Our generation of parenting has it harder than any generation before us. Sure, other parents have faced obstacles in the past too. We could even suggest that they’ve seen more struggle, but parenting in an instant-access, media filled world has created quite the challenge for us. Social Media, if used in a positive manner, can be amazing. I mean, I wouldn’t want to imagine a world without y’all in it! But social media can also be a very dark place. Many parents scroll through Facebook daily, mentally sizing up their family, constantly comparing them to the fake lives that others are displaying online. “Keeping up with The Jones'”, or The Kardashians, is at an all time high. Unfortunately, we all fall victim to this sometimes, myself included. But as I sit back and compare my (amazing) childhood to my kids’ childhood, I realize that parents today are forcing themselves to perform at a much higher level. A level that 80’s parents would’ve literally belly-laughed over. We consider ourselves to be personal chefs, cleaning ladies, chauffeurs, scheduling assistants, pediatric nurses, family therapists….ohhh, and yeah, we actually have real careers too! It’s absolutely understandable why we’re always feeling overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted. We are micromanaging every.single.moment of our children’s lives, and i’m here to tell you, it’s time to stop!
Stop Doing These Things Immediately:
1. Stop comparing your kids to their friends. Quit worrying about the fact that your baby isn’t walking and someone else’s is. Don’t stress over the fact that someone else’s child won 5 awards and your child only received a participation medal. Our lives are hard enough without this added pressure. 99% of the things we worry about as momma’s doesn’t even matter in the long run. I promise you, your child will be potty trained before they go to Kindergarten. Quit stressing!
2. Stop the insane amount of extracurricular activities. Stop living vicariously through your children. Stop enrolling your child in every activity known to man just because you weren’t allowed to do those things when you were little. Stop getting so involved in your child’s craft that you act like it’s your own personal victory. Let your child find something their passionate about and make it fun!
3. Stop hovering and constantly intervening when your child is interacting with other children. Let them work out their own problems and create their own solutions. They’ll need this skill later in life. Mommy won’t always be there to fix everything!
4. Stop acting like your 8 year old is “going pro.” It’s time to say no to year ’round kids travel sports. Kids aren’t collegiate athletes! (Not to mention how expensive travel sports are. Parents are being bamboozled on the daily!)
5. Stop making Homecoming and Prom seem like a wedding! It is literally insane the amount of money that parents are spending on Prom these days. I think some of these Prom dresses cost more than my first car! And let’s not even talk about the fact that girls are wearing $1,000 dresses while their dates are in khaki’s and chucks. (insert major eye roll.)
6. Stop doing everything for your kids; teach them life skills and lessons – make them accountable. You will not be their personal assistant forever (even if you’d like to be.)
7. Quit giving your child the best of everything. Let them know a little struggle so they’ll appreciate the finer things in life when they earn them! Teach them to work hard for their goals (and give them a chore chart while you’re at it!)
8. Stop making them believe that the world is full of unicorns and rainbows. Don’t allow them to be sensitive, offended “snowflakes.” Teach them to be tough and to always stand up for themselves. Teach them that the world will be cruel but that they’re strong enough to handle it!
9. Stop allowing your kids to be fully involved in electronics. Just say no to kids and cell phones! I’m all about some iPad time, but 7 year olds do not need functioning cell phones. Don’t cave to the pressure, momma. Stay strong! Send your children outside to play and tell them to do what we always did – wonder around til you find a friend! You know, actually talk to someone face to face.
10. And for the love of everything holy, stop constantly trying to out-do each other. Stop trying to throw the biggest baddest birthday party or gender reveal. Stop trying to always top each other. This isn’t a competition, we’re all in this together. And honestly, I don’t want to have to book Cher for my kid’s birthday party in 2020, so just chill.
Whenever you’re feeling the urge to hover and micromanage, channel your inner 80’s mom. Light up a Pall Mall and turn on some Dallas and remember that your mom would’ve never, ever done these things. She had her own agenda to deal with, and guess what, you turned out just fine!