Sometimes Quitting IS The Answer

I’m not a quitter. At least, I don’t want to be a quitter. Who does? I try to stick with pursuits even when they are tough.

Now, as a mother of two children, there’s the added twist of committing to kid’s hobbies. I love that my children are finally old enough that we can try out classes together– music, Spanish, soccer– whatever seems interesting without bankrupting us.

One of the first classes my daughter was old enough to try was a weekly Parent/Child dance class. How could we go wrong with a 30 minute class? I jumped at the chance. Things started well enough. I enjoy music and dancing and so does she. I was optimistic for our fun new adventure.

But gradually I noticed that my usually joyful, fearless daughter was no longer participating. At all. Many times, she started crying, running out of the room, and slamming the door behind her. Other times, she treated us to a full-on tantrum. This behavior certainly stripped away any enjoyment I could experience from the endeavor. Plus, truth be told, who wants to be the parent of the ‘difficult’ kid Every. Single. Week? Was I imagining it, or was the sense of judgment and pity from the other mothers real?

I had hoped to make it to June. To stick it out for the full school-year. I would tell myself it was just a phase, or that my daughter was having a bad day. I tried to stay positive, to build her up with elaborate cheers of “We get to dance today!” to no avail. Things only got worse. Whenever Tuesday morning rolled around, my little daughter and I soon found ourselves fussy and irritable, often escaping class before it was over.

One day, I couldn’t take it anymore and I made a radical decision: we’re quitting!

I reasoned it this way: It is no longer fun for us. She’s getting nothing out of it. We are disrupting the other families who are participating. I was tired of dreading the spring “show,” overpriced costume and all.

Fortunately, the world kept turning. I don’t get tense on Tuesday mornings at 9:45 anymore. My daughter has a mom who isn’t frustrated at a class that neither of us was enjoying. Quitting didn’t ruin us.

To quit or not to quit? This time, I quit, and I’m glad. If only I had followed my gut with her older sibling when he showed all the signs of detesting music class as a toddler; Mom Guilt made me stick with that miserable class to the exhausting, bitter end.

I hope to find extracurriculars that my kids love and that I appreciate, but for now, we’re enjoying our lethargy.

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