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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Our Anti-Busy Life

I've been thinking a lot lately about the struggle that all of us parents have with just how involved to make our kids.  We just started our 6 year old in Cub Scouts, and we are SO excited about it (I just wish my second born could join now, too).  It's the one organization that seems to match our family's values and goals the best out of any other sport or lesson that we could have tried.

The hubs and I have struggled ever since having kids with the balance of just how involved to make them.  There are SOOOO many things that kids can do, starting during infancy and continuing on indefinitely.  There are a ton of very good activities and worthy pursuits, but they all beg for your precious spare time, focus, and hard-earned money.

So somewhere along the way Michael and I decided that for us any pressure we feel to be overly-involved is just that wonderful, all-American desire within us to keep up with those Joneses.  You know how it is:  Sally has her 4 kids in 2 sports each, music lessons, and is on the PTA board, so I should definitely be able to fit in another sport here or there since Sally seems to be able to juggle it all so well.  Plus, she probably totally thinks I'm lazy and don't love my kids as much.  

It's a horrible trap to get into on any level, and I just hate when I fall into it.  It's never worth it.

Now that doesn't mean that we don't allow our kids to be a part of anything.  (We've done a load of swim lessons, T-ball, soccer, and, like I said, we just started Cub Scouts.)  It just means that as a part of our goal setting and defining our values, we try to see which of those activities will serve our family (and the individuals in it) well and which don't.

We're constantly having to reevaluate things as the start of each new season begins and signups for the dozens of sports and whatnot loom around every corner.  But I tell ya what, being less busy but more purposeful is so much more fulfilling for me than being crazy busy and flailing.  And I would argue that the kids seem to thrive more on purpose rather than impulse.  

What do you think?  Do you feel even the slightest tinge of pressure to keep up with all of the busyness out there?  If not, how do you stay intentional in your family's pursuits? 

1 comment :

  1. I couldn't agree more with your post today! As parents we too fall prey to the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality and I know that we have had a conversation or two on how busy to keep our child. It's almost as if living the less busy more purposeful life as you put it, keeps our children at a disadvantage to all the other Sally's and Joe's that are starting sports at the age of 3 and going to 4-5 practices a week by the time they are 6. It's a constant reevaluating of what's best and what's not productive for our kids. It sounds like you are on the right path and I enjoyed your post! It's nice to know that we aren't the only ones feeling this way.

    Beth :)

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