Don’t you love being a modern mum or dad? Oh the pressures our peers put on us! The competition, the label as a cruisy or helicopter parent, the playdates, the holidays, the clothes, the toys, the parties….  STOP!

I see myself as a fairly old-fashioned mumma and that’s cool and that’s my choice. Rock on! But it is hard being a more conservative parent in such a laid-back culture. My town is a fairly safe little number. It has oodles of money and stuff and everyone wears a smiley face. All good here. But it is hard being different. It is as if you are looked down on if you say ‘no’ to your kid or deprive them of anything in public, in front of all those beaming faces.

The smiles soon turn plastic and you’re left feeling like a backward, mean kinda mumma. Which I am not! One of the core dilemmas is sleepovers. For some this is a no-brainer. It can happen when the kids are  4, 6, 8 or any even number. No probs. It can even happen when the parents are relative strangers, which is a bit scary. Now that’s all well and good if that is what you want to do, if you feel comfortable with that. But what about us conservos? Us mummas who aren’t so free and easy?

Well, we are left, dry mouths hanging open, wondering what the heck the other cruisier parents think of us? Are our apron strings way too tight? Are they cutting off the circulation to our brains? What are we thinking, wanting to keep our little chaps tucked in their own beds while all the other town kiddies sleepover hop like it’s no one’s business?

I’ve already prepared my kids for the inevitable ‘missing-out’ factor. That is, no to sleep overs until we feel ok about it, no to sleep overs at relative strangers houses, no to ‘M’ rated movies, no to hours of  violent video games and no to walking around the neighbourhood on their own at all hours of the day or night!

For some, this would sound shockingly strict. ‘No’ is a bit of a swear word in our part of the world. But here it is again, no, no, no! Yes it easily flows off the tongue once you start using it. For me it is not a weapon of control or power but, hopefully, of wisdom. I see childhood as a slow progression into the world of adults not as a catapult. Too much too soon, culture, too much too soon.

If we give them everything now, they will have nothing to look forward to. And where’s the fun in that?

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