANE???” and then saw the date. My, how things change.

  40. Oh my gosh, I think we even need to apply the same mantra to ourselves: “Good for me then! Not good for me now.”

    • S says...

      Years later! But thank you for this—a really helpful way to frame this, especially now that the pandemic has turned the world topsy turvy.

  41. I did a post on Yes Please today too! “Good for her, not for me” and “Make NO a complete sentence” have changed my life!

  42. This mantra is perfect, especially when you really mean it. 😊

    I’ve found its true even from one kid to the next. My first pregnancy was so easy and beautiful and we had an all natural birth with midwives and I cloth diapered him and made his food and wore him and breastfed nearly a year and felt like “natural parenting” fit me like a glove. I dove right in. Loved it.

    And now I’m pregnant with spontaneous twins, and I look back at my experience with my son and think, Good for me then, maybe not for me this time. I’m with high – risk OBs, the pregnancy is complicated, and as far as BFing, CDing, baby wearing, and making baby food? My goal is simply that everyone is fed, loved, and mostly in dry diapers, however we have to do it.

    • Maria says...

      I needed to read this today. 5 years later and this is me now. My twins are 3 months old, slow gainers, despise breastfeeding and I’m in agony over it because I exclusively breastfed my first. I’m still pumping and trying to get them to nurse but it’s looking less and less likely it will go that way. With all the uncertainty in the world right now it’s really stressing me out. Your comment made me realize that I’m constantly comparing these babies to my first and the situation is very different, thanks for sharing your experience,

  43. Joanna – have you listened to the podcast “The Longest Shortest Time”? It’s all about the struggles of early parenthood – all discussed so thoughtfully and with so much humour and sensitivity. Ira Glass recommended it on This American Life the other day, and it seems like something that might be up your alley.

    I’m not a parent yet, but I find it fascinating. I feel a little crazy for listening to it since I don’t have children, but hopefully that’s just a testament to the quality of the show :)

  44. Not just for moms but people in general! :)

  45. I believe this whole-heartedly! Even when not using this for being a mother, but just a women in general. I have to keep reminding myself, she’s someone else, and my path is my own! Great post!

  46. I haven’t read the book, but YES! That is the best mantra for motherhood and is basically how my (Australian) mothers group operates (I love those women) and I’ve tried to carry the essence of it with me to the USA. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Hallelujah and Amen to this motto. I haven’t read her book, but now I want to. To each her own, seriously.

  48. Wise words! I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile, this post pushed me to finally do it! Thanks

  49. Love this! I nod when I hear stories that are different to mine. I respect other women choices – as theirs. In that time I also mentally remind myself of how content I am with my story!

  50. Love this! I think it can apply to so many things!

  51. Whilst it’s also important to take in critical advice from experienced moms, this mantra is definitely a keeper to keep moms sane! :)
    http://www.wllwproject.com

  52. Totally. It irritates me so much when moms judge each other and I am not even a mom yet. Ok, I admit I am not always judgment-free, but I try to keep in mind that what works for some does not work for others, and everyone has a different style. There is no perfect way of doing things.

  53. I do agree with the sentiment, but I didn’t enjoy the book overall. I think it read more like self-help/motivational literature, which isn’t what I was looking for at all. Loved Tina Fey’s and Mindy Kaling’s books, so I was hoping for something like that. Frankly, I thought some parts of the book were boring.

  54. As a mom (of a 21-year-old son) and a pediatrician, I can’t resist saying that the day of the birth of one’s child is but a drop in the very large bucket of life. What’s the big deal? Vaginal? C-section? Epidural? No Epidural? Home birth? Hospital birth? Doula? No Doula? Who the F cares? It is but one day out of a lifetime of days. Please don’t misunderstand me. If you can have the beautiful delivery you dreamed of, then that is a wonderful thing. Truly, it is. I know. I had that delivery. But does it make a lifetime of memories for you, or your child? No, I can unequivocally tell you, it does not. It is the day-to-day living of daily life that make the memories. So, I wish you well, and hope for all the best, but please, don’t imagine that the day (or night) of your child’s birth means any more than that one thing: the day of his or her birth. One day, out of a lifetime of days.

    • S says...

      Very very wise and reassuring advice, and so nice to hear as someone who’s about to deliver in a couple of months– most literature/media aimed at expectant mothers put SO much pressure on the delivery but don’t tell you anything about life after that!

  55. Could not agree more with this particular excerpt – my son is 1 month old today after a very emotionally and physically traumatizing labor and delivery experience that I’m still recovering from. I support my friends when they have had “natural” childbirth including birth at home with a midwife or doula. Many people asked me during my pregnancy how I was going to deliver and implied that natural childbirth was better (including some MEN). Before the conversations would get long enough to imply that there was any other option for me, I was always firm that I would want to have an OB at the hospital, with an epidural. I thought that I had a simple enough birth plan, but as it was, I had major complications and gave birth in the operating room. Dad didn’t get to cut the cord, I didn’t get to hold my son for hours, we didn’t get to do “skin-to-skin” right away, and my wounds were worse than I ever thought they would be – still recovering today. And by the way, I still had plenty of pain despite the epidural! But in the end, I was glad that I was able to deliver this way – as difficult as it was, it would have been even worse had I not been in the care of great doctors and nurses at a world class hospital. I do think the majority of women could probably give birth at home and be fine, and of course I could not have predicted all that would happen to me (certainly I hoped for better!), but I am thankful that I had this choice and that it was the right choice for me.

  56. The mantra that gets me through:

    ‘Babies being babies.’

    Don’t try too hard to figure out why your kid is doing what she’s doing, accept and move o).

    Also, if you stop taking credit for every amazing thing they do, you’ll stop faulting yourself for every dumb thing they do.

  57. I love it! I will remember this mantra!!

  58. AMEN!! Both my kids were born in NYC – a place full of passionate, opinionated, and VERY vocal moms and dads. So it is in that spirit that I share my mantra – first uttered to an expectant co-worker fretting over every birthing plan imaginable.

    “You and your baby leave the hospital on the same day, that is a successful birthing plan”.

    The minute I said it I regretted it. But incredibly, when every element of her meticulously crafted birthing plan collapsed (birthing tub – broken, music – forgot it, family in the delivery room – out of state and missed it) she thought about my heavy handed comment and hailed the whole thing a huge success. Whew!

    Which brings me to my second mantra. “95% of the advice you receive comes from a place of love and concern, so just smile, say thanks, and follow your gut.”

  59. I actually read this 2 months ago while on maternity leave and I thought to myself, what perfect timing. I also expected it to be a just another funny book but it was also touching and smart.

  60. I like this mantra. I also like mine, which is, “There’s only one Mommy here!”

  61. I loved it and I’ve been an even bigger fan of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for all of the wonderful and supportive women/motherhood related things they’ve been saying in recent years. (Particularly loved the Emmy awards where they all ran up on stage – it was wonderful!)
    Yes, Best Mantra!!!

  62. I think that is a great mantra, and applies to all women…thank you for sharing. xo

  63. Thank you Jo. It comes perfect today.
    Xxx

  64. Such a great tip! I also use this in reverse when giving advice, I’ll always say, “this is what has worked for me, but find what works best for you!” We are all in this together but it’s good to know that it’s okay to do things the way we feel.

  65. I am probably 56 on the waiting list at the library for it. I love this, and will use it. My mantra to my daughter (when she asks why other kids go to Disney when we can’t afford it, or why they can eat candy as a snack, or why they have American Girl dolls) is “Different parents have different rules.”

  66. love it!!! will definitely be my new mantra.

  67. I love that. I think I need to read this.

    Isn’t it amazing how hard we are on ourselves? That’s why it’s so important for us to be loving and accepting of each mother’s right to do things the way that work for her and her family. Great post!

  68. Love this. I just ordered the book, and I can’t wait to read it soon! Thanks for sharing this part of it :)
    -E
    elenianne.blogspot.com

  69. I love this. All too often we judge ourselves for not being like others, for having different needs and struggles. I am definitely guilty of that. This sounds like a fabulous new mantra! Thanks for sharing.

  70. It came just in the right time!
    Good for me (-;
    Thanks!

  71. Thank you for the book recommendation. I will read Poehler’s book (even sooner now that I spell her last name right without looking first).
    Caroline’s early March “can’t” stop reading recommendation is almost finished. I understand why she likes Paula Hawkin’s first novel, “The Girl on the Train”, great reading, definitely not easy to put down.

  72. As a momma who has now given birth to three babies at home, and often put up on a pedestal that I don’t want to be on.. I love this!

  73. I needed this SO much today, you have no idea! Thank you.

  74. Perfect. That Amy Poehler is so smart. And so are you! Thanks, Joanna.

  75. nora, omg, your comment made me laugh out loud. i love it.

  76. SL says...

    There are so many quotable quotes in that book. This one was a highlight! This was also my first Audible book – so much fun to listen to!

  77. I was just working on a similar post! It’s time to end the mommy wars! I’ve been meaning to pick up that book! Although it’s so hard to find time to read with a newborn!

  78. Lovely, thanks for sharing. You have such a gift for expressing things Joanna!

  79. This is great. I have a mantra of my own that I use all the time: “Better for me does not mean better than you.”

  80. I just finished this book, and that mantra was one of the things that stuck with me the most. Definitely a great mantra and one I wish everybody would adopt.

  81. Oh man – so simple but SO TRUE! Good for her, not for me. Genius.

  82. Wonderful for all women, not just mamas. A great thing to keep in mind and stay true to yourself!

  83. “Good for her, not for me”.
    Gosh we all need to repeat this in our heads over and over. As women, we get so competitive over basic things, just so we can prove things to ourselves, that no one expects us to prove anyway. Love this post J!

    xoxo
    http://www.theteafortwo.com

  84. Loving this mantra. It works for everything in life!

    I’m a fashion and lifestyle blogger from NYC. Follow my stylish adventures at sustenanceandstyle.com. Also looking for bloggers to collaborate with!

    With love from NYC,
    Stephanie

  85. I recently read this book! So warm and funny.
    And I love love this mantra. Not completely related but on the note of mantras, I saw Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner speak recently and he spoke about not feeling vindictive to those who turned down the show or thought it wouldn’t do well with a line he ended up using on the show – “If I wait patiently by the river, the body of my enemy will float by.”

  86. Excellent advice and applies to a great many situations. We women are too often prone to compare ourselves to others.

  87. I thought Amy Poehler did a great job with Yes Please, it was more insightful than I expected.

    I read Tina Fey’s and was really disappointed (I’m on a small boat with that one I know). I LOVED Mindy Kaling’s. I thought she was approachable, funny and impressive.

    At times Amy seemed like she was trying too hard (in a I don’t care if you like me or not kind of way) and it jarred me on occasion but overall it was great. I felt like it stepped outside of the comedy memoir and into a female empowerment/inspiration genre – in a good way!

    My take on the comedy memoirs: http://www.carriedawaydetroit.com/2015/01/funny-ladies.html

  88. Yes I appreciated that mantra as well when I read the book! I also love how she talks about her boys, just the loving, cant get enough of them kind of gushing over them talk in the book which I could really identify with. Like you just want to squeeze them all day long and are so excited about them in general. She’s awesome. Other favourite part was when she cussed out the guy on the plane (in the beginning of the book). I can just see her leaning back and yelling at him with all her might!

  89. alex, you’re so right. one of my best friends had three home births and is very passionate about attachment parenting, and i completely respect and admire her choices. but i have basically done the opposite: i had a wonderful experience with my two hospital births, i felt so cared for and safe with our doctor, i actually loved being at the hospital and it felt like a mini vacation to be so taken care of and to even get a menu for meals, etc… :) so “good for her! not for me” really rang true here—as well as many, many, many other times in life! xo

  90. Listened to the Audio book version, which is fabulous. The parenting advice she gives is so approachable and down to earth. The story that touched me most was about the skit she regrets from her time on SNL and her own reluctance to admit her complicity in hurting someone’s feelings, and later, her ability to find forgiveness from the person she hurt and to forgive herself.

  91. lisa, AGREED. definitely goes beyond motherhood.

  92. kellie, i agree! she also seemed annoyed or mad about certain things in life/work/etc, which i actually really appreciated hearing about!

  93. Love this mantra. I’ve been a regular reader of your blog since college. I’m not a mother, but it’s fascinating how relatable your motherhood posts can be.

    As a young professional, this mantra is a wonderful reminder to stop comparing myself to others in my very competitive industry.

    Thanks :)

  94. This is so timely. I’m 14 weeks along and was sitting down with two other pregnant friends just yesterday discussing birth plans. They both have doulas and midwives and are going for natural child birth in hot tubs or whatever. I have a regular old OB and am planning to deliver in a hospital, and as we kept talking, I just felt like slowly backing away and slinking out the door – like my choices are not acceptable! And it wasn’t my friends who were being judgey at all, it was myself! I should have just reminded myself – “good for them, not for me”.

  95. Love it! So simple. We can be supportive of others without putting ourselves down, and if we feel secure enough in our choices we shouldn’t need to put anyone down. Great mantra!

  96. This is brilliant! I’ve been working for most of my early twenties to navigate accepting and celebrating people doing things different to me, and still being proud of my choices. It creeps up in my conversation, my writing, and my thoughts all the time.

    Good for her! Not for me. Love it.

    I’ll have to read that book!

  97. loved the book and this mantra!

  98. I am going through a painful breakup with my husband of 26 years and the chapter on divorce has become my bible! It’s sooooo true and it makes me laugh every time I read it. Love smart funny ladies!

  99. I thought this book would just be silly fun but so much wise, common sense advice from Amy. I recommend to everyone!

  100. Yes yes yes I love this. This should be the attitude of not only all women, but all people everywhere, especially on the internet. Think how nice it would be if when people had a difference of opinion on how best to do something, instead of arguing they simply said, “That’s awesome for you!”

  101. I love this mantra! I think women are geared toward building consensus (whether by nature or by conditioning; it doesn’t really matter), and that can be a good thing a lot of the time. But it can also make us uneasy with people who are different or make different decisions. I don’t need a pat on the back for every decision I make, and I don’t need my friends to have checked all the same boxes I did. In fact, I like having friends who do things differently– it seems to take some of the pressure off, because decisions are often just decisions, not identity. And frees me up to change my mind later on if that becomes a better option!

  102. Since reading it (I also loved it – I actually carried it around for days like a comfort blanket!) I use this mantra so much. Good for her! Not for me. It actually makes me check myself more than anything, before I jump to a conclusion or snap judgement.

  103. That’s my mantra! You can handle more than one kid? Good for you! Not for me. You can stay home full time? Good for you! Not for me.

    Different strokes for different folks. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with it.

  104. I’m reading it now! I’m almost done and I love it. She is so kind hearted and I love how real she is. I’m super biased because I already loved her, SNL, Parks and Rec, Smart Girls, I love it all! I’ve had Bossypants idling in my kindle for so long and I’m ready to read it if only to read the chapter on Amy!

  105. Total truth. This goes even beyond motherhood too! We live so relative to others we often forget to stop comparing and taking notes and start to reflect and learn our own tendencies and lifestyle. LOVE IT.

  106. We just read Yes Please! for book club, and this excerpt was a big part of our group discussion. Such an important reminder to live your truth. Love it!

  107. YES! I listened to the audiobook while doing the dishes at night. So many gems about life and how to approach it. Immediately after finishing “Yes Please” I bought and listened to the audiobook version of Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants” (which I had already read). Another good one. These two women are awesome examples of how to live life and laugh while doing it. Big thumbs up.

  108. That part was my absolute favorite!! Glad you enjoyed it:)

  109. Yes! That was one of my favorite parts of the book. It simplifies things in such a beautiful way. I’ve been using it as mantra too, and I feel so much more in charge of my own path as a mother.

  110. I really liked it too! A lot of times it seems like celebs just write to bolster their images, but Amy’s book came across as very real and honest. I felt like I actually got to know her!

  111. Joanna — a very wise sister-in-law of mine visited a few days after the birth of our first child and, seeing how shell-shocked I was, simply nodded (took the baby for a while) and said, “From now on, your new mantra is Whatever Works.”

    Still holds today :)

    Love your blog. Visited NYC last week with our three kids and you were our tour guide!