It’s easy to get distracted. Not just with our jobs, with the busyness of life, with the myriad of opportunities and responsibilities, but also with what we’re trying to do as parents. We can get distracted by shiny external goals, we can get caught up in competition with other parents, we can get our kids signed up for so much stuff that it consumes them and us.
We would do well to remember always that the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. It’s a wonderful little expression. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
Every family, every person has a different main thing, of course, but if we could generalize: The main thing for us parents is to raise well-adjusted, self-reliant, decent, happy kids. The main thing is not college. The main thing is not making partner at our law firm. The main thing is not to have a clean house. The main thing is not for them to look sharp or to avoid criticism from relatives. The main thing is not grades, it is not following in your footsteps, it is not being captain of the football team or an expert cello player.
The main thing is for them to be healthy, for them to be prepared for life, for them to have good values, for them to have a good sense of who they are and what they want to spend their life on. The main main main main thing is to love them, to love them while we can.
Everything else is secondary. Nice, but not necessary.