Too Much Fun: Limiting Kid Activities

When school begins, dozens of new activities begin, too. Where summer was lazy and full of endless days, fall is chock full of classes and after-school activities.

I decided the kids have to have a limit on their activities. Two each. I’d read that someplace. Kids need to have time to decompress, to have playdates where adults aren’t telling them rules of the game.

Also, I am lazy.

Not really. But in a way, I am. I guard my own sanity and self without guilt because this article says I should, and because I know I should.  It can be stressful to drive kids around 100% of the time to a zillion places. It overextends me. It overextends the kids. Besides, extra activities get expensive, too, especially when it comes at the start of the year when you have to pay for a bunch of things for school.

So, Son started out with Scouts (meeting once or twice a month, no big deal) and karate (weekly) plus religious ed. Little Girl has ballet and religious ed. Eldest has her youth group and guitar.

Ok. Not bad. Doesn’t look like much, right?

But then, I found out that the local library has a free after-school chess class once a week. The class is free, and only lasts six weeks, so I signed Son up because he’s interested.

And what about me and my outside-the-fam interests? Last week, I had book club (participant), book club (speaker), a potluck (me only), and a conference (speaker). Cadillac goes mountain biking once a week after work. So last week, despite the kids having colds for part of the time, we were busy every evening and afternoon.

See how quickly a schedule can fill, even if on paper it doesn’t look like much?

A neighbor and I scheduled a playdate for the two younger kids, who share classes with her two older kids, and even scheduling this was a logistical problem. Someone always had class. Finally the kids were able to get together.

We’re still striving for balance, and sometimes it’s really difficult because it seems like either everything is happening, or nothing is happening. But I guess that’s all we can do. Try. Even if Yoda says that’s not good enough.

Darn you, Yoda!

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

2 thoughts on “Too Much Fun: Limiting Kid Activities

  1. I know what you mean. It’s hard to say no to good opportunities. Too bad having fun can be such hard work!

    It wasn’t too hard to read your book, though. Yoku dekimashita.

  2. Okay, first of all, you’re not lazy. You have three kids! I don’t think lazy and three kids is possible. Second, you are so right! I only have one and I was just thinking I need to create a family calendar with her activities, my activities and workout schedule (I don’t work out near enough, which is why I need a schedule), and family activities. It’s so much!

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