Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When did kids activities become so over the top?

This topic has been on my mind for a long time now but most recently it reared it ugly head. I don't think I need to explain the admiration I have for my children, they are simply my joy. Lately my joy has been sucked dry with activities, school projects, and much more. I was thinking back to when I was a kid. I loved Gymnastics, I did cartwheels, back flips you name it wherever I went. I played outside each day after school, we ate dinner together, I went to Gymnastics one day a week for one hour when I was in elementary school. It seemed more simple that is for sure. Now I feel tired, I feel pressure, I feel like what if I don't get my kids involved with something each season?? It's very odd. I guess it's my over indulgence to provide them this great life and to try to make them enjoy each experience. I miss eating dinner as a family, I miss my kids just playing outside. We are always on the go and I miss when the kids were younger and we all ate together and had more time. Maybe this is normal and I think it is in my stage in parenting but is it what is good for my kids?  For instance in the picture above Jaden and Lauren don't play baseball but they have to cheer their brother on. They don't really enjoy it but it's what we do as a family. Baseball is a wonderful sport, I after all married a baseball player. This season thankfully we have a really nice coach and the kids are nice but it's demanding. We have lots of practice, and late. Some games are not over till almost 10:00 on school nights!! Our team is good and undefeated and I enjoy watching the kids play but when did this all became so intense? Every activity is not just something kids do for fun but they are priming them for the next level like they are going to be in the MLB or something. My husband is a good guy but he is even telling me if they take time off or they don't practice everyone will pass them up. I always come back with in the 3rd grade, really?  These kids are good but sometimes I know my boy just wants to boy and unwind and have free time. School is demanding enough but as soon as he gets home and gets a snack and does homework it's off to a 3hr practice. We are so torn because we want to teach him to be responsible, good worth ethic, hard work=results but then I always think geez he's 9 why do we expect so much? Sports used to be a thing kids liked to do and then they would change sports with the seasons and that is not the case anymore. Every activity is full throttle and so intense now heaven forbid you take a season off or try something new, doesn't happen.  It's not just sports it's all activities and clubs. I took Jaden to Boy Scouts last night he seemed to like it okay. He was in Cub Scouts in PA but here he moved up to Boy Scouts which opens up a whole can of worms. I was informed that not only is it once a week but throughout the month there are special events he must attend and camp outs each month all year round. The camp out directions were you drop him off on Friday and you get him Sunday afternoon?? Wait he is 11 and I barely see him during the week and now he will be gone the whole weekend? Oh and we are going to Colorado in July for a whole week no moms can attend??? I know I am a helicopter parent but my kids have never been away from me for a whole week expect for a short getaway weekend. I am sure they are all nice great people and they were friendly enough but at that point I would have only known these people for 4months. I can't just hop in the car if he breaks his leg or something either. So after taking Drew to baseball through busy traffic, and then going to Boy Scouts and pulling into the driveway at 9:00 last night Jaden seems completely overwhelmed. At this point we ate a light dinner so everyone is hungry again, barley got homework done since I had to drop Drew off at 5:00 through major traffic and here we all are tired. Meanwhile Rob pulls in with Drew after his 3 hr practice all sweaty and full of allergies. Jaden comes in and says that he feels more stressed and he misses us already and doesn't get to see us so he doesn't think he wants to be away from us all the time. I am a bit relieved and of course I would do it if he loved it. So saying all this are we doing any favors for our children with this overindulgent work load of activities? Maybe I am simple, I love to watch Drew play ball and I am thankful he can but I miss and desire the moments of family time. When we are done with baseball I am hoping things slow down a bit as far as never being home. I miss family dinners it's feels so weird not to eat together much anymore. I often wonder if going to practice will be in their minds as adults or more importantly that they had family time and memories. I sure hope that I install that family comes first and that building good charter and knowing God is my biggest desire for each of them. I am praying that I can discern when to say yes and when to say no and help make good choices for them. This running around,activities all the time, answering texts all hours of the day for work, and crazy life will take us all down if we don't get it in check.
I love you Jaden, Drew and Lauren. Mom's trying!!
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  1. Hello Katy, I felt the need to comment on this post! I think we are sacrificing Home for sports and outside activities for the children. I see families miss church and family dinners for the sake of what??
    I am an older woman now and I can speak from hindsight...
    More is not best for the children, they become stressed out and tired and they have no time tor creative bents they may have and need to develop them.
    I will tell you this one thing that still rock me( It was at bedtime after a shower and a snack and a bit of reading time, it was like they just decompressed) They told me wonderful things I still ponder!
    Hope you come visit me soon! As then we can connect!
    Blessings, Roxy

  2. We haven't gotten to eat dinner as a family more than once this week and tonight I made plans for us to go to a fish fry with friends. Ben broke down and said "mom can we just stay home for dinner, alone?" It broke my heart and even though he ended up having a great time it still is hanging in the back of my head. And our baseball season hasn't even started. All we have right now is Meredith's volleyball and play practice. Can't imagine when baseball on two different teams kicks it up even more in just a month. I too long of days of just being with my babies and that being enough.

  3. I love that Jaden was strong enough to tell you what he Ned's and you are wise enough to listen. Miss and love you my friend!


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