Friday, September 1, 2017

Sometimes the Village Needs to Agree

Generally speaking, I'm in the parental judgment camp of "you do you". I parent in a way that works for us, and I'm pretty sure that most parents are doing the same. So typically, I'm a HUGE fan of "your kid, your call", but sometimes people do need to agree to make things best for everyone.

I'm not talking about agreeing on the little stuff. Make your own call based on what works for your family.

If you're a screen time restriction person, feel free to insist that it stay shut off during play dates, and if you're a screen time supporter, I'm cool with my kid hanging out while the TV is on too. Honestly, if you're willing to host a play date, I don't care if you have them outside all day or watching a movie. Thank you for hosting a play date!

Leave the party early because you're really strict about bedtimes and sleep schedules? Have a good night! Keep your kids up late because you're on vacation? Go for it. 

Eat organic or processed, live by a schedule or a loosey goosey life. Public, private, homeschool. Send your late birthday to kindergarten at four, or keep them home until six. Scheduled activities galore or all family time. Bloggers love to write articles about what they're choosing and why, but those are generally why we blah blah blah and aren't (usually) you need to blah blah blah. This is fine. Start a discussion, share why you chose what you chose, and let people know that's out there.

But, recently, we found that there are a few things that your close group of friends sort of need to come to an agreement on.

A few of us have our older girls in one class while the younger girls are in another. Usually, when more than three girls need to be picked up, one of the moms with a bigger car will pick up. On this particular day, I was heading over to fill my backseat with three eight and under girls when I got a phone call from another mom, letting me know that she would never make it in time, and asking me to grab her daughter and bring her over to where the younger girls were with the others and she'd pick her up from there. I let her know that my backseat was full and she said,

"Oh, she sits in the front all the time. And it's such a short ride. Totally not a big deal."


She wasn't technically old enough. She wasn't big enough. And all three backseat girls knew that they weren't allowed up front. So not only would I be doing something I wasn't comfortable with, I would be opening up a big can of worms (and whining about how come SHE gets to when I don't).

I'd like to say that I stood my ground and refused, but I felt backed into a corner, and I transported all four girls the five minutes away. What was I going to do? Call another friend with a bigger car who also wouldn't make it in time when I was already there? Make the girl sit in the office until her mom showed up while I took all three friends?  

Fortunately, this is a group of reasonable, drama free, logical moms, and rather than let it become an issue, we decided to make a hard and fast carpool rule - no kids under ten in the front seat. Ten seems young for a few of us, but it's definitely legal in our state, so we went with that. If you want to bend the rules when you drive with your kid, we still won't judge you, but we won't have to face that challenge during carpool.

We also decided that when it comes to certain things that the girls do together, we'll have a group agreement. We have a village, and sometimes, we need to get the village on the same page.
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