FOMO: The Fear Of (Our Kids) Missing Out

Jen

Well, tomorrow night is the last t-ball game of the season, and while I’m a little relieved to get our Thursday nights back, I’m also panicking a bit!

Anna
Anna

Uh oh, why?

Anna
Jen

Because a part of me feels like I should start looking for what’s next? C has a long list of things he wants to try – gymnastics, basketball, etc. ⚽🏀🏈🎤🎷 Do you ever feel like that?

Anna
Anna

Oh my goodness, yes. There’s so much pressure on us as parents to have their whole life mapped out! What sport do they excel at? What instruments do they play? How will that help them get into Yale? 🎓😳

Anna
Jen

And what if all of the other kids are taking part now, and by the time we take part he’ll be way behind?!

Anna
Anna

Yes!! One time when B was 9, she got interested in playing softball. I talked to a seasoned softball mom and she said Bella was really too old to join a team, unless we wanted to start our own team. I was like – are you kidding me? She was too late at age 9?!

Anna
Jen

That’s crazy! It’s so intense. That’s why part of me wants to give C a range of experiences now while the pressure is so low – so that he can just focus on learning the game, meeting new friends, and having fun. And then if he wants to continue pursuing one or two later, great! If not, no worries.

I just struggle with the balance of having enough down-time for all of us too.

Anna
Anna

I think that’s really smart, and YES on the down-time issue. We have something every evening except Friday this fall. I guess it’s all about asking ourselves — Why are we doing each of these things? Do we really stop to ask that?

Anna
Jen

Ha, it sounds so simple when you put it that way!
And you have to think of what’s best for the whole family, too. Being out and in over-stimulating environments too often, especially during the school week, can be a lot for C’s brother. So I’ve found that when we’re overscheduled that burn-out trickles down through all of us.

Anna
Anna

Definitely. It’s like we’re all just trying to make it to Friday night.😅

Anna
Jen

Ha, yep. I do have to say, though, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at times, too. Having a couple activities of their own has given each of our boys their own thing separate from one another, and has given them the chance to support one another.

Also, I was hesitant to have C take part in a couple small summer camps because we were already looking at a crazy busy summer. I am so glad he had those opportunities now – it gave him some time away from the summer chaos (we were in the midst of moving!) to make some memories that didn’t involve unpacking boxes.

Anna
Anna

Aw, that’s great!! And that’s a really good point too. There are benefits to doing these “extra” things — I think that’s one reason why we push forward with them. I mean, I can’t tell you how much fun we had as a family watching T play baseball this summer! We had the matching t-shirts and everything. Ha. 👏👕👕👕

Anna
Jen

I think for me, I start to see everyone’s kids on social media participating in all these activities and I panic that it’s not one we’ve tried yet – or one I haven’t exposed them to yet.😓 But they’ll still grow up to be well-rounded little people even if they don’t do it all!

Anna
Anna

YES! It’s so easy to get into comparison mode. Some of the players on T’s baseball team are playing soccer now for the conditioning. OK, YES. Great. But T didn’t want to play soccer at all. So it’s like — Do I force that? Or do I say to myself — That’s a good idea, but it’s not right for us this fall. And be at peace with that?

Anna
Jen

Right?! C told me he wanted to play soccer again next time the opportunity came around, and I was like, “Really?” He didn’t look like he was loving the run up and down the field, but apparently he’s ready to do it again!

Anna
Anna

Ha! Well, it’s so hard to know what our kids really want and need! I doubt their answers, to be honest!😒 I worry that tomorrow or next week they will change their minds! This fall, Tab wanted to quit dance (which she has taken since age 3) and take sewing classes! Sewing?!

Anna
Jen

How sweet! I’ve found that if I trust my gut as to whether or not it’s a good time for us, and if I trust the path set out by the opportunities God’s putting in front of us, so far we’ve done ok.

Anna
Anna

For sure. When I get really confused about what to do with the kids, I pray about it and ask God to lead us to the things that He wants for them, in their lives right now, for whatever reason. Because all I see is the moment. I know he sees farther.

Anna
Jen

So true. I remember Katie sharing a while back that her son was so excited to find out there was nothing on the calendar that day, and it’s always stayed in the back of my mind. I’ve tried to make sure we always have down time, but they also get a wide range of exposure/experience… I guess stumbling from time to time trying to find the right balance for our families, and each kid in our family, is to be expected.📊

Anna
Anna

I think so too. And there’s no “right” way to tailor their lives as far as extracurriculars. When we start to get that panicky feeling because we feel like our kid is missing out on something, or getting left behind, take a deep breath and pray about it. Ask God to lead us and lead our child to use our time the way He knows is best. After all, He’s the tailor, not us, right? ✂

Anna
Jen

So true. And what’s best for each family is different – so when I feel that panicky fear that my kid might be missing out sneak in, I’m going to try and turn it into a prayer of celebration/thanks for the opportunities God is working into the lives of friends and family, too. If we’re meant to get there, we will…when the time is right.

Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV): “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
  • Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):  “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
  • Galatians 4:6 (ESV): “Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of. You must each accept the responsibilities that are yours.”
  • Psalm 121: 1-2 (NIV): “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth.”

Music to inspire you:

Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

Living Out the Truth 

Ideas to try: 

  • Thank God for the ways He has designed your child (remember there is a unique and beautiful design!), and the opportunities he/she has had so far. If you like to journal, make a prayer or list of these things, simply thanking God.
  • Take a moment to separate yourself from what every family around you is doing. Now think, pray, and talk with your spouse/family:
    • What is best for US right now?
    • What do we need right now?
    • What does my child need most right now? 
    • Where does God appear to be leading us? What doors are closing and what doors are opening?

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more. In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}

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