Keeping Your Kids At Home

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.  🙂

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6 thoughts on “Keeping Your Kids At Home

  1. Christy October 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm Reply

    I soooo agree with you!! Our time with our children is so limited I want to take full advantage of the time I spend with them through these years!! That is so funny because my sister thinks I’m a hermit too!!! She and her family are never home and that’s the way they like it. I’m happiest at home with the kiddos!!!

  2. Fencepost October 7, 2009 at 2:41 am Reply

    Amen! Same here. One more thing in common. You ARE my long lost sister! tee hee

  3. Kristi Smith October 10, 2009 at 3:42 am Reply

    Well I am like this too. I like to stay home. Esp. in the fall and winter. It is cold. I don’t want to get out. lol

    Cole used to do karate twice a week and I would have to drive into town. It was a pain in the booty. And he is doing more activities now but only once a week and it is in Palmyra, shorter distance than our trips to Hannibal to karate.

    One thing I feel bad about not participating in more is that I don’t think he gets that interaction with kids as much as I think he should. He doesn’t have a lot of friends. He has a couple. Which as long as he has one good one I think he will be fine. But since we don’t live in town he doesn’t get to play with kids in the neighborhood like i did when I was young. That kind of worries me. Plus he is an only child.

    Do I always turn your posts into something about me? lol

    Well anyhoo . . .

    I am a homebody too. I don’t think people would think that if they met me but it is true.

    • klutzymama October 11, 2009 at 11:54 am Reply

      Kristi,
      A few years ago, we were kinda hanging out with these people who also had 2 daughters, but they were quite a few years older than our girls. They were constantly on the go running those girls to dance, swimming, cheerleading, basketball, etc. I remember at the time feeling so sorry for the mom because she always seemed to be really tired and kinda stressed. My girls were really small at the time, but I remember thinking that I didn’t want to do that when they got older.
      I would like to get Katie or Hannah or both involved in Karate. I think it would be fun…I’d kinda like to do it myself! Did Cole enjoy it?

  4. TheCottonWife November 5, 2009 at 1:40 pm Reply

    I know this was forever ago but I have been so stinkin’ busy lately (and should be right now, in fact!) but I LOATHE the idea of “playdate”. I want to know where my kids are, of course but I do not want to manage their social lives.

    Here’s where I shake my old lady cane: When I was their age, I yelled “Bye!” to my mom and hopped on my bike and was gone. My lucky girls get to hop in a farm truck and peal out from the driveway. I feel sorry for kids who have no freedom – bike powered, foot powered or otherwise.

    • klutzymama November 5, 2009 at 1:53 pm Reply

      Jennifer,
      I agree. It’s like kids just playing has turned into these big productions full of scheduled activities and scheduled refreshment times!

      My sister and I used to take off in the morning and just play and not show our faces again until we were hungry. Sometimes that was lunch time and sometimes it was supper time. 🙂
      Of course, things were different then, our mom didn’t have to worry that some sicko would pluck us up off the street. That’s one of the reasons why we’re giving some serious consideration to hitting the country again when our house sells. There’s just that freedom that you don’t have in town…even if it is a little town like ours. And there is so much more opportunity for exploring nature out in the country too!

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