Less, please, can we do no more?

It feels like parenting became a race sometime in the last five years. Nowadays, it’s more common for families to be out and exploring the latest entertainment centre than it is to be at home, reading a good book.
I’m feeling it – and I’m sure you are too (I know my friends feel this pressure, because Stacey Vee mentioned it.

The ever-present pressure that, as a family, you SHOULD BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT NOW to educate, inform and give your child experiences. I’m starting to feel like I’ve failed as a parent because we’re not out doing all these exciting things every day.
But, am I? Heck, as a kid, I remember every family excursion and the most memorable was the time we went hunting for a comet

I’ll give you an example. Sometime, in my newfound motherhood days, way back in 2005, I joined a baby yoga class. I went, twice. Oh how I look back and laugh at me now. “It’ll help you bond”, they said. “It’ll be social, you’ll meet other moms and it’ll get you out of the house”. To be honest, I didn’t want to leave the house. I wanted to stay home, under the covers and “sleep when the baby sleeps”, whilst somehow finding a small semblance of sanity in my life. But, I did it. Why? “Because it will be good for you and your child”, they said.

The classes were lovely; the mom friends were sweet but, the best part about it? It was the nap we had when we returned home. I was going to a class to get home and have a peaceful nap. That made no sense, so I stopped going.

Still, I felt guilty. I was far happier, as a mom and a person, at home, cuddled up on the couch watching Noddy than I was romping about and having tea with other moms, whilst talking about our children’s bowel movements. Now, I’m not denying that – yes, I loved those playdates and social days but, dammit, I love being in my pyjamas.

And that hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s only got worse. Now with the pressures of primary school, hectic schedules, endless appointments and even more pressure TO DO THIS NOW AS YOUR KID WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER IT AND IF YOU DON’T YOUR CHILD WILL HAVE NO MEMORIES TO LOOK BACK ON AND YOU’LL BE A BAD PARENT.

I’m tired, readers. Yes, we’ll go to the birthday parties. Yes, once a month we’ll venture out to the movies or go explore the latest and greatest place somebody has opened. But, please, I want quality time with my child, on our own. I want lazy pyjama days and 1000-piece puzzles that consume a weekend and – please – I want to watch all the Narnia movies with her.

Far too soon, I fear, there will come a time when she chooses sleepovers with her friends, over a tea date with me. Very quickly, she’ll start telling me that her weekends with me need to be divided up between her mates from school. Before I know it, she’ll be borrowing my clothes for some school dance. What then, readers? I’ll have missed this time – this quiet, cosy afternoon on the couch when we explore the Magic Faraway Tree together, or that time when we decided to stay in because it was raining, and learnt to do the Macarena together.

I’d like to do less please, and live more.

What could you do less of to get more out of life?

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