A Life Stirred

That Sneaky Part of My Heart

on April 12, 2015

It seems that in every playdate I’ve had lately, the same topic keeps coming up–school.  Apparently, once your child hits 3, it’s time to have an educational plan in place.

She knows 3/26 letters, so we're thinking Harvard next fall.

She knows 3/26 letters, so we’re thinking Harvard next fall.

Really, though, this is a natural progression in mom-conversations.  It’s totally normal to think ahead.  I mean, really, Pre-K is only 16 months away.  [Anyone else have heart palpitations at that thought?]

Anyway, Jo is 3.  And suddenly, there is all this pressure to have a school plan and to be involved in a variety of activities (for the college applications, obviously)!

I think this kind pressure was always there.  It’s just changing as our kids’ skills are changing.  This new pressure fells weightier.

Is Jo going to be in dance?  You can start at three, you know?

Does she do swim lessons?  It’s great to start young.

Did you hear about the preschool at the high school?  You have to enroll early.  There’s a wait list.

Here’s the crazy thing, though.  For the most part, I am completely satisfied with the parenting choices we’ve made.

And yet…

And yet, there’s this sneaky part of my heart that starts to get stressed out and starts to question if I’m doing the right things.

So, of course, I’ve been thinking about where this sneaky pressure comes from.

And surprisingly, it has some very familiar roots.

Comparison.  Identity.  Insecurity.

[Goodness, Lord, really?  Why do I always struggle with the exact. same. issue over and over?  Can’t I have something new?!  Just for variety?]

This sneaky part of my heart reveals quite a bit.  I have a propensity towards insecurity in my parenting choices.  I’ve placed some of my identity in my children’s ability to be successful and excellent and advanced (because it makes me look good).  I measure my kids against other kids so I can prove (to myself and others) that I’m a better mom.

Yeah, that’s not cool.  Thankfully, God can (and will!) change my heart, and He can help me gain freedom.

As a mom and friend, I long to be quietly confident in the choices I make for my family.  I want to share what we do, when others want to hear it.  I want to eliminate competition from my conversations.  I want to support my friends in their choices.  I want to decrease comparison and increase encouragement.

So, do you have a sneaky part of your heart?  (Please tell me I’m not alone.)  When does it sneak up on you?  What have you done to eliminate it?


7 responses to “That Sneaky Part of My Heart

  1. Erin says:

    hey friend! you are not alone! I struggle with this too especially the school thing. Everyone around here has put already signed their kids up for school in the fall and Steve and I have decided to wait a year for Isaac. Just on Sunday I was asked by a mom if we were going to put him in school and i just said no not right now, i’m home with him and can teach him just as much.

    you are a good mom and you have to do what’s best for your kids and family at the present moment, no matter what everyone else says. As long as you and Ben agree on your plan don’t worry about everyone else’s opinion.

    Hugs friend,

    PS. thanks for the TBT picture! Isaac was looking at it and kept asking who those people are 🙂 had to explain that we were being goofy and put green stuff on our faces…he was so confused. I wish we lived closer too, however i would have to ask you to move this way cuz I hate cold and snow so PA is as far north as i’m going 🙂 sorry being selfish here. Hope all is well. Let me know when you are coming down again and we can get together 🙂

    • Carley Morse says:

      I would imagine that the mom-pressure is even higher where you are (there are so many more opportunities…which is good and bad)! Would Isaac really be in school *this* fall? That seems so soon! You’re making a good (though hard) choice! 🙂

      • erin says:

        I could put him in a 3 year old class, he would be one of the oldest because of the birthday cut off. But I feel that I can teach him the same things if not more by being at home…I’m already lining up curriculum for 4yo preschool homeschooling.
        Its crazy how time goes so fast! I can’t believe this school decision is already here!

  2. a glaMoMorous life says:

    I can totally relate to this. Living in San Francisco, even the school system is insane. The application process is like applying for college but it’s really kindergarten! Do what’s best for your family!

  3. Nicole Joens says:

    Carly, I still struggle with this on a daily basis! And my oldest child has been in the “education system” for 3 years now! But for me it’s “Have I made the right decision with her education? With her activities? Is she getting what she needs? Should I switch curriculums? Is it ok that she is in first grade and reads at level 1? Is she wear the right socks? Is her body temperature 98.6 F???” And now, yes, the same questions for the other 3, soon to be 4. Poor boy, he’s in utero and I’m already trying to figure out which math curriculum I should start him off with in Pre-K. I’m realizing it’s ok to not know. To find out when that time comes. To have a “plan” and have it not work out. That’s parenting with God’s peace right?! I know. Easier said than done. But I have such confidence in the moments that I remember they are the Lord’s children, not mine. I am hear to carry out what HE wants, not my parents’ friend’s sister’s plan. Or even mine. I’m so glad we get to share in this same journey together my friend, encouraging one another in the every day. ❤

    • Carley Morse says:

      Haha–the right socks and body temperature! I swear I’ve actually worried about those things…. 🙂

      I am thankful for the reminder that my kids belong to the Lord. Now to just apply that when I’m having my am-i-doing-enough?! moments.

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