Why does everything seem so difficult lately? Things that should be simple, and enjoyable instead are impossible and exhausting!
My children's school for example, has become a very annoying member of our family, constantly craving time, attention and money! Hours of homework for my elementary aged children, forms that require signatures, requests for donations and volunteering, its never ending. This school year they stopped recognizing the "terrific" students, for lack of funding. The school is asking for supporters to send in checks to pay for the cake, bumper stickers and pencils required for such an assembly. Whatever happened to a verbal recognition, that would only cost...free.
If you are brave enough to take on school (which is already a full time job) AND outside activities you already know how hard this has become. My girls are in cheerleading...not the super competitive cheerleading, just a local team, but its a BIG deal! Practice 3 times a week, games all day Saturday, competitions, more volunteering, and of course donations - you aren't living if you aren't giving your money away.
The expectations brought on by this world are demanding and often not realistic.
My daughter wanted me to buy her teacher a gift for her birthday the other day. I said no, for more than one reason. The first being, she asked me with less than 24 hours notice, the second reason was that I have 5 children who each have at least 2 teachers...that's a lot of gifts but I mostly said no because I think her teacher would have appreciated a home made card or a nice letter just as much as a store bought gift. I suggested this idea to my daughter who of course cried, and I thought about how if I was more organized and she had less siblings she wouldn't be facing this crises. I know she was also disappointed because I am sure that some of her friends will have brought in a beautifully purchased present. I don't want my children to think that what they have to offer isn't enough. She ended up making a card and I found a cat pin in my purse (it was brand new...what, you don't keep cat pins in your purse?). Her teacher loved the thought and my daughter didn't die. The point of my story is not that I am against buying presents its that, even my 9 year old feels the pressure of a birthday, because birthdays have become less about the birth and more about the party, gifts and treats.
Weddings have turned into major events, with very little emphasis on the marriage. I myself have been avoiding planning my own wedding for this exact reason.
Life has become over complicated, and although I want my children to be challenged, pushed and even slightly competitive, I do not want them to feel like they have to be the best or have the best all the time.
I have fallen a victim to it myself, I sometimes try to keep up...but sometimes, I just cant.
The only way we will prevent our children from growing up into an even more demanding society than we currently live in, is if we start demanding less from one another...its not that difficult.