I’ve become that mom. I’m now the mom who questions a grade on a project when I believe the expectations were not properly explained. I’m the mom who gets all enraged about the math curriculum or lack of math curriculum in our school district. I’m the mom who e-mails the Little League Association questioning the logic behind games for seven-year-olds that begin at 7:30pm. I’m the mom emailing the baseball coach asking exactly when practice will end because I have three other kids I need to pick up somewhere.
And I don’t want to be that mom. I want to be the easy going, carefree mom who can go with the flow. Hey! I used to be that mom maybe two or three kids ago. Or maybe it has nothing to do with the number of kids and just that seven years ago things were really different. Ahh, I’m so nostalgic for Alex’s first grade year when things were easier and he got to be a kid.
Everything about our lives is on steroids. Our schools and all the testing, our sports and all the competition and even our family life. Every time I jump on to Facebook, which is pretty often, I see another article about one of those issues. We’re fighting Common Core. We’re fighting the craziness of athletics.(LOVE this article!!) And we’re telling other moms to chill out and quit upping the ante on all the holidays and childhood in general. I felt like a slacker mom when I saw all the posts about April Fool’s Day tricks moms played on their kids. The only trick I wanted to play was our day is cancelled go outside and play.
So, we’re all talking about the craziness. We talk about it at the bus stop, on the soccer field, in the bleachers and at Starbucks. We’re all, except a tiny few, in agreement that our society, our world, has lost its sense of what’s right. But, what should we do about it? Ethan’s playing rec ball. I don’t have him on a travel team although it feels like he’s playing for the Red Sox farm team after having four days of baseball in a six day period. I’ve just decided we’re going to do what we can do. The kids need more practice doing math facts and I’m tired of them counting doors and windows in my house for their homework month after month, then we’re going to do math facts instead. 7:30 game is too late for Ethan after a long week of school and a Saturday filled with more games, he’s not going to play. Forget to move the Elf on the Shelf, not going to send Justin down at 3 am to move the silly thing even though everyone else’s elf does crazy antics and the Farley’s elf can hardly move a foot.
Maybe if we start doing what is right for our own family and ignore the noise of society, we will start making a difference. Yes, that means I’m going to be “that mom” possibly forever. Wait, a second, stop the presses! That doesn’t mean I’m going to question everything just the things that live in the realm of ridiculousness, and oh how I wish that realm would stop growing! Teachers need to teach and coaches need to coach and my kids had better follow their rules. I’m not giving them carte blanche to not do their homework. In fact, in most cases I’m just adding to their work. (Please don’t tell them!) They can’t quit or skip practice on a whim, only when the kid who usually falls asleep on the arm of a chair at 8:15 has a game that will “not start a new inning after 9:20.”
I want my kids to be happy adults. I want to sit down for dinner every once and a while instead of having our only family time in the car as I drop kids off at fields. The kicker is we only allow our kids to do one thing at a time. Our kids are not playing multisports at a time. Alex is the only one who does anything extra because he has a job as an umpire.
I’ve been writing this post on and off all week. I have so much emotion tied up in all of this. I just get really scared that we’re harming this generation, our kids. We’ve got to pull back. We’ve got to stop upping the ante. We’ve got to redefine reasonable because we’ve lost any sense of what is reasonable and smart.