this expression holds very true for many families in today’s society. i have a 3 year old and a 10 month old, but i find myself feeling the outside pressures to “over-schedule” my child. in this link, dr. susan newman, writes about why it is so important to take a step back and remember what’s truly important, family. she mention how family should come first before all the extracurricular activities. she doesn’t say to stop all activities, but she says to leave time for family!
i am a firm believer that there is a time and place for everything. there will come a time, and much faster than i would like, that my kids won’t want to simply play with me and my husband. they will be pushing to be independent, out with their friends, participating in after school activities and so on. i believe that while they are young it is the time to make family time a priority. i don’t mean lock your child in the house under complete solitude, but i mean to find a balance. a balance for your kids and a balance for you. the more you schedule your child the more you schedule yourself. this leads to more stress and pressure in your day to day life. sometimes it’s nice to just have a lazy sunday. wing the day as you go. go out to breakfast as a family, take a walk, visit friends and/or family. by constantly scheduling activities for your kids you leave very little time for this, if not any. hudson is scheduled and is involved with other children, but i try my very best to not over-schedule him. he is in nursery school 5 mornings and french immersion 2 afternoons. he also has swim lessons one afternoon a week. therefore, 3 full days a week he is completely scheduled and leaves him only a couple weekday blocks to bake with me, have play dates, or simply hang at home! i feel this is more than enough for a 3 year old. some may feel this is too much and others that it’s not enough. i do what i feel is best for my kids and my family and not what others have to say about it.
i often hear from those around me, friends, family, and acquaintances about all their kids are doing and what i should be doing with mine. i try my best to hold strong and as the doctor says in this article NOT keep up with the jonse’s. during the moments when i’m hearing comments such as, “your child hasn’t started skating?” “you didn’t sign him up for ski lessons?” “he’s not in a group sport activity this summer?” i get sort of defensive and overall irritated!! No, i did not do these things as my son is only 3 years old. would i mind going up skiing for the day as a family? not at all. would i mind taking him skating one afternoon for fun? not at all! do i mind dropping my son, whom is still so little, at 9 million activities to try and do what everyone else is doing? yes!! like i mentioned before, there will be a time and place for all of this. but, right now during this time and place family is more important to me and my husband. to say that christopher works all the time, is an understatement. therefore when he is home on a saturday or sunday, the last thing hudson, beckett, christopher or myself want to do is drop hudson off for an activity. we all desire to be together. the moments we have as a family with young children are minimal in the grand scheme of things. in a blink of an eye our boys will be all grown up and we will look back and wonder where the time went. i don’t want to look back and wish we had taken the opportunity to enjoy the moments we all had together before the boys are wanting more than just their mom and dad.
whatever your family does ultimately has to work for you! it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say! if you love to run around like a chicken with your head cut off, than do it! if this is stressing you out, than back off some of it! remember it’s your family and your time! the key to everything in life is balance, balance, and balance!! your family is your family and what anyone else has to say doesn’t matter!!
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