Saturday, August 16, 2014
Why is it that I wade through my daily activities day to day and everything is the same and then one day I wake up and it's like I slept through an entire season of my kid's life. They suddenly wake up and know how to do something you have routinely helped them do, or they say something so profound beyond their years, or they just suddenly decided to grow up. I often find myself digesting these moments wondering if it's the busy life we lead, the sleep I still haven't caught up on or just the cold hard fact (and amazing) that my kids are just growing up. Maybe it's a combo of all of them. I don't remember my mother complaining of this feeling of whirlwind, but I suspect our lifestyles are speeding up each year. Moving up north has made me ever aware of this. It's all too common for kids to spend all day in school, day care and camps and then have a plate full of extra activities that often run into the weekend. Not that I think there is anything wrong with activities, but where do the kids rest and where do the families build their relationships? I have recently felt more pressure rhan ever now that Noah is getting older...I get questions like "so what is Noah going to do?" I feel like saying "being a kid!!!" Our poor kids are forced into a culture of non stop going and commitments-the very thing us adults loath often and need vacations from. And heck, half the time we lose the meaning of vacation. Going nonstop to the point that we actually need a vacation from our vacation. I'm sure you know the phrase. So then we just start the cycle earlier by forcing our kids into it. One mom said to me "my kid needs to try everything at least once." I get that, but all at once? Seriously? I see kids running from one sport to the other to music lessons and back to do homework and then off to bed. I really wonder if most parents would say they feel pressure to live this crazy busy life style or if they would actually say it's enriching their children and family unit. I know I feel the pressure to fall into this trap and am really trying to find a balance. I do feel compelled to say I know each family has a different set of values, beliefs and life style. And I don't think there is a perfect way to do anything. But, I just wonder what would happen if we all slowed down. Would we find our kids more relaxed? Would we feel less pressure? Less obligation to be running around and more time hugging the necks of our little ones? I wonder given the choice, what our children would desire more. I think for my family I going to encourage my children to find activities they are interested in, but at a pace that still allows us dinner together and time to talk-not just in the car. I never thought that this would be a heavy hearted subject for me when I first brought my children into the world. I hope that in writing this it will someday comfort my children in their parenting to know that there many challenges and that all we can do is the best we know how to do. Most importantly, protecting your family and it's values, whatever that is for you.