I miss the short years I had with my kids before they started school.
Why? I like the freedom of choosing our own schedule, adjusting when a specific day just doesn’t work for one of all of us.
Now that both girls are in school, and involved in extracurricular activities, I find that they are “exhaustapooped,” right along with me. (I made up that word, it’s not really a word – but I find exhaustapooped so adequately defines how I feel when I hit that 3-5pm wall)
I only have two children. I see other moms with more than two kids and I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around how they are keeping up with all the homework, the school functions, activities, not to mention all the extracurricular activities and time for family, making dinner, it makes steam start puffing out of my ears if I think too hard about it.
For us, I try to keep it fairly limited. I don’t believe in over-scheduling, unless it’s making time for them to just be. My daughters both take piano from a high school student. She teaches once a week, my kindergartner spends 15 minutes learning, and my second grader spends 30 minutes for her lesson. I’m happy with this schedule for their age. I’m not a mom who’s pinning all her hopes on a performer at Carnegie Hall. I want them to learn piano for their own enjoyment, and to provide a strong foundation for mathematical skills.
The girls have been in performing groups since they were in preschool, because they enjoyed it. They were at an age where they loved the stage. They both liked the singing, acting and the minimal dance steps in each production. This year, instead of a performing group, they are taking dance classes. I let them watch So You Think You Can Dance this summer, and they absolutely fell in love. They’d watch the episodes over and over, they knew who partnered with who and what song they danced to, I was blown away. My kindergartner actually started sobbing when Robert was eliminated from the show. Both girls were huge fans of Tadd and Melanie. It seems that they gravitate a bit towards the hip hop.
What’s a mom to do? I signed them up for hip hop and they are my swagger-babies. It is the most entertaining thing to watch. Their teacher is energetic, enthusiastic and great with kids. He is so much fun, I’m trying to secure him for a girls night out dance lesson.
Other than piano and dance, my girls also take an after school art class. My oldest loves art. Always has. My youngest enjoys it, but doesn’t have a huge preference. In fact, yesterday she said she’d rather stay home to play and read with me. The art class was just six weeks. Both girls opted not to continue. My oldest prefers to create her own pictures, rather than do what everyone else is doing.
Even with so few activities, I find it is still hard to find time for play dates with friends. Sometimes it feels like I’m my kids’ executive assistant, trying to coordinate schedules with other busy kids, it’s an exercise in time management.
What extracurricular activities do your children participate in? What are the motivations that make those choices?