Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been – Hillary Clinton
My youngest daughter has chronic FOMO (fear of missing out). She hates it when people are at the dinner table before her. She struggles if we walk out the door, and she’s not quite ready. She wants to do everything and she wants to do everything with us.
The trouble with FOMO of these proportions is it leads to indecision. She takes at least five minutes each morning to decide between the two cereal choices on offer for breakfast. Often seeking our opinion when she is stuck in the agony of choosing.
At her heart, my daughter is so afraid of making a wrong choice, that she is often unable to make any choice. And adding the opinions of others doesn’t help clarify her choice for her; it just prolongs the time it takes to decide.
As is often the case, children take after their parents, and I know which parent she takes after! There are so many elements of myself in my daughter’s FOMO.
My husband has been heard to exclaim with exasperation (on more than one occasion), when I was oscillating over a dinner decision, “ You know what you don’t want, but you don’t know what you want!”
This fear of making the wrong decision while useful in larger decisions such as who you should marry or buying a house is paralysing when applied to simpler choices such as what to wear or what to eat today.
In parenting my daughter, I seek to help her understand that in life you cannot do everything and that you will inevitably miss out on some things.
Whilst in my journey, I have been making peace with my choices and understanding that opportunities are often available again in a different time, way and place.
In parenting my daughter, I seek to help her understand which decisions are worth taking some time to deliberate, and which ones actually don’t matter in the long run.
Whilst in my journey, I have been letting the little decisions take less time and weight and allowing the big one’s space and thought they deserve.
In parenting my daughter, I seek to help her understand that the voices of others (whilst sometimes useful) cannot be a substitute for her own voice. If she chooses to abdicate responsibility for her decisions then she has no agency over her own life.
Whilst in my journey, I have been silencing the voices around me and allowing the still small voice inside of me to speak.
Both my daughter and I are on a journey where we understand that we will sometimes miss out, and we are learning that that’s okay.