We went up to Alta Ski Resort this morning. And this time our 5 year old asked politely, “Can you please not forget my boots this time?” Check. Boots in the car. In fact, the only thing I forgot was my sunglasses. But that seemed minor in comparison to last time.
The best part of my morning? Other than making it out as a family again, or Bells skiing faster than ever before, or Abs turning for the first time? It was all the other parents our there with their young kids, teaching them how to ski. I know what it took them to get there- having fought the perilous battle only 30 minutes before. Yet there they were. And most of them with a smile on their faces. There was a strange sort of camaraderie among us. All in it together. All believing there was some sort of value to it.
It got me thinking about how often this isn’t true. As parents we turn the art of parenting, or more specifically the performance of our children, into a competition. I see it all the time. I do it all the time.
The embarrassed mom who’s child is throwing a fit in the grocery store or the dad who just doesn’t get why his kid won’t climb to the top but yours will. It is hard not to compare. It is harder not to derive some sort of value and worth from your kids successes or defeats. But I want to go up to that mom in the store and say, “Hey, we are on the same team! Don’t be embarrassed!” For every kid I’ve seen throw a fit, my kids have done it too. For every kid who has wimped out because of fear, mine has done it to. We are all trying to figure out this thing called parenting. There is very little black and white, and a lot of grey! And none of us know what we are doing!
So lets stop competing! It isn’t about US after all. Let us figure this out together. And the next time you see that struggling parent, offer them a smile or a hand and remember…we are on a journey, not in a competition.
For more info on why Alta Ski Resort is pretty great visit The Brave Ski Mom. She pretty much summed up all our thoughts exactly!