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BWAHAHA! That Public Enemy reference is killer!

Thanks for adding to the dialogue with a really well done post.


We live in completely different worlds. I don't envy you the pressure to choose from 12 preschools but sometimes I wish I had just a few more options.
All I know is I have a 12 year old boy who still thinks it's ok to hold hands with his mommy in public. He also told me that spending his lunch hour at home with me today was great because he loves me the most in the world. Maybe he's immature, maybe I'm lucky. I hope you're lucky in the same way.


Hear, hear.


You are so right! I don't have kids yet, but I worry about what kind of mother I will be (and if I'll turn into my mother, yikes!) Your parenting style is exactly how I want to raise my kids.

Anyway, your Troy McClure reference made me laugh. "Lead Paint: Delicious but Deadly"


omg, THANK YOU for this. From a mother of three who, after nearly 13 years of parenting is only just figuring it all out. Sorta.


Bravo! Well said, Moxie. I'm saving this one.


Nicely done, my dear!


Great post, Moxie!

I think some would consider us on the cusp of overparenting, but I think it's just sheer numbers in this place. With four kids and a limit of two activities each, that's still eight (when they're all at that point). I think it becomes overparenting when it becomes a chore for the kid and a hassle for the parent. So far, our girls love what they do or they don't do it.

I think I'm the type of person that can easily fall into the trap of wanting to do it all, all the time. I want to give them what I didn't have (I was a latch-key kid to a single Mom with little money). Thank God for my husband who reminds me that what they want is my time. That other stuff is grand and they enjoy it, but when they remember these years, they will remember that I was there.


Over at Been There (, they are spreading around the word about parent appreciation. Here's their very happy and positive message, which I'm passing on to you:

In honor of Parent Appreciation Day at been there, I just want you to know, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.


is it a sign of overparenting that i've been too busy mommying to write up my stance on this topic??


He knows that when I say "no" I mean it, because otherwise I let him practice making decisions.

I'm the same with my kids (we're unschoolers). Works great for my daughter, but I'm afraid my son has never met a "no" he didn't want to fight. It makes him sad that I'm so often wrong and he feels he must make me see the light. The child lives to argue. Even if you won't argue back. Even if you leave the room. I've actually heard him arguing in his sleep! People keep telling me he'll probably grow-up to be a lawyer. I don't know if they mean that in a good way.

I agree with a so much of what you have to say, but I still hate the term "overparenting". Who defines that? And even if it happens to all of us sometimes, how bad is that for kids? We all neglect them now and then too. It probably evens out. Sounds like one more condescending term that will now get thrown at us moms whenever a teacher/family member/doctor/friend wants to diminish our feelings or opinions about our own kids.


This topic was really interesting since I had always heard the term "overparenting" but didn't exactly know what that meant.

12 preschools??? I didn't even know you had to apply for preschool??? Is it bad that whatever "the Joneses" are doing, I want to do the opposite? Crap, I'm going to be a terrible mother!


Regarding the stressful pre-school hoo-ha, I'm wondering, what ever happened to _nursery school_?

Is pre-school like daycare, supposed to cover the whole work day? (What's the difference between pre-school and daycare, then?)

I went to the nursery school at our shul (synangogue). No Ivy League admission process there -- I was old enough, it was our shul, so I went.

It was a good experience. Not awful like some underfunded daycare can be, but not the stressful overprogrammed craziness of some of these pre-schools. It was nice and fun.


I have a friend in my suburban neighborhood who once told me, "My greatest fear for (my son) is that he'll be average." The kid is in kindergarten and he's in soccer, tae kwon do, woodworking class, and some others I can't think of right now. He's enriched within an inch of his life.

And while I may not be shuttling my kids to and from activities all the livelong day, I'm not immune to the guilt. Should I be trying to schedule more playdates? Will my son be able to join a soccer league at age eight if he develops an interest in it, since all the other eight year olds will have been playing for four years already? Should I be going to PTA meetings and volunteering for things, even though most of the other moms look like shellacked Stepford wives to me, and I fear them?

In my heart of hearts, I know that I'm doing a fine job for my kids. But here in Pleasantville, resisting the temptation to overparent is a full time job in itself.

Abigail Shmagagail

What a lovely thread. I too live in NY and am so torn between wanting to give my children the most prestigious and exciting upbringing, making them "valuable students" to colleges in the next 15 years (they are almost 2 years old)and therefore starting them on the road to a life of exciting careers, wealth and good pick of marriage mates and all the benefits of the "properly bred people" and then between giving them a good, old fashioned upbringing with plenty of free creative time to just be children, playing outside and carefree until they become adults. I am trying so hard to live life in the middle road and hope that I don't do much damage to their psyches (Why did you dress us in Janie and Jack and Ralph Lauren and not in shapeless organic green cotton??? Why did you send us to public school when we should have been at Dalton???, etc...)The daily choices I make as their mother (we bring them to Gymboree where they actually have FUN, instead of to some pretentious Upper Westside Art School for 2 year old budding Picasso's, and of all things I am an artist, making my living by my artwork, we gave them their very own laptops and cellphones (the phones are not hooked up, just old ones that we charge for them so they make good beeping noises) at 18 months to better prepare them for the upcoming technological world they will populate. Oh, dear, so many choices and we hope we aren't dumbing them down with Winnie the Pooh, but I LIKE those DVD's and then, of course, the Baby Einstein ones that teach them numbers and letters, and shapes and that my daughter already knows her alphabet and numbers 1-10 but my son shows no interest except in speaking, which my daughter doesn't do yet, I could go on and on... I think a mother's main job in NY is to second guess herself and hope it all goes out ok in the end. I hope that my undying, unconditional love for them will override any super duper mistakes I make in rearing them in this crazy city.

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