How do you choose between two things you love?
I often find myself longing for the days when the kids were younger and life was simpler.
When they were small they could experiment with a variety of different activities and see what suits them. My oldest daughter had a great time participating in cheerleading, gymnastics, karate, Girl Scouts, soccer, lacrosse and dance. If she wanted to do it we tried it.
She discovered her two main passions: lacrosse and dance. Which is great right? How lucky that she found two activities she is good at and that she loves.
Not so much.
The older you are the higher the stakes. When you are little and you miss a practice, game or class life goes on and it is not a big deal If you miss a practice or a class now it is a big deal, a very big deal. The dance instructors and the lacrosses coaches each feel that their world is the most important and everything should revolve around them.
I have always encouraged my daughter to do what she loves which includes both lacrosse and dance. And of course they are not the only activities she is involved in. She is still a Girl Scout, plays in the band and is on the JV volleyball team. Not to mention the enormous workload she has from her classes.
It all seems so normal for the kids to be involved in so many activities because everyone else is too. And for a long time it works. It’s only now I am beginning to see the down side. Once things begin to overlap the problems begin.
Do you skip practice to go to dance? Is a dress rehearsal for a dance show more important than a practice? Do games trump everything else?
And you can forget family events, which in my opinion should trump everything, but sadly they do not.
When I see the pressure it puts on my daughter I feel terrible. She is only 14 and she shouldn’t have to choose between two things she loves so much. It just seems so unfair. She is only a freshman in high school and the reality is she is not going to dance on Broadway or become a professional athlete.
However the pressure is real and she doesn’t want to disappoint anyone. She wants to play hard for her lacrosse coach she wants to be at every practice for her dance teacher. Her goal is really to excel at both.
But at what cost?
I think it is just too much.
And how do you take the pressure off?
I have always said that she can continue both until it gets to be too much, but I think we have passed too much a few miles back and are on the road to impossible.
I wonder did I sell her on a bill of goods that she could do everything?
Will she be disappointed when she realizes that she can’t fit it all?
Her whole life my stock answer has been, “Don’t worry we will figure it out?” Was that a mistake?
It’s ironic that we want our children to have it all but in doing so we may be hurting them. Do we do them a disservice by attempting to let them have it all?
Only time will tell but for now I will continue to be the most supportive lacrosse dance mom I can be.