I am always perplexed, mystified, and baffled at how we, as a family, fit so many things into our daily lives. I think about this often. I think about the activities my kiddos are in and then I think about what I did as a kid. I was able to entertain myself...I drew and drew and designed and crafted...I played one sport and did my school work. I did not have my days planned.
Joe's schedule alone keeps me on my toes: a rotation of soccer, basketball and baseball, Cub Scouts, after school classes...I cannot even tell you how happy I am to say karate is "no more" in this house. Then there is regular school work, homework, and special projects. Trying to find the time to fit in "down time" is down right difficult. I have many days when I just want to say, "Pick one thing...one activity. That is it." Then on the other hand I want them to be able to experience all they can, but is it too much?
He has asked for music lessons, but really? When? I know some of this anxiety, this pressure to fit it all in comes from me...I really wanted to take acting classes and piano lessons and a few other things when I was younger and did not. Did I miss my calling? I do not want him to miss his. I want him to experience all there is to offer in this world, but not overwhelm him at the same time.
Yesterday was a reminder (I need those every know and then) about how much fun we can have if we are all just together doing simple things at home. Of course the kids helped me sort, sand, and paint things...hey...no judging...a little diying is good for everyone! Then we made dinner together and settled down for bed. I wish for more days like this...but alas most afternoons are filled with (self-imposed) back-and-forths to a sport or activity or an errand related to a future activity.
I typically manage all of this craziness in my head, but now, as I prepare to take off next week - by myself - and leave the kids at home with hubby and my mother in law, I have to write it down and it all comes to a head: birthday parties, baseball tryouts, basketball games (x 2 Jules plays too)...as I make a schedule I am reminded again of the complexities of our schedules...and I am reminded that I am their example.
Ultimately how do I expect my kiddos to just be when I have trouble just being - they see me blogging, crafting, running around with them, writing book proposals, making dinner, cleaning the house (sometimes), putting them to bed...they know I go to bed at 2 am. So do I think they are over scheduled?...Yes. Am I over scheduled?...Yes. We have made these decisions , but have we gone too far? Not far enough? Where does it all stop?
I need to reteach myself in order to teach them. I need to break the cycle of constant business. I need to be able to let the kids be...just be. To play with each other to dance around the living room to Camp Rock or Taylor Swift. I need to be able to join in with them...these times will pass too quickly...they already have. I need to be able to walk away from the computer and lay on the grass and look at clouds...to walk slowly on the sand instead of carrying Jules because her little legs cannot take such big steps.
So, now I ask you...are your kids over-scheduled? Do you have a plan for this? Do you have rules for activities? I am not in over my head yet...but that is because Jules is only 3 1/2!
Now, I hesitated to write this, mainly because most of this is my own doing. I am not blind to that. So, please be kind in the comments (pretty please).
From Writer's Workshop...Prompt #3: It has been said that kids these days are pushed into too many extra-curricular activities and are not given the freedom to play and be bored and to use their imaginations. Is this true?