Since becoming a mother eleven years ago, I’ve noticed that each stage is busier than the last. Whether you’re sleep deprived with a newborn, physically worn out from chasing a toddler around, or mentally exhausted from keeping up with a pre-teen, it all just feels “busy”. While I understand the idea of simplicity, minimalism and not bombarding our children with extra activities, we have children who are very involved, and the busy lifestyle works for us.
Teaching Time Management through Sports and School
Both of my big kids participate in competitive sports. Baseball, softball, and basketball seasons tend to run into one another, leaving very little “down time”. They’ve tried other sports in the past and we have already asked them to narrow down their choices. (Yes, we used to be even busier!) They chose the sports they loved so practice and tournaments are no longer being forced; they are enjoyed by all of us. I’ve had family members tell me they would never “waste” an entire weekend at a baseball/softball tournament, and that’s fine. But I enjoy cheering on my kids from the bleachers or pacing down a foul line (and the crazy tan lines that come with it).
Outside of sports, they are very involved at school as well. Whether its running club, wellness team, Girl Scouts, show choir or book club…they sign up for it. Yes, I know how to use the word “no”, but if it fits within their schedule, and they are maintaining their grades, there is no harm being involved. They know that homework is the first thing they do after school, and if they do not keep their grades up, they do not go to practice or whatever meeting is on that day. Teaching kids about time management and accountability will set them up for success in high school, college, and their adult lives.
They Are Developing Mental and Physical Health
By participating in various activities, they are sharpening and expanding their mental capacities. Whether it is perfecting their softball swing, discussing what they read in the book club, or managing cookie sales, they have to use different areas of their brains. They are avid goal setters and work hard to overcome obstacles in extracurriculars and at school.
Physically, anything that keeps them off the couch and from eating every last morsel of food in my pantry is a win. The fact that my big kids are boy/girl twins also helps as they are incredibly competitive. Someone always wants to run faster, do more push-ups, or throw the ball further. It never ends. But coming from families with health issues, the earlier they adopt healthy habits, the better.
We Still Have Time to Relax
Somehow, even with this “busy lifestyle”, we find the down time we need. We don’t sign them up for things that fall on the same nights, so we have the one activity or game and come home. They have time to be kids, play video games, build gigantic Lego structures and even utter the words “I’m bored” more often than you’d think (though the fact that they can feel bored with all they have going on blows my mind!) They are excellent helpers with their little sister, read about three books per month and create enough chaos to fit in at the zoo!
So yes, we’re busy. Like “color-coded planner and often feeling like a chauffeur” busy. But we embrace the busy seasons, because one day we will be bored and have no one to drive around. The house will be quiet. All I can hope is to have involved grand kids one day, so I can cheer from the bleachers for them too!
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