After four years of motherhood, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what other moms do. And so I know that I’m in the extreme minority when I say that our schedule is usually empty. In fact, regardless of whether people have kids or not, there’s this “thing” in our society where to be busy is something to aspire to, as if “busyness” somehow equates to wealth, fulfillment, prominence, or all of those three. But what if our “busyness” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? What if, in the hustle and bustle of our lives, we’re forgetting to just be together as a family?
Since I’m pretty sure you, dear friend, are busier than me, let me just pause for a second and let you know: no matter the level of busy, the number of activities, how many kids you have, I think you are doing the perfect amount for your family. (You know, unless you are either overwhelmed or bored, and then maybe that’s a family discussion for this week.) But if you are happy in your busyness, then that’s great, and keep on keepin’ on! Also: just because my schedule is not booked solid does not mean I ever find myself with nothing to do. I am definitely “busy”-but our family has decided that our busy, for now, doesn’t look like the rest of the families around us.
At the end of summer, Harlyn did dance camp. And she really loved it. The studio hit us up a few times after camp, and they almost had me convinced that Harlyn HAD to start dance. Now. Thankfully, Brandon and I had a discussion, and we (ok, mostly he, but he was right) decided that this was not the right time. Maybe next year we’ll feel differently. I don’t know.
We aren’t against ballet, gymnastics, and soccer. Not at all! Actually, we’re both super excited for our kids to play sports. I can’t wait to see what they’ll choose, and cheer them on. I have ZERO athletic ability, so hopefully, my babies will take after their dad in that regard. But this goes beyond just extra-curriculars. We also choose to keep our weekends free of a lot of activities. There are two things we must do each weekend: grocery shopping on Saturday morning and church on Sunday morning. Then everything else is a maybe. We usually go out to eat or do a Target run or whatever too, but we don’t have a packed schedule. We might head to the mall for the train ride and play area. Now that the temps are cooler, we’ll be able to hit up parks, and hopefully the zoo. But mostly, we keep things simple. Monday mornings at work always start out with “how was your weekend? or “what did you do this weekend?” and we are always like, “oh you know…Walmart, church, and Chili’s!”
So why do we choose to do less than other families we know? Well, a big reason is that we still have a napper. Maverick is still napping twice a day, and he just functions better when he can be home for his naps. Another reason is that our kids are homebodies. They do like to go do stuff, but they are just as happy at the neighborhood park for 20 minutes as they are with a big huge planned event. We also don’t want to spend a bunch of money on some weekend activity they won’t really appreciate, will be too tired to enjoy, or complain about because they’d rather go home and play tag for free. But the biggest reason we choose to keep our nights and weekends relatively empty is because it leaves us time to play with our kids. Because we work outside the home, the biggest thing our kids crave is US. So while they still need us and want us, we’re going to take the opportunity to enjoy time with them. Before we know it, they’ll be asking for basketball and dance…but right now, they would rather play trucks and Barbies with us at home. And we’ll gladly spend time together as a family until they get too cool for us. ☺
What do you think? Do you wish your family had a bit more or a bit less on the calendar? Do you have the perfect amount? Is there a magic number for activities?