I was at a children’s party a week or so ago and the host’s mother turned to me and asked me if I felt under pressure as a mother? My immediate answer was a simple no. But it got me thinking.
I don’t really benchmark myself against others, but I do put myself under pressure to try and give my children the best possible start in life and be the best mother I can possibly be (I know, don’t we all..?). I can’t say that I feel like I’m anywhere near achieving these self-set goals most days!
Big D’s at an age where she needs a lot of stimulation, whether that’s stretching her lovely young brain or exercising her legs after school.
It seems to be a trend in London to over-schedule your child, and I guess I’ve been slightly sucked in. Bringing up a Little Londoner for me means I’m guilty of thinking I must create an environment where they have lots of opportunity – perhaps partly to compensate for the fact they can’t just explore and play freely like I did when I was a child.
Big D has a busy new schedule of swimming, tennis, piano, ballet and music school and already I’m asking myself if it’s too much too young? Would she benefit more from a quieter pace of life where I’m not frantically rushing from one club to the next. Would she rather be playing dress-up with Little D in the home? In truth, I don’t have the answer.
When I think of the people I imagine they’ll want to be, I see both girls as all round legends (natch!). Someone that can play tennis (which I can’t do with any style), music on a piano at Christmas that we can all join in a sing-song (I never learned an instrument and it’s one of my regrets). To be accomplished.
I don’t see a ballerina, but I do see two elegant young girls with good discipline and grace. I don’t see a sister act duo auditioning together for X-Factor, but I want them to be confident and fearless. Which is why I think at their age it seems like a good idea to give them opportunity and exposure to anything and everything.
Aged 7, I decided I wanted to learn to ride a horse. And that was it, I fell in love with a sport that consumed me entirely until I went to Uni. I don’t really ride anymore, and so I sometimes wonder whether my extra-curricular obsession was a waste of time? Then I remember what it taught me – passion, dedication, commitment, how to love, determination, discipline and most importantly how to have fun. On that basis: worth it.
It might all feel like it’s too much too young, but I feel like they will decide what feels right for them when they’ve figured out what they enjoy doing the most. Until that happens, I feel it’s my responsibility to encourage opportunity and give them exposure to as many potential new avenues as I can.
It’s important for me to remember to put their best interests at heart and not to try and keep up with anyone but my children.
Love Mummy B xxx