What is it?
NOT over-scheduling my kids.
Underwhelmed? No big deal, you might say. Well, to me, to us, it is a very big deal. We live in a time and a place where moms are toting kids from school to soccer to dance and then running to take another child to tae-kwon-do before going back to another soccer game. Whew! I'm out of breath just writing that! (Now, if that describes your life, let me just say, I AM NOT judging you. If that works for you and your kids that's wonderful.) It doesn't work for us. That kind of a day makes me want to cringe and hide under the covers just thinking about it.
Quite by accident, I tested myself on this skill this past week. By a calendar mixup (my fault!), I somehow scheduled THREE activities for my kids every day this week. VBS 8:45-noon. Kids Yoga Camp 2-4, and Swimming Lessons from 4:30-5:10. Wowsers. That is insane! When I realized my mistake, I almost backed out of the yoga camp. But my oldest was looking forward to it more than anything, and I just couldn't crush him by making him miss it (it's not offered again until late July). So, I decided we could do it for just this one week. It's the only week all summer that will be this crazy, we'll get through it. By Monday at 3pm, I was already looking forward to Friday.
Things I learned from this over-scheduled week:
*It's exhausting to always be hurrying to get ready for x...or y.... or z...
*There's no time for spontaneous fun like heading to the neighbors (to check out their tadpoles that have started growing legs already!)
*It's way too easy to cave in to requests for fast food, because everyone is exhausted. (I am horrified at how much we ate this week.)
*One activity is enough. We missed getting to go swim just for fun, or riding bikes outside.
* It really doesn't feel like summer when your kids are so exhausted you have to make them go to bed at 6:20 just to make it through the next day.
*You need room for flexibility in your days! Scheduling every minute might be productive, but it's more stressful than it's worth.
Today, after a week of crazy activities, we are taking back our flexibility. Both my guys woke up today begging to just be able to stay home. Please? If that isn't a sign that we were doing too much, I don't know what would be. So, we stayed home. No VBS. Instead, they are snuggled up together on the couch playing a game, happy as clams. No stress. No hurry up and eat, so we can hurry up and get in the car, so we can hurry up and....
How do you schedule your kids? Are you like me, and like to do a few things here and there, but leave most of your time unscheduled? Or, do you enjoy having lots of things already planned into your days? Whatever your style might be, if it makes you and your kids happy, do it. If it doesn't....well, figure out a way to do things so you are!
I am thankful for the blessings
of a week of entirely UNSCHEDULED days
coming up next week!