So Spring is here, and we have so many things to look forward to. Warmer weather, flowers blooming, leaves on the trees, and for the parents, spring sports. Spring marks the start of baseball season, a new soccer season, and lacrosse as well. My child, who is in first grade, will be doing baseball and we just got our practice schedule which rotates every week so that practice doesn’t run on a certain day of the week on a regular basis. Now for the stay at home moms and part-time moms with flexible schedules (like myself) this isn’t a huge issue, but what about the full-time moms (or dads) that need to get out early to take their child to practice? Is it really that easy to get out early one day a week and have it be a different day each week? Do they go in earlier to leave earlier? Do they have to make up the extra hour or two at the end of the week? Do they have to take it from vacation time? Do they have a helpful neighbor? Do they pay someone to take the kids to practice?
Taking all of this into account, I only have one child, but the average family (in my town) has 3. Now you have this practice schedule times 3 and if the schedules are rotating, which is not the case for all sports, then is it better for you to have all of your kids practicing at the same time or better if they have practice at different times? Again, do you get help from neighbors and other parents? Do you and the spouse split them up?
Now, this is only talking about sports, but there are so many other extracurricular activities to schedule such as piano, dance, language, gymnastics, and the list goes on and on. There are so many options for kids, and I know for myself, I want my child to have a taste of everything so that when it comes time for middle school and high school, he’ll be able to choose for himself what he truly loves and enjoys (although he will take Spanish whether he likes it or not). I also have my husband to keep me inline when I over- schedule my son, which although unintentional, has happened in the past.
Regardless of how much there is to do, and how much we want them to learn, I do believe they need socialization and free time to play at the park with their friends. There is no charge, no uniform required, no scheduled time to be there and it’s nice for the parents to stop, take a deep breath and enjoy being there with them, even if it’s just to catch up with the other parents and watch the kids run around. The laundry may pile up, and you may have leftovers for dinner, but spring is going to fly by so enjoy it! Summer will be here before you know it and I won’t even get into the summer activities until my next blog.