As I sit here now, finally mildly relaxed (read: sitting and semi-frantically making mental lists of all I have to do at home)watching the two youngest play happily in the sand (read: one is throwing it and one is rolling in it) and the oldest practices with her team I am so very very thankful that my everyday is not like this. I would be a raging alcoholic. I know of people whose days ARE like this. EVERY.FREAKING.DAY. I don't think I could function, nor could I successfully keep track of appropriate schedules, times, and places. I'd end up with a tball clad kid at karate practice on pee-wee football night.
I just don't have it in me to "schedule" my kids. I am fine letting them participate in sports; obviously as I am currently watching the oldest play soccer. They can do whatever they want...within reason. It can't cost more than a mortgage payment (sorry Sam, no figure skating) and the schedule can't be completely out of control (dance class 4 nights a week?? I don't think so) Last spring my schedule made me want to hurt people as the oldest played softball twice a week, the middle played tball twice a week, and the leftover day I spent drunk. My week was shot. I often prayed for rain so practices would be cancelled. It's not that I don't want my kids to experience stuff like Jazzercise, choir, underwater basket weaving, Chess club, Young Scientists club, recycling club, Bible study, yo-yo group, and competitive yodeling. Bring on the experiences. Just squeeze them into the school day somehow.
I want my kids to have time in their day to BE KIDS. I didn't like our schedule today and I guarantee you, by the time we get home, shove some dinner in them, bathe and bed them all WITHOUT giving them a chance to play..they'll realize they didn't like it either. I can handle it one night a week, maybe even two. But I don't want to have to SCHEDULE time for my kids to be 9, 6, and 2. You look at kids today and they are shuttled from ballet to soccer to the counselor to the dermatologist to jazz/tap combo to the chiropractor and rounding it all out with a stop at the herbologist. WHAT.THE.FUCK???? Kids are way overscheduled. No wonder they have to see a shrink and have early onset anxiety disorders. They've got way too much shit to worry about. A 9 year old should worry about which shirt to wear tomorrow and whether or not she knows all of her spelling words for Friday. She shouldn't be worrying about if she'll even have TIME to study her spelling words in between dance class, therapy, the dermatolgist, and Bible study. I know something is seriously wrong if my kids have more shit scheduled on the calendar than I do. I don't want to have to pencil in time for my kids to ride bikes and scooters, play with neighborhood kids, or just sit and veg out. Kids NEED that. Hell, who am I kidding, I need that. I can't be constantly shuttling kids from one activity to another. Drunk driving is illegal. I realize as they get older and are involved in more, schedules are going to fill up and conflict. Unless I lock them in their rooms, turn them into social recluses, and deny any involvement in any extracurriculars, their schedules will become slightly overloaded as they age. But I'll be damned if I'm going to synchronize calendars on my iPhone for my elementary school-aged kids. The ones who pick their noses, should still get help wiping, and get excited about pudding in their lunch boxes. (ok, so this could be my husband too, but for the sake of example I'm referring to my kids...)
As they get older they'll want to do more and my calendar will fill up whether I like it or not. But for now I want them to be able to have time in their day to unwind and be kids. So in between the once-a-week soccer practice I'm fine with only having reminders of when library books are due on my calendar. Shit, what day is it today????