Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's Okay to Have Fun with Your Children

This was originally posted on The Chicago Moms

For our girls’ birthday we took them and two friends to see Big Time Rush last weekend. Rachel Crow opened the show and Cody Simpson did a set. The shrieking grew from happy clapping to a full out need for earplugs between the time Rachel left the stage and Big Time Rush took the stage.

You know what I learned? I like pop music. This isn’t really news to anyone who knows me, but I really did enjoy the show. It was fun to dance like a kid and with the kids. It was fun to watch our girls and their friends experience their first big concert.

You know what else I learned? It turns out there’s a subculture of parents who believe the only acceptable reason to attend something like a concert with your kids is to give you a reason to complain. If you can complain in front of your child there seem to be bonus points for making him/her feel badly. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this, but I hope it will be the last. I’m tired of complaining as a competitive parenting sport. I’m tired of hearing how your kid’s baseball league ruins your summer. I don’t want to hear about how much you hated Disney. There’s no reason to be a martyr about everything. Remember, you chose to have a child. If you didn’t want to do anything with your child, why did you have him or her?

It’s to the point that I change the topic as soon as the complaining starts – when I’m feeling polite that is. Other times I say something like, “If you hate baseball so much why did you let him sign up?” The parent always talks about how it is good for her child and how much her child love it. Well, isn’t that a reason to tolerate it? You don’t ever have to love it, but maybe you can find a way to tolerate it and stop complaining?

I do realize spending time with your children is taking you away from you oh-so-important reality show, but how about enjoying the reality show that is your life? As the days fly by I realize there are things I won’t get to do because I’m doing something with our girls. Still, I realize this time is precious. They won’t ever go to a first concert again. I knew what I was getting in to so I embraced the experience. The joy on their faces made me happier than anything else I could have been doing at that moment. Why ruin it by spending my time complaining?

Most importantly, how do I convince other parents to embrace the experience and stop complaining?



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