Are you living your values?
I don’t watch my daughter’s hockey practices, gymnastic lessons or soccer games. There I said it.
My little girl is very active and loves to be on the move. Her energy needs an outlet and so far, sports has been that for her. This means she is out 2-3 times per week doing her thing. We swore we wouldn’t be that family that was busing their child from activity to activity but it turns out she is happiest when she is on the go.
In the early days, both my husband and I were present for every single practice, lesson and game. I would sit on the sidelines watching my 4-year-old attempt a somersault or try to kick the ball into a net, the whole time thinking about all of the other things that I would rather be doing. I was there but not really there, much of the time spent checking my phone and watching the clock.
My husband, on the other hand, is fully present, on the ice with her or ensuring he had the closest seat poolside, he is 100% in cheering on her every move. There was absolutely no other place that he wants to be.
Then one day, drinking a lukewarm coffee sitting in a freezing cold ice arena, I realized I don’t actually have to be here. So I stopped going and started spending those valuable chunks of time doing something for myself, going to a yoga class or on a run, meeting a friend for tea or writing in my journal.
I stopped feeling guilty for not wanting to be there and decided to take care of my own desires. I knew my choice to skip out would allow me to be fully present in the parenting aspects that I do value. I have my special moments with my daughter, we have our daily rituals and ways to connect in a deep way, they just don’t involve going to every single sporting practices.
Don’t get me wrong, I am front and centre for her hockey tournaments or end of year gymnastic performance. All those things she has been practicing for, I am a very proud momma in the audience! During these times, I am beyond the present and you could not lure me away from my daughter’s shining moment. My phone is on silent and somewhere at the bottom of my tote bag.
The decision to miss up her everyday practices provided a huge edge of growth for me. I had to get super honest about the things that bring me joy and accept the things that do not. I had to let go of what the other moms might think or my own judgements for not being a good mom.
Ultimately I realize, life is busy and the moments move quick, it is for this reason that I refuse to confuse other people’s values with my own. It’s incredible how much this has reduced my stress levels. Are there things in your life that don’t bring you joy and cost you far more than you receive? Perhaps it’s time to let them go!