Choices are Tiring
Standing in the supermarket with my toddler on my hip, I stared at the jars of peanut butter. There were 71 options. 71! I counted. That was at Whole Foods. There are 42 options at our less fancy supermarket, 42 is still enough to warrant a headache.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love peanut butter. Kids lunches, surrounded by chocolate, spoonfuls on the go because we Moms forget to eat. You get the picture. But the massive options of peanut butter was a major AHA moment for me.
Us modern parents have so many choices to make Every. Single. Day. As if we weren’t tired enough already.
Our parents had Jiff - crunchy or creamy, or maybe that striped kind (I always hoped Mom would bring home that one).
You see - parenting today has its benefits (iPads, Alexa, museums for all interests under the sun, preschool options that I want to go to myself...) but it’s not simpler, it’s way more complex. For example, when we were kids, our childcare options were Mom, Grandma or maybe the local daycare. Now - we stay home, get a nanny, or choose between the 18 different types of childcare and preschools that are offered. How do we know which school is going to help our 2 year old blossom into all that they can become?? We don’t, but you better believe we will research the difference on our smart phones until our coffee is cold, again.
The amount of choices can be paralyzing and exhausting. Every day we have to decide what’s best for our kids among the plethora of amazing choices we are given. Now I’m not complaining, I’m just pointing out the brain space these choices take up. Organic vs non-organic, GMO what?, art, karate, woodworking (it’s an option at our preschool, for 3 year olds).
The thing is I WANT my kids to experience all of that, but I’m just so tired. We do it though, because in today’s society when the neighbors boy is learning Mandarin, you feel like you have to keep up. The abundant amount of choices can sometimes make us feel like lesser parents, because it’s impossible to do it all.
Our parents plopped us in front of Sesame Street and called it a day, or we ran around outside on our own until dinner time. Our parents did not have the choices we have and often do not understand the current parenting paradigm. Life was simpler. Our life is not simple.
You see, the thing with having options is we have the right to choose.
Crunchy or creamy, Montessori or play based, karate or woodworking, corporate job or entrepreneur life - there are so many beautiful opportunities out there for us that our parents didn’t have. Complicated, yes. Worth it - hell yes.
I encourage you to make choices based on what’s best for your family - and not what everyone else is doing. You’ll be happier and so will your kids. And remember, you’re doing your best! Since when did we start expecting ourselves to be perfect at everything? It’s just impossible. Perhaps if we allow ourselves to be a bit less “perfect” life will be a lot more fun.
Excuse me while I go grab a spoonful of organic, crunchy, non-gmo peanut butter…because yet again, I forgot to eat.
Karen Cook is a mom of two young girls living with her husband and family in LA. Founder and Chief Experience Officer of The Wyldflower Collective - a parent focused community providing joy-filled events and retreats with on-site supervised kids camp - so we can catch a breath. Follow her story at: www.thewyldflowerco.com and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thewyldflowerco