What does FOMO mean? First of all, it’s disturbing how FOMO can make us do things we can’t afford or wouldn’t even choose if we didn’t have “fear of missing out” for our kids.
Recently, I was reading a blog post about a family determined to pay off their mortgage early. They decided to postpone a vacation to Disney World, which the mother said was an important sacrifice to make, even though “it kills me to think that my 3-year-old is missing out on that experience.”
Never mind that a 3-year-old wouldn’t remember a thing about a Disney vacation a year from now.
Never mind that a 3-year-old would be equally delighted to blow bubbles in the driveway and get a pudding pop.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with Disney World. But my mother antennae are starting to go up because I’m detecting that we have a serious cultural problem with FOMO.
Except the FOMO, fear of missing out, isn’t for us; it’s for our kids.
Since when did childhood become a checklist of “experiences”? We’re approaching parenting as if it’s some sort of accelerated enrichment course, and our grade depends on the number of “experiences” (often elaborate and expensive ones) we’ve furnished for our children.
I know we came to this place out of love for our kids, but it’s got to stop. The goal of parenting is not to produce 18-year-olds with a fully checked-off bucket list.
FOMO Isn’t Good for Our Kids–or Us!
We are stressing ourselves out and giving ourselves FOMO by making parenting about making sure the kids do all the things, visit all the places, and have all the fun — all before they’re old enough to open their own bank account.