Thursday, August 19, 2010


Writing this during summer vacation is easy.  School starting in 6 days is not.  It makes me anxious.  On vacation we have no obligations, no schedule.  Well, except for construction happening in the house and having to have the whole house use the facilities by 7:30 AM.  Actually, being away from home is the best because there really isn't a schedule.  Summer is definitely a reduced amount of stuff, but still some stuff.

During the school year, I get overwhelmed during two times.  In the fall when we go from zero to 60 in 2 seconds and in the spring when everything is due and happening at the same time.  Unfortunately for #4 she gets jilted.  I do nothing at her preschool and she is limited to 1 activity.  At this age, the other kids were doing 2-3 things.  Seeing the big kids now, they don't even remember those times and the things they did.  I can definitely use my wisdom and be more selective with "her" choices.

That brings me to my mental problem....and financial....  I know my kids are over-scheduled.  I know this before it even begins.  At the start of summer, I had the kids' soccer schedules.  That was nice of them, because I could map out the rest of their obligations.  #1 has therapy every other week and hebrew school on the same day every week.  Then there's the tutoring once a week.  #2 has piano (which reminded me to make sure just now that it didn't conflict with anyone's soccer) once a week.  They all are doing some form of soccer and the big 3 do Sunday school.  This is my first year with 3 doing the city soccer.  This means games and practices, not just one class during the week.  #4 is also doing her soccer class at the same time.

These things cost money and time.  Oh yes, and theres the taekwondo.  We have one year of really good work until 2 are ready for their black belts.  At any level if you don't practice, you don't progress.  Boy this costs a lot of money.  $200 per kid per activity.  I spend more at taekwondo than I do my temple, but I spend more time there too.

I also saw A race to nowhere, a great documentary about over-pressured and over-scheduled kids.  It overwhelmed me.  How do I cut out things?  Everyone says "good for you" for starting therapy and tutoring before the issues become mountainous problems.  How do I cut out the religious stuff when we really believe in the path, maybe not the steps, but the path?  How will my kids be Bar and Bat Mitzvahs without religious schooling?  How do I cut the fun stuff when it's the only things scheduled the kids choose to do?

Now, my intent was to just start this post with one sentence that came to me and come back to it later.  I haven't stopped typing since.  It's also making me anxious, so I think I should get it all done so I can put it behind me.  I know that won't work since the chaos starts officially in 6 days.  Maybe it's the fact that other people's kids have started school already and I'm not home that is making me anxious.

I actually do turn activities down.  I also try things and when I (or rather my kids) can't participate at the level I am comfortable with, I don't resign up.  I see other kids with even more on their plate.  No, they don't have 4 kids in their families.  Some do have 2 working parents and some just have a lot to do.  Others let their kids do only one sport a year.  Yikes, we have soccer and baseball and taekwondo.  We did say only 2 besides taekwondo, so basketball was nixed.  Yes, it is about what works for your family,  I'm just not sure if it means that it's what doesn't make the mother crazy.

I also see a lot of options available that my kids would love!  I feel bad that they can't go to the former PE teacher's after school camp (a money issue), or summer camps in the summer (time and money issue), or do certain classes that they would really enjoy.  Not bad enough that I let them do it, but bad none the less.  And what about learning a language?  I also want them to learn spanish while it's easy and while we travel to Mexico where it would be useful and amazing to practice.  I guess this will have to wait and it might be harder, but at least their mother won't be in the crazy house.  Speaking spanish is not as important as having their mother home....I think.

Lastly, thanks to my parents for giving me a college education.  I could not manage 6 peoples' schedules without it.  So, "Thanks mom and dad,"  and "you're welcome," for the amazing 4 grandchildren I've given you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I saw your link on a friend's FB post and followed it... I think we met once at a mutual friend's house & I've seen you around MV on your super-bike?. But I loved reading your worries (read all 4 of your posts) and am so glad to see them posted by someone other than me, since I totally could have written them! Don't beat yourself up so much on the sugar thing. I have the same problem with the elders (boy do I, let me tell you!) and the same problem figuring out where to draw a consistent line. It makes me crazy too. But it sure does help when we know we're all in this together, doesn't it?