Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Activity overload

I used to look at parents funny when they would complain about how many things their children particpated in.
Most people have had the conversation with someone.
"I can't believe I'm so busy, I have to take Johnny to soccer practice tonight, football practice tomorrow, swimming the next night ..." and on and on.
I always wondered, why don't you just say no? Tell Johnny he has to pick two and leave it at that.
But now that I have a daughter of the age to join things, I see that it's not that easy.
We always said we would never let Big or Little sister be in more than two things at a time. There are only two parents, so we should keep it down to that.
And we've kept to that so far. Suddenly, somehow, though we have three things this fall.
Big sister is in soccer, ballet and Daisys.
Wow. How did we get into three things? Oh, yeah, we started dance class and it would be a shame to let what she has already learned go to waste.
Well, she was in soccer last year, why would we keep her out this year?
Of course her mother was a Girl Scout, so we have to be involved in that.
I'm not arguing with any of that reasoning either. But I have much more understanding of how parents get sucked into doing so many activities with their children. It happens slowly and involves compromises you can't take back.
We did tell her no to swimming lessons this fall. That would just be too much.
Now, however, we're wondering how things are going to work once Little Sister is old enough to join activities. She's already in ballet and sees big Sister going to soccer and everything else.
She is ready to join too.
I know we'll have to say no to some activities — there just isn't time for everything — but it sure breaks your heart.
I'm guessing I'm going to be really busy for about 14 more years.


Anonymous said...

I respectfully suggest that you continue swimming lessons for both of your daughters.
Swimming can be enjoyed for a lifetime, either for recreation and fitness, or as a competitive sport.
Swimming together as a family seems better for everyone than riding/driving from activity to activity. said...

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