I was so excited to see my article published in New York Family! It's amazing to hold a glossy magazine in my hands and read my own words. Not only that, but I also got to sneak a picture of Ella into the article, too! I just reread it. I'm trying to play it cool, but come on, really. I'm thrilled!
Here's the first three paragraphs to get you started:
To Ballet or Not To Ballet?
By SHARON BEESLEY
A Stay-At-Home Mom Struggles With Whether To Enroll Her Daughter In A Popular Dance Class Or Hold Onto The Free Family Time They Love
Last week, I got an email about arranging a ballet class for my six-year-old daughter Ella and her friends. A bunch of moms wanted to form a class at a posh dance studio for the girls on Monday nights. I ignored the email at first because I rarely sign up my kids for classes. Planned events and organized activities that start at a specific time are not my strength. As a mother of three, I’ve learned that I’m much happier when my kids have an open schedule. I treasure the flexibility.
That’s not to say that my kids have empty schedules. It’s the exact opposite. We love being free to explore the city on a whim! On days off from school, we’ll run around the New York Botanical Garden or trek out to the Queens County Farm Museum. After school, we’ll take a stroll through Central Park. If we haven’t been to the Met in a while, we’ll take a cab over and roam the exhibits. If my kids are grouchy, we’ll hibernate, eat popcorn and watch movies together. As a stay-at-home mom, flexibility is the biggest perk of my job. As soon as my day gets too structured, the chance to be spontaneous is taken away.
But emails about ballet kept flooding my inbox. More and more of Ella’s friends were saying “yes” to the class. When the number of girls reached ten, my guilt started kicking in. I began to wonder if Ella would feel left out. Finally, when I read about the girls participating in a recital and being fitted for costumes, my heart sank. I imagined how much fun she would have performing on stage. I started doubting my praise about the joys of a flexible schedule. Should I be signing my daughter up instead?
Click here to read the entire article and find out what I decide to do! I share a little bit about my childhood and how it affected my decision. One of my favorite quotes the editors highlight from the text is: I always wanted to be just like [my mom]. That is, until I became a mother."
Signing my kids up for classes is one of the ways I am very different than my mother. While I avoid it, she signed me up for everything!
How are you parenting differently than you parents did? Do you feel guilty about it? I sometimes do!