It’s important to remember what’s important and to keep things in perspective as a parent. Loving My Perfectly Imperfect Kids – Prevent a common parenting pitfall
My pulse is racing, one eye is shut and one is somewhat open, my hands are curled up around the seat holding on pretty tight and then it happens he hits the ball. He doesn’t hit it hard, but hard enough to make it to first. It’s Wednesday night and I’m at one of my most stressful activities of the week, my 6 year old’s little league game. You would think by the reaction of all the parents ,including myself, we are at the world series game for our favorite sports team. I was so stressed waiting for him to hit the ball and running to first base that I almost miss the goofy look he had on his face while running and most important as he stomps on first turns to look at me, waves and blows me a kiss. It’s then when I realized how allowing myself to stress out over the simple things I am truly missing the big things.
As parents we want our child to stand out, we want them to be the next sports star, lead ballerina, famous singer or panting prodigy. I’m guilty of it. Especially as a homeschooling parent, I put so much pressure on myself and on what my children’s abilities are, that many times I just forget to enjoy these little moments. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for our children to learn and gain skills that will help them grow as individuals. My problem is with the constant pressure we put on them to excel, and not really enjoy and grow as individuals.
Our kids are losing their childhood. You can see it every day as you drive down your block. How many are out there playing ball? Riding their bicycles? Playing jump rope? It’s a rare sight if you see kids outside playing a game of ball, not one you see often if at all. I know many blame video games and indoor activities but with the added on pressures of school work, sports and extracurricular activities are we trying so hard to create the super kid we aren’t truly loving our imperfect one?
You see it on the news how fights break out at sporting events, how this child is doing this amount of work a day and doesn’t have time to play. The soccer mom, the Hockey Mom the dance team mom, we are there for your our children but are we really there for them? How do we react when they fail? When they don’t meet our expectations? Are we holding them to unreasonable standards? I know I’ve caught myself doing it, comparing, wishing my son was the fastest, strongest and best. But I ask myself..how am I making him feel in the process?
As my son rounded the bases at the game the other day I saw the joy in his face ,not for the fact that he was making it to home but because he was having fun. Something, I wasn’t doing. It made me realize that although he may not be the fastest , strongest or have the best skills, he’s the little guy who gives me hugs when he sees me worried. He’s the little guy who shares his cookies with me when he gets an extra one . He’s the reason I am called a mom. As parents we need to realize the gifts we have been given and enjoy theme for who they are, because when we least expect it, they will have gone off and made their way and what will all that stress, and worry have done to our relationship with them. I will always push him to be the best and know he has the potential but I need to remember to always allow him to be a kid and for me to enjoy this small period of time called childhood.
Let them have fun and have fun with them in the process! It’s important to be a parent and to parent our children but don’t loose being a Mom or Dad in the process. Always love and show you love your perfectly imperfect child.
Comments & Reviews
Thank you for the reminder. I need to slow down and let them be little… my fondest memories as a child are what you mentioned, playing outside! And dinner with family… it’s important. Thank you.
Samantha C says
What a great reminder to take a step back. My best friend (who is two weeks older than I am) had a little boy 6 weeks before I had my little boy. Of course her son and my son are so different, because they are being raised by different people and shaped by different experiences. Sometimes though I have to catch myself comparing our boys. Both are so unique and perfect and this post is another great reminder that it’s completely fine that they are developing at different paces and allowed to have different personalities. Thanks!
Great post. My little one is 18 months old and at a recent event at school she was playing in the sensory area and didn’t want to do the other activities. After trying to drag her from the area to paint a pumpkin, I realized….isn’t this for her to have fun? So I let her go, and eventually, she did want to play in the other areas. We didn’t do everything, but she had fun, and that’s what was important.
Erin Knack says
I love this post. When everything is busy and the kids are crazy (they are ALWAYS crazy!) we often lose perspective on the things that matter most. I had a moment with my 3 year old yesterday. It had been one of those days where my two kids were fighting all day long. He asked me to color with him. I tore myself away from the computer to sit with him. After 5 minutes, he looks at me and gives me the biggest smile and says, “Look Mama, we’re colorin’.” It made me tear up.
Mary D says
Thanks for the reminder! My kids only do scouts and art classes during the school year and I have moments of feeling guilty that we don’t do any sports. I need reminders that sports don’t fit in our family priorities right now and that’s OK!
Kimberly Mayberry says
So glad to see this posted. One of the things I am really grateful for is that my mom just out me in dance classes. No competitions, just classes with a oerformance at the end of the year. I have many fond memories of the classes and the fun times had during the performances. 🙂
Nicole seneca says
This is a wonderful topic and glad you are sharing this perspective. It is something that truly upsets me and makes me not look forward to this part of our future :/
Deidre Mills says
I just found your site, thanks for all these posts. It definitely helps new moms get a feel for what they have to look forward to!
shalaina s says
I am realizing how important this is now. My oldest is 7 years old and in the second grade now. Now that she has a “serious” work load and it challenges her some, I am in the process of learning just as much as she is. I pray that I am a strong enough mother to push her and challenge her academically, but not so unreasonable in my expectations that I make her feel that her best is not enough. I’m trying to enjoy checking homework because I know that one day she won’t need me to anymore. Plus looking at jer grow reminds me how fast time is going by and to treasure my other children every step of the way as well.
Jessica Hughes says
This rings so true. I’m constantly catching myself about to say something to my son about the way he plays – he should do it this way, or make it like this, etc. I have to stop myself and allow him to play the way he wants to play.
Jutta P. says
Great advice! So glad you got to see the goofy look on his face. It’s moments like that that make everything worth it. I never got to participate in sports or anything growing up. So, I’m really excited for my kids to have that chance.
Mary S says
Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I get so caught up in the difficulties of the day that I forget how blessed I am just to be my son’s mother.
Leela R. says
That’s great advice and something I really will have to strive to do as my son gets older. It’s great though that as a baby and toddler there is no pressure to perform…it’s all about keeping him happy and having fun!
Amanda Stano says
My son is only 14 months but being a stay-at-home-mom has been the best decision I’ve ever made. If I missed the big things, I’d be broken. And as he grows, I will hope to always be there for the little things too. Life is too precious, isn’t it? Our legacy is our children, they are the future of the world.
Julie M. says
As my 4 and 2 year old were gleefully playing outside together today, I thought about the fact that I never see kids playing outside anymore. I know my kiddos are still young and not bogged down with school work, but I think it is sad when kids aren’t taking advantage of these perfect fall afternoons. Pretty soon it will be bitterly cold out and we’ll be stuck indoors (mostly) til spring. I agree with you that kids need to be kids and have more fun. Academics are important, but so is free time and fresh air!
Lorena Roman says
My beautiful, perfect 2 year old was evaluated this morning for speech therapy. During her evaluation I found myself tense, hoping that she would pass the evaluation with flying colors and prove that she is the best… I don’t know, the best at something. I quickly realized that it was unfair to put so much pressure on er and instead focused on how well she was doing in general. I was so proud of her but it did take a minute for me to grasp what was really important. I’m so happy to read your post because know I have confirmation that I’m not the only mom out there secretly hoping my child is a prodigy of some sort. My girl is wonderful in every way, no matter what, and its good to be reminded of that.
It can be so hard and I think all parents feel this insecurity. We just have to remind ourselves what’s really important as hard as it can be 🙁
Thank you for sharing this! It’s a little moment, but a big lesson.
Thanks for stopping by!
Erica Lynn says
Wonderful reminder and well said. Thank you so much for this post! How important it is the cherish the little things.
Ashley P says
My husband and I have ran into this problem with each other. We are going through fertility treatments, trying to remodel an OLD farm house, both work full time, and countless other things. In the chaos and noise, we ended up just “passing in the halls.” We both got so stressed over the upheaval in our lives that we forgot how to enjoy the journey.
IT can be sooo hard. Just take the time to remember what’s important even if it’s a second 🙂 You are blessed! 🙂
Laura B says
It’s great that you realize how important it is to stop and cherish the little things. We all forget sometimes but it makes moments like those that much more special!
Yes it does!
sherry blamer says
I can’t wait untill my daughter is old enough to enjoy sports and other activities. I think she would be a good runner since she runs a lot hahaha.
I totally get this. Growing up I was under a lot of pressure to excel in school, and when I got to high school I was juggling softball, advanced placement courses, and a part-time job I loved. My grades suffered and so did I, I would fall asleep doing homework and was too tired to really play my best especially with little time to practice outside team-scheduled time. I eventually quit softball and that helped, but only marginally. My mother expected me to handle it even when I told her I was struggling and that more support from her would really help me.
I promised myself I’d never put any of my kids in a situation they couldn’t handle, and if I do it accidentally or pressure them into something and they tell me, to ask how I can help in any way and let them make their own decisions in regard to what they want to do. Kids nowadays have so much going on, I can’t believe that they want kids reading at the end of kindergarten now. It used to be that they just START in first grade.
Ashley O. says
Your little guy sounds like such a blessing. I can’t wait to become a first time mom in Jan!
It is awesome to sit back, read, and think about how we should love our kids. Thanks for the reminder.
Bobbie T says
My daughter was doing her dance recital when she was 6 and all of a sudden she stopped and had a shocked look on her face. She looked over to me and I gave her the thumbs up and a big smile and she kept on going. After I went to go get she told me she got scared and “peed a little” (its okay, laugh I had to bite my tounge too :P) but she said she saw me give her the thumbs up and she kept on going. She doesn’t have to be the best but I was very proud of her for sticking it out even though she was obviously very terrified.
Jennifer H says
I needed to read this post. Our kids are 2-1/2 years old and 6 months, so we’re not yet facing the same issues. I just want my baby to not vomit after eating some solids, lol, let along be a star athlete or excel in some way. But this post is helping to put the mini dramas of toddlers and infants in perspective with the greater challenges for school aged kids.
Rebecca Harris says
What a good reminder to tuck away for later! My son is only 6 months old, so we aren’t facing group sports and activities just yet. But, the competitions have already started. At the nursery on Sunday mornings it is a constant discussion over what age which baby did what. The one-upping is ridiculous and it makes me so thankful that even though there are other little ones, he was born several months after them so it keeps me from wanting to compare him. Praying now that I raise him up in love & joy rather than pride & pressure.
Shawnia Myers says
This is true. We should have high standards for our children, it’s only natural to good parents to have such expectations. However what separates good parents from ogres (lol) is the balance of not letting them give up at the first sign of failure, wanting them to be better but also not pressuring them to the point where they feel that winning or being on top is everything and that they are nobodies if they do happen to fail. It never hurts to have standards, it gives us and them goals to look forward to and learning opportunities if they miss that goal. Some pressure is not a bad thing at all, its waaay better than being a parent who doesn’t care at all but we just have to make sure we stop short of making our kids believe that they must have everything.
Playing outside was all we knew growing up. I think that kids are missing out on that nowadays. There are so many excuses and distractions along with apparent lack of time. It’s not healthy. I fear what world I’m bringing my baby girl up in. Will try to encourage all that I believe – ie: time to play and be a kid! – as she grows 🙂
Tracy Ames-Dennison says
We live in a neighborhood full of kids, and so often mine are the only ones out playing. they don’t get it either!
Trisha W. says
Well said! So many try to live vicariously through their children and wind up putting to much pressure on the children.
Erin M says
Wow, I got the goosebumps reading this, it really struck a cord with me. They really are losing their childhoods, or more so living them out, SO quickly! Lately we have been taking Leila out in the backyard to play and I just sit on the back porch and watch. It helps so much to just relax and watch them play.
tiffany dover says
Such a great post! We have two boys, a 21 month old and a 3 month old and my hubby and I can’t wait till they start playing sports!! I know I’m going to be just like you though with one eye open and one closed. So nervous yet exciting! lol
I love this! My son is 9.5 months and not crawling or pulling up on stuff. Most of my friends babies are so sometimes I feel like why isn’t he doing it yet BUT he will do it when he is ready 🙂
It is good to see kids being KIDS! Enjoy life!
eric rivera says
im the same way and i actually go by the same motto cause i have a son with autism be he shines so freakin bright and i would never change that for the world so he may not be perfect at everything but who the heck is? and my oldest is a talker oh boy is he a talker but would i wish for any different?? when their are parents who pray to hear just a word from their little ones, and my youngest is recklace and everywhere but atleast hes mobile and im thankful everyday for that! its the imperfections that make us so grateful
Laurie P says
I had my boy in t-ball years ago, at first he really enjoyed it. But as he grew older, his interest disappeared. Made me a little sad as I LOVE sports. It just wasn’t for him. But we found other interests and just enjoyed doing things that he enjoyed and made him happy.
All those crazy parents on the sidelines, berating there kids for not doing “what they’re are supposed to”…..sad really. If ya’ll are not smiling, there’s no fun happening!
Eileen Richter says
Yes, let them be LITTLE! I so agree, but locking horns in our house. Our youngest is in several sports at once and although SHE is having fun and loving it all, it spreads our family out too much with the kid’s sports schedule. We have a hard time saying NO to sports…you know, the comaraderie, the exercise, the fresh air and team buildiing. But. It becomes too much. And yes, it is both joyful and stressful for parents. I am actually looking forward to our last being in high school next year when there will be 3 school sports. No extra running. Yes, our son and daughter will be having afterschool practices…but our weekends will once again be ours. If I had it to do over…we would have limited our kids to two sports or clubs, activities per YEAR…not season. We have lots of good memories…the kids love it, but we miss our time at the table. Watching a show together. We got sucked in.
Kristy S says
It is nice to see kids having fun playing their sports without crazy parents interfering
Carly T says
I agree. I live in a safe suburban neighborhood, and I rarely see kids playing outside. Activities can be great fun and a good learning opportunity for kids, but unstructured and creative play is just as important. As is dinner time with the family, which was an every night occurrence when I was growing up, but something rare for families I know these days. I think many people today have lost much of the balance in their lives. I hope to have the ability to maintain balance in my own family, as hard as it can be in our fast-paced, pressured world.
While my children aren’t old enough to play outside yet, I live in a neighborhood with lots of children. It makes me sad that we never really see anyone outside doing anything. Even my friends with other babies/toddlers are so scheduled there’s barely any time to get together for play dates. Everyone has this class, and that class, and preschool at 1 and 2 years old. Why can’t we let our toddlers be kids, and sometimes just play?
Tina T says
It is rare to see children outside anymore. I remember I used to walk 1 mile to school everyday when I was in 4-8th grade. Even throughout high school I would walk or be outside playing till my mom yelled out the window for me to get in. Now, you can’t trust anyone, kids being kid napped, hit by cars, bullied, and it only gets worse. I love in a gated community and I don’t trust my oldest riding her bike around due to the speed racers around here. Agh! If I could only keep them in bubbles outdoors? I’m am trying to homeschool as well but I find it really hard with 2 toddlers, a newborn and a 4th grader. Lord help me. I know how you feel about wanting your children to be the best of the best. As long as we praise them for the good and raise them as we are told, they will shine above the rest!
Michelle F. says
what a cute little boy. thinking I will put my daughter in soccer when she is older as she loves kicking balls.
Rachel N says
My husband wants to put our boys in hockey so bad since it is his sport that he loves to play. I am not for it, I would be glad to put them in pond hockey (1 practice and 1 game per week, played outside and for fun) but not competitive hockey. I find it ridiculous to drag my 5 year old out of bed for 5:30 am hockey practice and then expect him to do well in kindergaten! How crazy is that! I want my kids to have fun and play sports but I want them to have lives to and time to be kids, be creative, build forts, go sledding, even to be bored.
Michelle Lee says
My son has developmental delays and I use to stress all the time about how far behind he was other kids his age (just playing on the playground). It took me awhile but now I just enjoy watching him play and delighting in all the progress he is making. To think, I almost missed all those little miracles. 🙂
It’s so true!! I think as parents we forget to enjoy the little things. It’s good to just realize they’ll do what they are meant to do if we just support them.