Lately it seems Matt and I have been having lots of conversations about suburban life. That’s where the idea for NOvember came from…our frustration with the direction our family was going. We definitely have conversations about what we want for our family, our life, our happiness. And September and October? They threatened to derail that goal completely. Trust me, we heaved a huge sigh of relief when this past weekend was over.
Matt seems to think it’s our particular area. That everyone here is “Go hard or go home”. Meaning if you don’t do travel soccer or travel baseball or two sports at a time, plus get good grades in school and help out in your community and do everything that’s asked of you 100% of the time, you’re not good enough. Third grade soccer is super competitive…heck a Mom was beside herself yesterday at the pre-school game. Why does it have to be that way? At 8 years old? What happened to just having fun and getting exercise?
The pressure is intense.
I know I feel it. I happen to enjoy volunteering at my kids’ school, but the pressure is still there. Don’t miss a PTA meeting. Don’t miss that assembly. Make sure you make cookies for the teacher luncheon. Make sure you march in the parade this weekend. Read to your kids 30 minutes every day. Make sure they read to themselves 30 minutes a day. Don’t let them watch too much TV or play too many video games. Playdates. Sports. Gifted programs.
It’s all too much.
Matt heard someone on the radio talking about how we’re so busy making sure our kids are having all of these “experiences” that there’s no time to impart knowledge on them. There’s no time for Dad to work on the car for 4 hours and show the kids what he’s doing and why. There’s no time for Mom to make a pie and show her kids how to measure and make something. There’s no time for doing puzzles, for coloring, for playing ball in the backyard. It’s too much GO!GO!GO!
What I’m asking is, do you feel this? The pressure? I didn’t feel it as much when my kids weren’t in school…but once school started I felt it. We fight it. We try not to sign up for anything and everything that comes home in the backpack. We try to carve out that crucial family time. But it’s hard. And I sometimes have guilt about saying no. Do you? Is it just where we live, or is it everywhere? Last week on Facebook I mentioned that I thought life on Little House on the Prairie sounded heavenly. Do you ever feel that way? Let’s move to a cabin in the woods and live off the land? What do you do to combat Disturbia?