by guest blogger, Katherine VanBuskirk
I’ve been wondering lately when it was that I stopped describing my plans for the weekend in terms of shopping and gardening and the gym, and started bookmarking my free time based on the various kids’ activities that rule our lives?
How has it happened that a solo trip to the grocery store, squeezed in between a birthday party and soccer practice, is considered “me time”? Now, just to be clear, this is not a rant. What I’ve been pondering is the question of balance – specifically for the little people in our lives.
How much is too much? For us. And for them. How many sports, instruments, “classes” do they need to be exposed to? When do you cross the line between healthy active and insanity?
I don’t have an answer for you. For every family and for every child the perfect combination is different. And for the record? We’re still trying to figure out our perfect combo.
The thing is, we have a child that wants to do everything – the first time you ask him. Once the novelty wears off though, the story is different. Sometimes we spend more time planning the sell job in the days leading up to the activity than we do participating in it.
For those things, I fight an internal battle between my own strong belief in finishing what you start, and releasing us all from the negotiations. Most of the time though, we pull it together enough to provide a decent showing and leave it at that. And when it’s finished? We enjoy the peace and quiet for a while.
Sometimes the opposite happens. The magic. Everyone has fun. The rosy cheeks, lively debrief and euphoria of the experience follow us home. We can’t wait to do it all over again.These are the times, that make me accept and even appreciate the logistical nightmare that our weekends can be.
In a world where we constantly consider balance in our own lives, how do we know what is best for the kids? I’m not sure.
What I do know is that as much as I love those lazy Saturdays and Sundays with nothing to do but see where the day takes us, I equally love the controlled chaos and resulting fun that a weekend full of activities brings.
So I guess that the conclusion I’ve come to is that I’ll take my cues from the kids and remember that sometimes it’s okay to skip a week, to take a break or be late because at the end of the day, the point is to have some fun.
Oh yeah, and maybe, just maybe, discover something that you’ll love for the rest of your life.
Katherine VanBuskirk is a communications professional in Halifax. She is rarely without a latte, a list and at least one of her two children.