Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Keeping up with the (internal) Jones' in the pressure cooker

Feeling the pressure....
If you are a parent then I can pretty much guarantee that you have succumbed to the parent pressure that seems to hover over us like a smog cloud.  We talk to our kids about peer pressure and shiver at the thought of our kids actually giving in someday.  We lecture and give examples and read books about keeping our kids feeling good about themselves and standing up to those who are pressuring them. 

But what about the parent pressure we put on each other?  I've never been a victim of some parent on a street corner trying talk me into buying the newest iWhatever yet I still feel like I'm pressured.  I haven't witnessed other parents hovering in a corner of a junior high bathroom tempting me with fliers for the best camp to send my kid to or watched another parent open up their trench coat to display the newest Abercrombie clothes to buy.  Yet, I still feel pressure and I know that I am the one doing the pressuring.

It isn't that bad with the younger kiddos, they are 5 and 10 and luckily the only thing they want more of is toys...which we can plainly see they have enough of and it's easy to say "no" and move on.  With our 13 year old, it has gotten worse as this first junior high year has gone on.  I have a feeling that because he is a boy, I have probably gotten off easier than the parents with girls this age.  Only because of the long as his pants are long enough and his shirt fits, he'll wear it.  The only clothing issue this year would be the shoes.  He wanted a pair of Jordan's....which he promptly got for Christmas.  I'm sure next year the Jordan's will be out of the picture and a new fad will ensue.  And I know that I will get those too.

Why?  Because the shoes are the smallest of the parent pressure issue. 

Ever since he hit about 4th grade, we have been trying to make sure he is involved with every single thing he wants to be involved in.  Whether that be a sport, a camp, a group of friends, parties, dances,'s never ending. 

There are certain things we will do every being one of them.  I have said before, that making memories with my kids is super important.  But at what point do these memory making things become too much? 

Our teenager and our 10 year old are both going to camp this year.  2 camps, as a matter of fact.  Church camp and regular camp.  Both camps will be a few days away and both camps are a few hundred bucks.  T will also be attending the Auburn Soccer Camp after our family vacation. 

We are already trying to plan for next summer while we're at it!  I was introduced to the EF Tours a few months back and the Summer 2013 trip to Italy sounded like an amazing experience for T and I both.  There goes a few thousand dollars....each.  Just last night, T was offered to go in on another trip with EF to Washington DC and New York.  He also expressed that he would love to go to Cambodia for a mission trip that summer. 

He will be in 8th grade next year.  8th grade!  I see the ridiculousness of this, yet I still feel the need to figure it all out somehow.  He doesn't need to go anywhere next summer but I pressure myself into these crazy ideas that we can handle it all.  And he's so up in the air, as most teenagers, that I don't think he is even focused on one of those trips.  Did I mention that next summer will be our 15th wedding anniversary? 

15 years is HUGE.  I have always wanted us to go somewhere really nice for our 15th anniversary.  All of us, as a family.  Which would be virtually impossible while also sending our teenager around the world. 

This seems easy.....15th wedding anniversary only comes once.  T will have plenty of time to travel and experience these wonderful things. 

But sometimes, telling your kid no can be so hard.  And this is why this generation is spoiled rotten with impossible expectations...we are raising them this way.

I feel the need to fit everything in when really I should be focusing one making one thing really count. 

Running everywhere, making sure everyone is included, that they can be at every party, every concert, every movie opening just crazy talk. Yet, we all are fully fluent in that crazy language.

I need to pray for more confidence and strength in my parenting. 

What do you feel the most parent pressure about?

I am joining the Women Living Well blog hop for the first time today, what a wonderful thing to stumble across on days like today. 


  1. Wonderful post! Your blog is really amazing! Thank you for visiting mine!! Blessings sweet girl!

  2. My kids are all adults now, but the most pressure we were under when they were teens was the pressure of the culture...look this way, have this, spend this. It was most difficult to have them understand that culture/trends change with every generation. God's principles are unchanging and will always have and give value. Two out of our three kids got it...still praying for the third!


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