Every once in a while a new study will pop up about over scheduling your kids. Is it good for them? Is it bad for the family? Etc., etc.
When I was younger, there weren’t nearly the amount of activities available for kids as they are now - and the ones that were available didn’t start at age 2 or 3 like they do these days. I played my share of softball and dabbled in gymnastics, but it was dance that kept my attention from age 7 through college. I remember it getting a little tough in high school to balance school, dance, cheerleading and work (I had to pay for gas to get me from one place to another somehow).
Each time I see an article relating to this topic, I start to panic. I feel my chest tighten, my breathing become more rapid and my palms sweat. Why? I honestly can’t imagine my life getting any busier than it already is. I’m out the door by 7:15 (7:30 on “those” mornings) and don’t get home until 6 p.m. with Cole who is ready for his snack and then wants to go straight into dinner time.
I’ve wanted to sign him up for swimming lessons since the spring, but can’t find the time. We’re not home early enough during the week and have plans at least half of the weekends each month that keep us from a Saturday morning lesson. I guess if I really pushed the issue we could do as many Saturday mornings as we could - but it was also hard to find group lessons that would allow you to miss without paying so much.
If we as a family can’t even swing that without losing what little “family” time we have together, what are we going to do in the next year or two when he’s ready for soccer. Or down the road when we have to travel for baseball tournaments or karate competitions (who knows what he’ll end up doing, but these are the thoughts going through my head).
How do parents do it? How do they find balance between keeping their kids involved and active, working themselves (in some way or another), maintaining personal relationships and having quality family time that is so desired - time to sit together and read, talk about your day and just enjoy each other.
I know we’ll make it work as thousands of parents (and single parents) have done before us. I have to keep telling myself that. But I can’t help notice my palms beginning to sweat even as I’m writing this blog.
To all you experienced parents out there - how do you balance your kids activities with the rest of life?