Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Expectations....

(I have always thought a Mom should grow an extra arm for every child born after 2)

I was having a conversation the other day with a good friend. She asked if I were going to Field Day this Friday. I said I hadn't really thought about it and would just have to play it by ear this year due to a baby with severe allergies/asthma. If it is windy he can't be outside.

This friend has 6 children and is amazing! She was talking about how she would need to be at the school ALL DAY long to watch the kids because 1st and 2nd grade are in the morning and 3-5th grades are in the afternoon. She was feeling the Mommy guilt for not being there the entire time because of an 8 month old baby who would need to eat/nap etc.

I think that our kids are overloaded with activities/sports/lessons etc.... BUT SO ARE MOMMIES! The expectations put on Moms to be at every minute of every activity is unrealistic!Not to mention society telling us we have to be "more than a Mom" to have any worth (another post for another time) The more children you have the more unrealistic it becomes, especially when they range in age so vastly (mine range from 1-12).

My Mother NEVER attended Field Day to watch me play water games/relay races etc.... I think I turned out okay. I don't recall my Mom helping out in my classroom or being the PTA President and I am not scarred by it. She was there for me on a daily basis when I got home from school, when I needed help with homework, when we had family dinner etc....

I think it's wonderful to go into my children's classroom. I LOVE how their little eyes light up when you walk in and how much they LOVE having Mommy there. However I also have 2 little ones at home and I can't go very regularly and that is OKAY. It's a season of life....I am still involved in my kids education and know what they are doing, I know their teachers, I communicate regularly with them.

I TRY to be at everything I can I go to awards assemblies, pack meetings for Cub Scouts, baseball games etc... I know how important it is for my children to feel like I am supporting them and interested in what they are doing. I want them to know that I love them and think they are wonderful. However Field Day is a day where they PLAY games. It's not really an accomplishment they have achieved...even if they do receive a RIBBON for playing GAMES (I have issues with getting a trophy/ribbon for JUST SHOWING UP...let's reward mediocrity...but that's a whole different post).


Contrast Field Day with this example...My oldest is going to be in his school production of "The Wizard of Oz" and has a minor lead in it. He has worked for HOURS in rehearsals, memorizing the story, lines etc. He is very excited about it and his performance will be a GREAT accomplishment. Getting up in front of people is not easy for him, so think of the lessons he will learn in doing it. It will be something hard for him that he overcomes. You can bet that I will be at every peformance I can to show him how proud of him I am.

When I am stretched too thin and trying to do too much I am over stressed, crazy Mom. When I am focused on keeping our home running smoothly, keeping my baby on a schedule so he eats/sleeps when he needs to all of us are happier.

Maybe I need to learn how to stretch further...what do you think? Do you think Moms/Dads need to be at EVERYTHING their kids do or is it okay to prioritize? Is it okay to simplify and get down to bare basics? How do you support your kids and let them know how important they are??

6 comments:

Sarah said...

I have never attended a field day. It is something I decided early on to let go of any guilt about! However I attend every performance and awards assembly I possibly can.
My mom was a working mother and could never come to anything during the day. It did make me a bit sad when I was young. I was occassionally jealous of the kids whose moms were the room mothers and volunteered at the school regularly. I feel so grateful everytime I can sit in an awards assembly and cheer my kids on. There are so many perks to being a stay-at-home mom!

T said...

I agree with you, be there for the big stuff and don't sweat the small stuff. It makes it all the more special when you do come.

Wendi said...

I think you're right on with your prioritization. I can only do so much and so simplicity and doing the basics is what I focus on with my kids. I make sure to tell them and show them that I love them on a daily basis, but I'm only able to attend the most essential things. I think you're doing great. :)

Aubrey Dixon said...

I think there's definitely a balance that every parent has to find. Some people can go 500 mph (I don't think I'm one of them:) But what I think it really comes down to is knowing what things are really important to your kids. If they think it would be fun for you to be at field day, but you know it's not something that's really important to them, then you're probably fine skipping it. I do only have 2 kids (neither school age yet) so I'm not speaking from experience. But I am speaking from my experience of being raised by what I think was the perfect mom. And no, she was not at every single teeny-tiny thing. She had 6 kids. But I do have many good memories of her being at different events that were important to me.

Cheryl said...

That is a good point you bring up Aubrey....if it is important to the child for me to be there I should do everything I can to. However sometimes it just isn't possible and that's okay too. My kids don't really care about me being at Field Day, thus my attitude :)

Laura@livingabigstory said...

I needed this post this morning -- I've been thinking so much about the balance between being more than I am and realizing when I am enough as I already am. I don't know that I have it figured out, but thanks so much for this post to give me more to think about.