You will not survive this whole parenting thing unless you have a relaxed, anything goes attitude. Yet, I’m surprised at how seriously some parents take themselves. Do you really have to make every single practice,
even if it involves skipping dinner, bailing on the homework, and eliminating family dinner time five nights out of the week? Then, sprinkle in a few weekends on the road at some crazy hotel for a tournament that’s going to get rained out anyway?
I don’t think so.
Once, I heard that the definition of mother is being a mirror. As mothers, we need to be fully present with our children so that we can hold their emotions, and reflect them back to them… and be ready with a pail to help them clean up when they want to purge and vent out their emotions. Sometimes we are too scattered, running in too many different directions, or just too stressed to be fully present for our children. Children who don’t grow up with this kind of “mirroring” and constant connection grow up to be very lonely. If that’s the case, experts say, “get help.” So, wouldn’t you say it’s more responsible for a parent to ensure there is enough down time to ensure we don’t get to that point?
Maybe I’m not “committed” to the sport. But I am committed to my kids. So that’s what I love about standing in the thick of homework questions, requests for playdates, and work schedules that just won’t bend, and in comes a request for “just one more thing.” I look my husband in the eye, and he says, “Do we have anything else going on tonight?” When I look at his eyes, I know that he’s remembering some email from somewhere that came across our smart phones that said something about a game on Thursday…and we both know neither one of us has had time to open it, and he knows I’m thinking the same thing. And yet, we both deny it. “Nope. Nothing’s going on tonight.” Because we are both that scattered. There are entirely too many places to be, and too much going on, and we know that what we really need is a family night in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn, to re-charge — so that we can be better parents. And that, my friends, is what makes a family, and that’s what makes the memories.