Friday, June 25, 2010

There is ONE Thing I Do Really Well

I can finally say that there is ONE thing I do really well.  It's not often that I say something like that to myself, but I am truly good at this one thing.  I don't feel deep down that there is a way I need to change how I do this one thing.  I don't feel like I'm just pretending to be good at it.  I've always felt I did pretty well at it, but this week I tested myself, and now I can say: I've got this one down!

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!


SomeGirl said...

It's good that you had the opportunity to see that you do that well.. you may never have known and always wondered. :) Can't wait for you to come see the tadpoles! One is still the same, but bigger and the other one is nearly, completely a frog! (I posted pics on FB)

Glad you guys got some downtime! See you next week! Love ya!

Stephanie said...

I totally agree with you!! I'm on a quest for the same thing. Right now I don't have to worry about over-scheduling my daughter because she's just turning one. BUT, I have problems over-scheduling myself and it's so stressful! Since I'm a teacher, I feel that I need to fit lots of stuff in for the summer that I want to do during the school year. I'm finding that this just IS NOT something that's going to work! There's too much to try to do, and I end up not enjoying my summer anymore! Sheesh!! Good for you for not over-scheduling your kids. They will enjoy the activities they do so much more when they don't have a zillion other things they do. :)

Shell said...

Stephanie, Thank you for such a sweet comment! I'm so glad to have you "here" and that you enjoyed the post. I used to be a teacher (before kids) so I know what you're talking about with the summer stuff. It's endless, the job of a teacher. Good luck finding a way to be less over-scheduled yourself. It's not an easy thing to do, but it's SO worth it. Life is easier and so much less stressful.