Wednesday, January 22, 2014

time to slow down

At what point do we say enough is enough?  When do we take a step back and realize we need to slow down?  In a society where we think we need start everything earlier and earlier this is hard.

We have 3 kids under the age of 7 and they are all active.  At this point its our own fault because they wouldn't know anything about the extra activities if we didn't introduce them.  We've already introduced baseball, soccer, gymnastics, dance, and swimming lessons.  But it doesn't stop there!  We're seriously considering piano lessons and basketball in the very near future.  Sure we don't do ALL of those things at the same time, but pretty close.  Then when you throw in the most important thing, activities at church and Sunday mornings at church, we really don't have much free time.

No time for kids to just be kids.

Somewhere along the way we forgot about that very important time.

When I was a kid, I did 1 thing for the entire school year and it only lasted a few months.  There was no worry that I wouldn't be the best kid on the team or that I would behind the other kids.  When it was nice enough I spent my free time playing outside with my siblings or the neighbor kids.  And if it wasn't nice enough to be outside we played inside.  Yes we watched our fair share of tv, but kids shows weren't on 24/7 like they are now.  We had to play, wait for it, make-believe!  No we didn't turn out to be professional sports stars, but I hate to break it to you--most of our kids won't be!

So what is the point of overloading their schedules with these activities anyway?  Sure we want our kids to be well-rounded and hopefully this will help.  But 1 or 2 activities at a time will do that.  What about spending time with our kids working on school work?  Or doing arts and crafts?  Or reading?  Or just hanging out with them?

Now seems like as good a time as any to make that change.  I'm going to start cutting back on the extra curricular activities I sign my kids up for.  I'll let them pick their favorite thing and go from there.  I'm sure they aren't going to miss the craziness, and I know I won't.  And hopefully in the end we'll build a stronger bond and actually get back to having fun!

Do you suffer from an over-loaded life as well?  How do you manage?  Or have you figured out a way to balance it all?  What are you secret tips and tricks?

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