When Parenting Became a Competitive Sport

When Parenting Became a Competitive Sport

Is everyone insane? I have to ask because the stuff I have been seeing out there is nothing short of Olympic grade insanity. Parenting has become kind of a competitive sport. Am I the only one not jostling for the “room mom” position, or racing to get my fall family photos captured and posted on Instagram? Because it’s fall and shouldn’t I have a picture of my kid tossing leaves into the air while the hubs and I gaze at her while drinking steaming lattes? Parents, please pump your brakes! I’m all for bringing your kids out for some festive activities but this whole parenting thing is getting a little nuts.

Holidays on Overload

Okay, I will not deny that I go a little crazy when the Christmas season comes around (as evidenced by this post) but that has always been my jam. I’m all snow angels and Santa and multiple Christmas trees (don’t judge me) but now? Man, that is just the tip of the iceberg. You have to take your kids apple picking and pumpkin picking in your matching flannel shirts. Then you must do a hay ride and the jack-o-lantern blaze (yes, burning pumpkins) and the trick or treating. But it isn’t just trick or treating because there’s a costume party and a trunk or treat and a fundraiser at school and before we have even reached October 31, we have essentially had Halloween five times. And that’s just Halloween. Don’t forget about the seasonal activities and the kindness projects and the tooth fairy and the endless holidays that you didn’t even know existed. Hello, National Cheeseburger Day?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The Secret Code

If you wanna be in the know, you better start preparing for the position of “room mom.” Dude. Before I had kids I didn’t even know what that was. On my birthday, my mom probably dropped off some cupcakes and juice to my class and I felt pretty amazing about that. Now? You gotta be planning some EPIC stuff for the classroom, especially because you have to be the best.room.mom.ever. Teachers have to start fighting for you as your children make their way up the grades. And if you think you can just throw a holiday and spring party? You will never make it. Got a two year old? Start planning now. #roommomohyeah

The Card Game

I mean what’s your card game, like? Because you know you can’t just use a family photo you took last month in front of the pumpkin patch. You better have a professional taking that photo. And just so you know…it cannot be just you and your kids. EVERYONE does that. It’s gotta be edgy, like in front of a wall of graffiti. Yeah, we got those in Connecticut. Even better, be funny. Stick it to all those perfect little families and pose with your whole family pouting. Fight the power. Don’t be putting together some last minute crap on flimsy paper though. I’m talking card stock. High quality paper. Maybe some foil inside the envelopes. NOW you’re talking. Don’t forget the matching but non matching outfits. Look like your effortlessly coordinated without trying too hard. Think shades of blue.

Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

The Learning Curve

So I’m an educator. So that means that everything turns into a “teachable moment” in my house and I am all for learning games and activities. But the stuff y’all are doing over there…I am not sure what’s happening. Flash cards at two? ummm okay. Tutors at four? uhhh this is getting awkward. Mandarin lessons at 7? Does anyone you know actually speak mandarin? I mean besides the tutor? Your child will learn to read, I promise. But putting freaking flashcards in front of his face is probably not going to do much in the way of developing his interest in learning. I know, I know. How will he ever get into Harvard if he isn’t reading at age 4. The HORROR. But this is about academic curiosity and I’m pretty sure mine didn’t start with a flashcard in my face.

And while I book my afternoon photo shoot (professional, of course) for our upcoming Christmas card, I realize the hypocrisy of this post. I think what I’m saying is that if you genuinely enjoy doing these family photo shoots, rock on. If you’re super into 25 Halloween parties, have at it. Just don’t do all the things just to do all the things. There’s so much more to life than keeping up with this insane parenting game. And if your kid doesn’t speak Mandarin by age eight? Give yourself a break and know that your kid will be fine. I promise.

 

Mom, wife, educator, and loyal friend. Passionate about all things reading and writing. Sharing parenting tips with an educator’s lens.

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