When I had the girls I vowed not to turn into an overscheduler. We live in the suburbs of Philadelphia and it seems like East Coasters feel the need to keep busy at every waking moment. I am an Easterner by birth but sometimes it seems like a little too much. So, as the girls have gotten older, we have put them in classes and activities and sports. It was gradual but some days I take a step back, look at our calendar and question if I turned into what I had wanted to avoid. The over scheduling Mom who needs to fill their every moment.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of sports and activities. I love that we can provide these things for our children. A very good friend of mine reminded me how important and valuable these things are to a child. She herself was not given the privilege and I know that was a disappointment for her. I just have to ask myself how much is too much?
Our original rule was one activity per "season". But then we added religious formation classes, a Lacrosse training program for Grace, Lego club after school, Brownies, basketball starting soon, classes at the library and on and on. I feel like I have to watch carefully and keep a finger on the pulse at all times. With school and homework and sports and activities kids don't have enough unscheduled play time. Time to think and create. Time to use their little imaginations. Isn't it my responsibility that they get to feed their minds in every way. I originally thought they would tell me when enough is enough but they don't. Their little brains want more and more every day. They crave business.
It's all part of the tight rope we walk as parents. We want to give them everything they need but also have to know when enough is enough. I am sure that I fail the tight rope test at least ten times a day. However, I am thankful it doesn't mean I have leave the circus. (And trust me, I am living in one big circus!)