This post has also been published on the Today Show Parenting Blog.
More and more often these, I’m realizing that I don’t want more. I don’t want my kid to spend more time at the baseball field. I don’t want my kid to spend more time at gymnastics.
And no, I do not think that MORE is always better. Let me explain why I don’t want more.
With 4 active kids, we already do a lot. Many families already do a lot. We have school, sports, after-school activities, student council, Girl Scouts, volunteering and after you add in homework and downtime, our schedule is booked solid. My husband and I are just like most parents out there, trying to juggle a job, volunteering at said sports and after-school activities, and driving all over God’s green Earth trying to not be late. There never seems be be enough time.
However, we do try to make sure that we are not TOO BUSY. My oldest kids are 12 & 13. They have started to get the hang of the sports that they play. And you know what?! They are pretty good too! But why is it that the moment you have a kid that is “good” at something, there’s always someone who is going to say that they think the kid should “do more.”
I think it is fabulous that my kids are good. And yes, there are some kids that are REALLY good! And yes, they might have a chance to “make it.” (What does that actually mean BTW.) I was good. But do my kids really need more? More time at the baseball field or in the gym? More practices? More tournaments? Should I be spending more money on these “teams” so that they can what? Play in college? I AM NOT SURE WHAT WE ARE HAVING FOR DINNER ON TUESDAY MUCH LESS WHAT MY CHILD WILL BE DOING IN 8 YEARS!!! More, more, more, more. For us, it’s not what we want- and yes, I have asked my kids, and it’s not what they want either.
But here is where I draw the line. I don’t want more. I don’t think my kids need more. I am really happy with a two day practice- NOT FIVE DAYS A WEEK! This is not a job and my kids don’t need a job. They are kids. And that is that. I am really happy that we might have ONE game on a weekend, NOT 7. I am really happy that my family has time to walk to the park on a Saturday night or go the the farmers market on a Sunday morning. My kids are really happy that they get to relax on the weekends and not rush to the fields at 7am. But that is what makes us happy and I don’t need anyone telling me that my kids “need more.”
You know what I REALLY want more of? I want more time with my family. I want more time for my kids to be kids. I want more time for my kids to explore the world and find new things that they are interested in. I want more time to just be.
So to the person who told me “I think that the kids need more.” You are wrong. I know my family and my kids best. We don’t need more. And we don’t want more. We were just fine with taking classes, being a part of a team, making friends and having a good time getting some heatlhy exercise all with HUGE smiles on their faces. THAT is what I want more of. THIS.
This is dedicated to all the parents and teachers who have been my village for the past 11 years. You made our lives wonderful and complete. Thank you for being such a huge and wonderful part of our lives. I am sad that it is ending, but I guess… all good things must come to an end. And to The Melendi Family- my words cannot express the gratitude that I have for your entire family. Thank you for loving my daughters and these children endlessly. xoxo