Things in our family schedule have slowed down for the moment; fall soccer, gymnastics, and football just ended for my son. That just leaves dance and gymnastics for my daughter. Thanks to the rainy weather, there have been some cancelled games—did I just say that! Yes I did. Why? Because sometimes there is just too much going on. Since September, I don’t think we had a day that the kids weren’t doing something; between dance, gymnastics, soccer, and football, we were booked solid straight through to insanity.

When do we say enough is enough? We are always rushing here and dragging the kids there. In between everything, the kids have to do their homework and chores, and we have to shop, cook, clean, and help with their homework. What about play time and being a kid? Don’t get me wrong; I love this stuff—just in moderation. You might have noticed that I said things have slowed “for the moment.” That is because winter indoor soccer started, which will be a three-day-a-week commitment, oh, and just because I don’t have enough going on, I am a coach for the soccer team too! Okay, so I love soccer, and would be happy to have Nolan play only this, but I don’t want to keep him from other things he wants to try. I think sports are great for kids; they just need to realistically fit into the family schedule, and not be crammed in to them.

So again I ask, when do we say enough is enough? I think a good indication is when your child says that he or she is tired and doesn’t want to go anymore. That is a pretty good clue that there is some over-commitment going on. Thank God! We didn’t have to force him out of something; he figured it out on his own. Only thing is, now he wants to play ice hockey too—huge commitment. I love hockey but the schedule is rigorous. How do I add another major commitment to the schedule? At least some of these activities are only one hour a week. Even so, when are the kids going to do their homework? We already have to cram it in and they end up rushing through it. This isn’t right. Homework should be a priority, right? Right!

Balance is one of the keys to life, though hard to achieve for parents with two kids and a business—I have no idea how single parents do it. What I do know is that everyone needs some downtime, whether they admit it or not. Parents have the most control over the schedule. For me, two extracurricular activities must be the cap. There needs to be time for homework, family, friends, and time to just relax. Everything on the schedule can’t just run together; otherwise, there is no time to breathe or even recover from all the activities.

I know I am not the most balanced person around. I am always on the go; however, being unbalanced for so long is burning me out and it makes me realize how important it is to slow down so I can find that balance. As parents, we are the ones that need to help teach this to our kids, or at least create an environment that encourages balance. If not, we are going to exhaust them before they become teenagers.

I have to remember that I am not going to get everything done today. Besides, what would I do tomorrow?

 

Happy Balancing,
– Kevin Williams
VP & Dad

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