Parents Get Out Of The Spotlight – I’m Getting All Up In Your Face

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With the kids back into normal routine I’ve found myself in situations where I’m surrounded by other parents with their children. At gymnastics, at school and the other usual locales where my radically exciting life leads me. While hanging in my yoga pants performing the perpetual parental waiting game, I’ve found my oh-so-busy mind picking up on something which is irritating the snot out of me.

little girl gymnasticsIt all began with gymnastics a few years ago…..cue the sappy reflective music and the fog. As I stood watching our little Chelsea somersaulting, cartwheeling and learning all things gymnastics I felt a deep sense of pride. She has a natural talent for the sport and you can feel her love for it across a room.

My pride felt justified, I was really enjoying watching her learn and improve as the lessons progressed. One fine afternoon as I watched my little one I overheard some Moms chatting, discussing their own gymnasts.

Throughout the conversation one of the women repeatedly noted how she had been a gymnast and how her daughter took after her….it had me smiling, looking down my proverbial nose at this woman’s need to bring the attention upon herself. I was glad I wasn’t the one stuck in that awkward convo with Gym Mom. Chuckling to myself I returned my attention to my future star and considered buying her a new super-blingy gym suit.

Time pottered along and as is typical when I get my knickers in a twist about something, I kept noticing parents doing this wherever I went.

It Felt Like Everyone Was Vying for Attention

I felt like a bystander watching parents pushing the spotlight off of their children, only to grab it for themselves. A father talking about his years of Junior A hockey achievements at the hockey rink while his son is trying to gear up, a mother gushing about the award she won at graduation as her daughter struggled to choose a hairstyle for prom…..examples of parental stories rushed at me from the peripheral while I moved through my quiet life judging it all.

kids boxingI’m so slow to pick up on my own defects of character that this didn’t occur to me until last night while watching my daughter at Boxing. There was my normally slow-moving eldest daughter sweating profusely, giving her heart to the work out and my thoughts drifted back to my days of Track and Field practices. I was pulled back into the feeling of the memory; it was as if I were there.

Long ago, far away I was a child who didn’t feel she would ever be really talented at any sport. I was “pretty good” at many things but a master of none until I found throwing. I was fortunate to be introduced to throwing the shot put and discus at the age of 10 and from there on had the pleasure of realizing a natural talent I had. For years I belonged to a team, I loved practicing and seeing my own improvement…..my self-confidence took a radical lift through Track and Field.

In that moment at the Boxing gym these great memories had an effect upon me, my gaze travelled around the parents seeking out someone to gush to. It was like I was lost in the good feelings and just HAD to share them. That’s when it hit me, I was one of those parents I’d been noticing….and mocking in my mind. As I rallied to deny it to myself a sinking feeling hit me, gawd how I hate when these realizations happen.

Firstly let me publicly apologize to all of you lovely folks who I judged. I thought that I’d evolved more than that but apparently once again I’ve proven myself incorrect. Please don’t forgive me yet…..I’m bringing you more of my wonderful, say it like it is self and some of you may not love what I have to say.

I’m here to slap all of you parents into my reality and to get all up in your face!

Let Kids Be the Star of Their Own Lives

Is it because we are living vicariously through our children, satisfying the stage Mom need for the spotlight? Perhaps it’s because we remember our own insecurities and the hurt feelings we experienced as children and want to spare our offspring the same pain. I’m sure each case is different but for myself it’s a combination of both.

Irrelevant of the whys, I’m told we parents need to be aware if the behavior some of us have been perpetuating. It’s totally understandable that going through life leading our children into new experiences, we’ll be pulled into memories of our own childhoods but we cannot allow it to become all about us.

As parents we must allow our children the time to shine and embrace their own mark in the world.

Frankly I really don’t appreciate this at all, with my days spent finding mouldy discarded yoghurt cups hidden under pillows Mama needs some love!!!

Grudgingly I pledge to be a better parent, I vow that I will try not to tell my boring stories of past stardom whilst my child is creating a memory, I vow to allow them to shine. But I will NOT give up embarrassing them in public, that my friends is a privileged I earned during the nine months of atrocities which it takes to brew a human!

How about you my fellow spot-light seekers, have you ever noticed that you do this or am I alone….someone had better answer here or I’ll be forced to post some photos of myself at track meets or highschool prom….wait I’ve done that!

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Another great, wise post from you Julie!

    My son’s are into extracurricular activities, mainly just the oldest right now. I haven’t found myself really reflecting on my past activities as I did not do what they are into (hockey, soccer, etc.). I played the accordion and later the organ. I took French lessons. I was a geek and not an athlete. I have no idea where my kids got their abilities from. hehe!
    Insane Mamacita recently posted..Week Thirty Nine of Project Happy: One Year BlogiversaryMy Profile

  2. pam says

    Watching my children excel, no matter the activity is my extreme pleasure. I have so much pride in them, and I am incredibly emotional when it comes to anything, any of them do.

  3. says

    What a great post Julie. My eldest just started extra curriculars this year – we let her choose what she wanted to do. It makes me so emotional and proud watching her learn new skills and become more confident and independent.

    Great reminder to not push our past or our dreams onto our kids – let them choose their own adventure :)
    Cheryl @KidsOnAPlane recently posted..New York City with Kids: 4 Things to Do for Free or Next to NothingMy Profile

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