If you have had a conversation with me in the last month or so- you've probably heard about Dax Shepard and his podcast Armchair Expert! I am slightly obsessed and have found myself listening to them any chance I get.
This week, I listened to one on parenting…it was AMAZING!! The core of the message was that we all need to chill out and that our kids are going to be just fine. We as a generation are so worried about raising smart, well rounded and enlightened kids that we are making ourselves a little crazy. We are all working so hard, yet our guilt is at an all time high. A good majority of us were raised in the 80s and I look back at my childhood and I love every memory, but it looked so different than my kids’ current reality.
I was raised by incredible parents that were hard working and present. I have one sister and we are still great friends today. I LOVED my childhood, but I don’t remember “doing” much of anything most days. As I got older softball would completely take over, but in my younger years we would head outside in the morning, come home for lunch and head back out to play until dinner. There were no parents watching us play, no one to help solve our problems, no organized camps and truthfully no sunscreen to be found even though most days were over 100 degrees. My parents could not call us on our watch phones or send a group text to all the neighbors when it was time to come home. The only true method they had to get ahold of us was that my sister and I could hear my dad’s whistle from three miles away and we would jump on our bikes (with no helmets of course) and pedal as fast as we could to get home. I don’t remember my parents worrying quite as much as we worry.
We were recently in McCall, Idaho and had one of the best vacations we have ever had. Being at the lake is one of my happy places, but that is not what made the vacation amazing. Our kids and their friends ran wild and played hard ALL DAY!! They kayaked, surfed, tubed, jumped off of big rocks, got a little sunburned, ate a ton of chips and sugar, had dinner alone, went to a movie alone and stayed up late. They were free and happy. It set us up to have a great time with them and without them. It felt a little “80's” to me and I could not have loved it more! It was THE BEST reminder to me that sometimes kids just need to be kids. They need to run and play without us. Giving them independence brings out the BEST in them because they don’t want to lose it. Most times they rise to the occasion and the expectations set for them!
I came back from McCall ready to be better...In my case, this means worrying a little less, planning a little less and letting my kids have more time to just be kids! So if I see you at a concert and you see my son climbing a tree or my daughter running wild, just know I am up the hill drinking wine and channeling an 80s mom!