To All City Living Parents…Why You Are Doing It All Wrong

June 17, 2015

why you're doing it all wrong

I am thrilled that one of my besties is guest posting today on my blog. Mostly I am happy because Julie is a no-holds-barred kick a** writer who has made some super courageous life choices in the past few years, but also because I have massive writers block…gratitude…gratitude….I hope to post soon about facing some of my big fears and am always inspired by Julie’s story.

I am not going to dance around the subject here today, and I’ll just get right to the point. If you live in the city, I think you are doing it ALL wrong.

And by it, I mean parenting.

How do I know, because I have been there and done that, and got out if it.

Three years ago we were neck deep in the city life, attempting to raise 3 kids, supposedly thriving on chaos. Between jobs, home maintenance, kids activities and “family time” we drilled ourselves a deep hole and hit rock bottom.

The expense of keeping up with life in the city was too much to bear, but the time and effort it took to do ALL the things what was really ruined us. There was no down time, no privacy and no peace.

We threw it all away. We sold the city home that was going to boost our retirement fund one day and we quit the jobs that provided stability.   We stomped out every flicker of city living and flushed, down the drain, all the accomplishments our parents always worried we would never have.

And we moved rural.

Three years in we have found a new rhythm, a peaceful thrum that keeps our lives moving forward at a comfortable pace, with enough time left over for lazy mornings and late nights on the sailboat.

And when we get a glimpse of people still trying to parent in the chaos, it is like watching another species trying to survive in a world filled with disaster.

I watch the racing about and the crazy balancing acts, the rushed meals and hurried bedtimes. I see moments squeezed in and layered one on top of another. I see chaos, fatigue and confusion and it pains me.

Parents . . . it doesn’t need to be like this. There are other ways, other choices.   Your kids don’t need activity classes filling their weekend, or access to community centers and malls.

All they need and want, is you.

Somewhere in our need to live within access to everything we forgot that none of it really matters. Somehow, even though we are “around”, we lost the ability to be present in our kid’s lives.

So, yes, parents, I think you are doing it wrong, and only because I used to be doing it that way as well.

To shed the worry, the stress and anxiety.   To not have to have a mass calendar to keep track of where and when each little body needed to be on a given day. To have enough time and space to deal with all the things, so that when the kids where there you were available for them, heart, mind and soul.

Parenting isn’t about the stuff we give our kids, it is about the time we spend with them, and that was the biggest realization we had as soon as we shed our city skin.

So, crack the chaos, find a small opening to squeeze yourself through to a more peaceful place. I guarantee your kids will follow happily, ready for the change.


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  • Reply Jenny June 23, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I agree with Julie – I’ve loved living in Vancouver, but now it’s time to move away from the chaos, and sheer volume of people. My 8 year old asked to be homeschooled to have a more quiet learning environment and she loves being home. She doesn’t want to take a pile of after school/weekend classes, and we have a lot of family time.

    Next month we’re moving to Squamish which is growing suddenly but still has a community feel, and we’ll be able to relax there.

    • Reply Christine June 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      Jenny! Thats so awesome! I know numerous families who have moved there in the past 2 years and say its the best thing they have ever done! Jealous!

      • Reply Jenny June 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm

        My sister and Dad moved there from Vancouver in the last 2-3 years, and I know a lot of other people who have moved there too. It seems like a great place for kids to grow up….

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