Monday, September 6, 2010

Over Achieving Parent

When my girls potty trained I wasted no time throwing them into outside activities. From gymnastics to play dates to music lessons we were doing it all! My calendar was filled with an activity for every day of the week. I was tired. They were overwhelmed. My house was a mess and my family was suffering for it. So we dumped it all, and then I started feeling guilty. Guilty that my children were going to fall into that "weird homeschooler" category. Guilty that they won't be able to carry on a conversation or that they will no know how to function outside of our house. And then, I got real.

It isn't just homeschooling parents that suffer from "Over Achievement Syndrome" either. This is one that falls across the board. I'm not really sure what clicked that made me decide enough was enough, but slowly I cut out all but our music lessons and the occassional homeschool get together. I stopped doing produce co-op, I took the girls out of karate, dance, gymnastics, soccer, cheer leading and whatever else we were in at the time. I decided that being at home around the table as a family was more important. I decided that my kids could learn to socialize with their family and that unless we kept ourselves locked in the house it was unlikely that they would be any weirder than any other 1st and 2nd grade child. It's not that I don't want my kids to experience all of these things; I just want it to be reasonable, and I don't want it to interfere with them just being 2, 5, and 6. My kids will not need to schedule their playtime.

Whatever happened to growing up like we did? When I was a kid the majority of my time was spent at home outside playing with no one but my 3 little brothers. That's right. My brothers. My YOUNGER brothers. We lived in a fairly rural area so we had no friends in our neighborhood and GASP we were forced to play with each other. Without the benefit of being on an xbox, wii or playstation. I guess, I am probably a little weird, but over all I managed to socialize enough to snag me a hubby (maybe he just happens to be as weird as I am?).

Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's ok not to be busy every moment of every day. I don't have to justify why I pulled my eldest out of dance, why I won't let my middle do gymnastics or my youngest play soccer. Slowly, but surely I am trying to stop trying to be an over achiever.