Across the blogging, Facebook worlds I have noticed a major influx in articles and statements about “not over scheduling” your children, yourself, your family. I have watched acquaintances have more and more children and stop all of the extracurriculars all together in the name of fairness, exhaustion, sanity.
I will never tell you to choose busy over your sanity, but I will say:
“You will be tired regardless. You will feel guilt regardless. You will feel too busy regardless. So you might as well say “yes” and give opportunities.”
This is the part where I say “I swear I’m not a robot.” I truly feel exhaustion. Matter of fact, at 8.5 months pregnant with kiddo number 4, I feel more exhausted than I have ever felt in my adult life. Yet, I continue to say “yes.” Yes, to essentially everything that strikes a passion in my children.
Our schedule right now is as “busy” as it has ever been to my knowledge, but when I’m sitting at the baseball diamond at sunset holding a toddler in a blanket cheering on his brother’s batting practice I don’t feel tiredness or busy, I feel his joy. Both of their joy.
If you have been gifted children who don’t present to be naturally and passionately drawn to something then enjoy your down time. Busyness IS NOT A COMPETITION. Somehow, as post 2000s mothers, the new way of “keeping up with the Jones'” has very little to do with material things and EVERYTHING to do with “who is the better supermom.” Supermom is not a real title. Supermom, indicates that you are entitled and think you are doing better than everyone else.
I understand that hearing this from “me” someone who keeps herself and family especially busy may seem like I’m being a hypocrite. But, here’s how the busyness of our lives actually translates from paper planner to chauffeur logistics.
Our children are involved in numerous “extracurriculars” for lack of a better term. Weekly, we have baseball (practice or game) 7 times on 5 to 6 different days. They also have rock climbing for 2 hours once per week, lego robotics class for an hour once per week, parkour gymnastics class for 1 hour per week, a full day field trip on Wednesdays, and 2 hours of cub scouts once per week.
I haven’t mentioned my own passions yet. All of the writing, videography, photo taking and blogging that I do every night from 8 to 11 pm, the shopping, menu planning, homeschooling for 25 hours per week, lesson planning, midwife appointments, volunteering, gardening, cleaning, etc.
We are “busy” by all standards. So busy, but it’s not because I’m competing in some mythological race. We are passionate people. So passionate in fact that we cannot decide what we enjoy most and for now we do not have to decide. I do not want my children to grow up and think “wow, I’m really good at this, I wish I would have pursued this when I was younger. I wonder how good I’d be at this if I had had that opportunity.”
I choose to be tired. I choose to say “yes” when our boys want to try something new so that they can explore a potential life long passion. I am busy BY CHOICE because I want to offer them the opportunities to explore anything that sets their soul a fire. They are only this little, this curious and mine for such a short amount of time.
If you are feeling too busy, if you are feeling burnt out just know that so am I and yet I’d choose this continuously. I don’t ever want our children to think that our family size is why they didn’t get to play rugby. That their little brother’s nap schedule was more important than their dreams of being an American Ninja Warrior. They were chosen for my care and therefore I’ll choose them and their passions over sleep any day.