My two oldest daughters were recently bitten by a bug. "What bug?" you ask.
Don't worry, we aren't talking about spiders, tics, or even mosquitoes. I'm referring to the musical theater "bug." At our house, a decision to enroll them in voice lessons two years ago has quickly evolved into regular on-stage performances.
The "hurry up and wait" of being a theater mom (not to be confused with the negatively-laced label "stage mom") brings with it plenty of opportunities to talk with other moms and dads. And do you know what I've found?
Talking with other parents can be a breeding ground for one-upmanship.
As I listen to others proudly list their child's "work history," dance class load, and how they have agents on both coasts, I sometimes feel this sudden pressure and urgency for my girls to keep up. Am I giving them enough opportunity? Enough training? What else should I be doing?
It's in these moments, though, that I have to step back and remind myself of an important truth. And that's this: My girls' individual stories aren't going to be – and aren't supposed to be – identical to another child's story. God has a unique tale to tell in and with their lives.
Maybe your kids aren't theatrically inclined. Maybe they have a passion for sports, or art, or chess. Whatever "stage" your child is drawn to, the same stands true for them. God has a one-of-a-kind story He's writing. And, as parents, pressure to compete can blind us to this.
So how can you and I make sure we aren't letting competition fuel our parenting? Here are three ways.