Some days I wake up and wish I didn't have so many decisions to make. From what I wear, my kids clothes, their breakfast, lunches, which water bottles, or shoes for the day, and those are the simple decisions. I have to decide what battle to pick with which child, and what topic or song is appropriate for our car rides. I have to think about what consequences make sense for their actions, and what I can share with them and what to keep secret.
As someone who tends over think most decisions, I spend a great deal of time weighing (or obsessing) over my options, before settling on a choice. I try to make informed decisions, based on books, friends, parents or my husband's advice, or when my own instinct finally kicks in I am grateful. Our kid's are living in a time with so much more technology than any of us were raised with. Moderation is a personal gauge, and what seems moderate to other families can seem excessive to me. The current trend in parenting is to over-parent, to hover and to be extra involved. It is a delicate balance to know when to step back and when to get involved. We are often paralyzed by the decisions we have to make as parents and we end up not handling an issue as a result.
I am guilty as charged on so many of these. I get impressionable to the noise about low sugar and high test scores. I try to find this impossible thing called balance everyone keeps talking about. It is so hard to make your own decisions when there are so many options distracting you from your gut. It's not chocolate, vanilla and strawberry anymore. One must chose between cold pressed Turkish coffee chip or artisan salted toffee crunch. These choices take up valuable time in my mind. Times have changed and they continue to change quickly. I sometimes just need a breather.
While we have so many options it often makes me think about how small children don't. Sure we give them as much say within reason that we can, but their day to day decisions are made by us. Taking on theirs and mine can be challenging. Recently, my son asked me some questions about what Kindergarten will be like. A child can only go on what we say. His school, and to some degree his friends, his community is dictated by us. It must feel pretty strange to just trust that we have his back, and that if he doesn't like it, there is little we can do. My daughter is older so she understands to some degree, how it all works. She has more options than her brother, but I still say "no" if she asks for a lollipop before eating lunch. She doesn't like that I call the shots, but that's the way it goes as a kid. We had to listen to our parents when we were little. There were a lot bigger consequences then, and a lot fewer options. We all only get one go around on the merry go round. When they get older they can have dessert first. For now, they have eat all their vegetables while I sneak a piece of chocolate. After all those daily decisions I need an excessive amount of sugar.