I enjoy watching survival shows. I doubt I will ever have to drink my own urine or eat bugs to survive. Yet, you never know. Living in the suburbs, I am far from the wilderness. There is a drugstore on every corner and you can hardly blink without seeing another Starbucks. Roughing it either means your electricity was turned off for maintenance or your wireless connection isn’t working. However, when you are a parent in the suburbs, you need a different kind of survival guide. Here are some tips, from a suburban mom, on how to survive in the suburbs.
Don’t get Caught up in the MOMpetition
It can be tempting to degree drop and talk about how Johnny is getting straight As. It’s great to be proud of your kids. However, I never try to compete with other moms. If you are talking with a parent and they use the word “gifted,” “MVP,” and “Harvard” (all in one sentence), it’s best to just run away….fast. If you are already caught up in the mompetition, you should seek help immediately.
Be Careful About Joining Too Many Sports
Parents in the suburbs can be intense, even in rec leagues. I’m not sure if it’s because they think their child is the next Lebron James or Mia Hamm. Perhaps, they simply want their children to succeed. Sports can be fun. However, be careful about over-scheduling your child. Spending your life in your mini-van, keeping track of different snack schedules and being around too many “win or else” parents might drive you crazy.
Resist the urge to conform. At some point, you have to stop caring if people judge you. Even if I make a decision that might not be popular with the majority, if it’s the right choice for my family (and it’s moral) then that is all that matters.
Find the Unique Things Your Suburb has to Offer
Yes, we enjoy the wonderful amenities that the suburbs have to offer. There are a plethora of parks, story times and great schools. However, there are a lot of strip malls and chain restaurants too. This can get boring. Thus, look around and you might find some unique restaurants and even a local coffee shop.
Don’t Try to “Keep Up with the Joneses”
To live in the suburbs, you don’t need a designer purse, most recent iPhone or brand new car. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses because it’s likely they are probably deep in debt.
Gossip…It’s a Part of Life
I live in a suburb with a population of over 200,000. However, somehow it feels much smaller. This might be because everyone seems to know everybody. Luckily, I don’t live a scandalous lifestyle. However, if you make a mistake, are late to football practice or have one-too-many at dinner, be prepared to be talked about. In reality, there are a lot of nice people along with some gossipy ones, just like any place.
Don’t get me wrong. I suppose I over-exaggerated a little bit. Living in the suburbs has its perks. In addition, there are plenty of pleasant, non-competitive people that don’t gossip. Just be careful and trust your suburb survival instincts.….you have been warned.
More from Melissa:
10 signs you have been sucked into the MOMpetition
5 Ways Parenthood is Similar to Life as a Celebrity
7 phrases parents don’t want to hear in the middle of the night