Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Not Over-Scheduling Kids {The Delicate Balance}

A few weeks ago I posted this picture on Instagram...



...accompanied it with this comment...

"Cheers to saying no and to not over scheduling my kids.  We are having a rare full afternoon/evening at home after school with no sports or activities.  Feels SO good to just be at home and not have to rush, rush, rush.  Getting to cook dinner is a treat (and I don't even love to cook) so I'm celebrating with wine.  Cheers!"

And I do believe it got more likes and comments than any other picture I have ever posted.

I remember almost not posting it because I thought it was kind of cheesy, but after seeing the response I texted Jen and said, "it's funny what people relate to on Instagram."

That was a total "real life" moment.  After having been in school a few weeks it honestly felt so good to just be at home with nothing to do.  The kids were able to just be kids.  They were playing happily in the playroom without me having to rush them onto the next activity.  No sports, no activities, no playdates, no nothing.

It is really hard to not over-scheudle kids these days.  As parents, we want them to be involved in school, in sports, in church activities and with friends. We all want well-roudned children who grow into well-rounded teenagers and then successful adults and I think we sometimes get caught up in that.

Of course we want to give them opportunities to explore a number of sports and activities, but at what cost?  The area we live in seems to have a super competitive edge to it.  No matter how young you start a sport or how smart you are, there is always the push to do more, more, more.

With three kids going in three different directions, our schedules aways feel rushed.  Not to mention the fact that this year with Little Mama in 3rd grade, the homework is ramped up, the school work is more intense and the stakes are that much higher.  This is a big year of testing in public schools and the pressure is really on these kids.


With more homework each night we struggle to squeeze it all in and make it to all of their activities on time.



I think one problem I have is that my kids want to do it all. They haven't honed in on the one sport they LOVE just yet and still like the idea of trying lots of different things. I'm totally fine with letting them explore, but it comes at a cost.

Almost daily when Blondie is walking home from the bus stop she asks, "Do we have to go anywhere today?"  She wants the opportunity to just be at home and play.  To make believe, to pretend, and to be kid.  I'm so grateful for her teacher who told the parents up front that she did not believe in homework.  Amen!  She wants kids to just be kids.  She wants them playing outside, using their imagination, spending time with their families and not being over-stressed.

I love her for that because I do not like myself when I'm rushing my kids out the door from one activity to the next. I end up feeling stressed and tense as I'm trying to get us somewhere on time.

Mondays are our absolute craziest day of the week.  Little Mama just started an after school test prep class that meets right after school. Then we pick her up and head to tumbling.  From there we drop off Blondie at soccer practice, then its over to a different field to drop Little Mama for cheer practice. Then back to pick up Blondie, back to pick up Little Mama and finally we head home to get ready for bed.  Somewhere in there the kids eat a quick dinner I've packed for them in the car or we will pick up something on the way, but it is crazy.  I can't pick and choose practice nights so when we sign up it is kind of a blind gamble of what night they will fall on.


But, after the crazy Mondays we have comes Tuesday. Our day with nothing!  An evening when I can cook a real meal, where we can gather around the dinner table, share stories of our day, and interact as a family.  And it is on these days that I'm reminded of that delicate balance that we as mothers must try to manage.  We want our kids involved, we want them well rounded, and we want them to excel at whatever sport they choose to pursue.  But we also want them to be kids, so I feel it is so important that we pick and choose.  Until they are able to make their own decisions and manage their own schedules, it is our job to make sure there is enough time for both.  For the busy days when we are go, go, go and for the relaxed afternoons at home with nothing on the calendar.

I'd love to know how you manage your kids' schedules.  What do you do to try to maintain the balance that is so important in our children's lives?!?!
 photo cbsignature.jpg

Follow us on Pinterest HERE.
Follow us on Instagram HERE.
Follow us on Facebook HERE
Follow us on Twitter HERE
View our Etsy Shop HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Amen to everything you just said. I think I struggle sometimes trying to balance everything! I think it will be a battle for the next few years but I think setting aside that one day to do nothing and be able to enjoy play time at home and family time is a must! With 3 kids its hard!

    ReplyDelete