Some of us (myself included) look forward to summer and its respite from the onslaught of school-year extracurricular activities. But how do we help our kids find their passions while still keeping our sanity? That’s what Kerry from Breadwinning Mama talks about today.
Read Kerry’s Perspective
With three kids, two of which are in the throes of after-school activities, our evenings and weekends have become crazy. Homework is a given, but my boys are also playing baseball, one is involved in Scouts, and the other is doing karate. Throw in religious classes and the occasional birthday party and we are done. DONE! God help us when our two-year-old starts participating in her own pursuits.
This break-neck schedule is not new to me. My mom and dad – but primarily my mom – managed to shuttle me and my two siblings all over town for our various sports and musical endeavors. I’m only in the early stages, but I’m seriously wondering how she stayed sane through those years. She too was working, and even had a second job for a few years to help save up for all of extracurricular expenses. I should probably nominate her for sainthood now.
Still today, there seems to be even more activities for kids. Art, lacrosse, swimming, flag football, golf, Lego engineering. My husband and I want our boys to be involved in something they enjoy. If the activity just so happens to be something at which they excel, even better.
With so many options, I get overwhelmed. How do we know where to invest our time? We could be wasting time in baseball. Maybe I have the next Michael Phelps, but how do I know unless we sign up for swim? Maybe we should trade our time on the soccer field for guitar lessons.
Can’t kids come with a playbook?
There are only so many hours in the day. I wish someone could give me the sign and tell me which activities my kids would enjoy the most. I suppose the discovery process should be part of the adventure. My boys are young and it is great for them to be exposed to so many different opportunities. But my time-sucked, exhausted side wishes for a crystal ball. Tell me what my kids will love. Tell me so I can stop this activity-shuttling madness.
I honestly don’t have a problem with the fact that we are busy. But it pains me when my kid strikes out or goes through the motions on the soccer field. Maybe this just isn’t his sport. Perhaps he would have more fun – and success – in some activity we’ve yet to discover. Or do we stick it out just one more year. Maybe then the aggression will kick in, or he’ll grow into his body. I don’t know.
Thus, the search continues. My boys are still young – almost nine and six – so we have many years to discover their talents and pleasures. But I wouldn’t turn away from the secret playbook either; it could save us years of guesswork and hours at the ball field.
How are you helping you children find their passions?
Do the after-school activities overwhelm your household?
Kerry juggles a full-time marketing job, husband, three young kids, an overly-energetic puppy, and a LONG commute on Southern California’s finest freeways. Squeezing in exercise is a must, and she loves to curl up with a good book. As she says, “Life is chaotic, but sweet.” You can find her blogging over at Breadwinning Mama (http://breadwinningmama.com) and tweeting as @breadwinningmom.
Watch the Discussion On Extracurricular Activities
Now that you’ve read Kerry’s post, watch a group of moms discuss the topic:
Kerry Rivera | http://www.breadwinningmama.com
Natalie Chiles | http://www.nataliechiles.com
Renee Jacobson | http://www.rasjacobson.com
Katie Sluiter | http://www.sluiternation.com
Christine Krahling | www.keepcalmandwrite.com