Most parents would do just about anything for their kids. I’m no different. If it’s in my power, I want to make it happen. I love giving my boys new experiences they enjoy, as well as seeking out opportunities to expand their thinking. Recently I found an abundance of additional opportunities in our area for my oldest son. Excited, I tackled each one like a woman possessed. I found requirements, application deadlines, dos and don’ts. We were ready. And then I stopped for a moment, and reviewed this monumental list. And that’s when it hit me. I have to prioritize for him the same way I do for myself.
So far this year I’ve done a good job of not over-extending myself, and using one of the most beautiful words in the English language … “no”. But when it came to my baby, I was placing no limits on what he could do. There was a slight problem with that scenario. At age 7, truthfully, he couldn’t “do” much himself. Meaning, he can’t drive himself to these opportunities, he can’t complete the applications, he can’t buy the supplies or do the research, and he can’t do any of the follow-up necessary to ensure his experience is a success. As a parent, that’s my job. One I am glad to do.
However, I am learning that I need to view his experiences as another priority for myself. I must decide whether or not it’s something we can do at this time based upon my other responsibilities. It’s a humbling realization, because as I said, I’d do just about anything to advance my children. But I believe a few well-researched and enriching opportunities will be better for him and our family, than an abundance of activities that don’t get the appropriate time or effort … and are accompanied by a wearied mom.