We are home-bodies. We don’t do a lot of “playdates”, in fact I really hate that word. It makes me feel like I’m turning something as simple as children playing into a big production that requires lots of planning and scheduled activities. Most of the time, our social activities consist of trips to the library or park or the little neighborhood girls coming over after school and playing for a couple of hours. The girls do have the option of doing something outside of that realm, though. They are allowed to choose one activity at a time. They can do gymnastics or soccer or baseball, but not all three. Katie chose Girl Scouts this year and Hannah chose nothing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to dog on people who let their kids participate in lots of activities. Obviously, that works with some families. It just doesn’t work with ours. And the reason being is this: when we are constantly on the go (not at home), I find myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious and guilty. Guilty because there are duties at home that are being neglected. And when I feel this way, it tends to permeate into the rest of the family’s attitudes and emotions. You know the old saying, “When Mama aint happy, nobody’s happy”? Well, that is true in our house.
When I’m at home, I have time to prepare nutritious meals for us. I have time to keep the house clean and presentable. I have time to stop and play games or do crafts or just talk to my kids. When we have a night that is particularly busy for us, say an after school planned activity like family reading night, for example, then things become a little hectic. Family reading night is done once a month at Katie’s school and basically it is where the parents and kids come in and do an acitivity together and listen to a story to two. I love this and I don’t want you to think I’m bashing it, I’m just using it as an example. Anyway, on family reading night, our day goes like this:
3:00 pm – Return home from picking up Katie from school.
3:30 – Snack, then homework
4:30 – Start supper prep
5:30 – Scarf down supper and clean up kitchen
6:00 – 7:30 – Family Reading Night at school
8:00 – get girls ready for bed
8:30 – story time, bible study, girls in bed
On these nights, I find myself a little bit harried at having to rush around, but I enjoy the change of pace and the girls like going to this every month. While this doesn’t sound bad for one evening a month, imagine that schedule 2 or 3 times a week. Sports, music lessons, other school related clubs, etc. can take a big toll on your time and sanity. Or at least on mine.
I hope I don’t make myself sound like a hermit living in a cave (as my sister likes to call me – she’s the exact opposite, by the way – constantly on the go and loves it that way), but I do like the peaceful comfort of my home, even when it’s not all that peaceful with squealing, giggling girls running around in it. I guess it all kind of goes along with that single-tasking idea I talked about a while back. I’d rather actually just live my life than spend a lot of time planning and plotting on how I need to be living it.
Again, I hope I don’t come across as hating extra-curricular activities for kids, I do think that it’s a great way for them to socialize and interact with others, I just don’t see why there is this obsession everywhere with having your kids into like 15 different things at once. I’m sure that my girls are gonna have their own ideas about this when they get older. And maybe they won’t like it. Or maybe they will. Or maybe they just know that whatever we say goes, so why bother with arguing. 🙂