Thursday, August 31, 2006

What Sort of Mommy Do I Want to Be As I Grow Up?

After the first few days of school, it started.

Flyers came home left and right. Basketball, Tiger Cubs, Science Club, Art Club, etc. "Look at what I can do, Mom!!" "I want to do this too, Mom!" "I neeeeeeeeed to do this Mom!"

It all sounds so good and so much fun. That is until you try to figure out how it is all going to work. How is everyone going to have dinner, do homework, and get out the door by 5:30-6:00? How can we get home and in bed by 7:30? How will we entertain Jack and Anna while David does his thing? How we will not feel rushed and crazy by the end of the week!?!? Oh wait . . . plenty of things take place on Saturdays too! We could be having fun almost every night of the week!

So what kind of Mommy do I want to be? Do I want to lead him towards sports and be a Soccer Mom? Should I encourage the science thing and volunteer to be an "Experiment Mom?" My hubby is an Eagle Scout so does that mean he should be expected to do Scouting too? I could be a Den Mom. Wow. So many choices and we've just started our school years!

Maybe I could stick with just being me. Pick one activity and then continue to be the Mommy who snuggles and reads books. The Mommy who likes to race cars on our new, wide open, wooden floors. The Mommy who likes to ride bikes through water puddles. I don't think I'm so bad just the way I am!

How do you balance school activities and home life? How do you let your kids "pick" an after school activity? I'd love to know . . .


owlhaven said...

We allow our kids one activity per season, besides church stuff (youth group, Sunday School). And for my own sanity, I personally do not start much extracurricular stuff til kids are at least 8. In my experience, 4 year olds don't get enough out of soccer to warrant all the hassle of being on a team.

Swimming lessons are an exception to that-- we do give our kids several years of swimming lessons, usually starting around age 5. But that is only a 5 week session once a year. And we do it in the 'off' season at an indoor pool--ie, at a time of year when we don't have baseball or soccer. Oh, and one more thing about swimming: "Mommy and Me" classes, though fun, rarely teach kids a thing that they couldn't learn just with you playing casually in the pool with them. So why waste the time or bust your tail getting to yet another activity?

Sometimes you can also help a child satisfy their extracurricular longings with a more casual form of a sport. One year we got together with two other families and played 'baseball' (wiffleball) all together. More recently our bigger kids have attended a casual Saturday evening soccer game where friends all meet at the park at a dsignated time, team up, and play soccer for a couple hours.

Chinamama4 said...

We, too, are just beginning this struggle, and our girls are only 7, 4 and 2! Church activities are always a first priority for us, but even those can add up fast! We also have the rule of one additional activity per child, and that alone takes up lots of time and requires lots of planning (juggling). All three girls are musically talented and we'd like to nurture those talents, but I agree, sometimes you can do just as well at home, without all the scheduling stress (their Dad and I are professional musicians, so it helps - sort of extra-curricular homeschooling). Add to that the fact that there are a lot of great opportunities around here for our girls to study/experience their Chinese culture (language, dance, etc) that it's difficult to choose! I haven't really given you any answers, but just to let you know I'm right there with you!