My girls just turned six. To cruise around my friends’ pictures on Facebook, those who have similar-age children (or younger), I have to question if my kiddos are missing out on something.
I see pictures from dance recitals, piano lessons, gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer, and basketball. And my mouth is watering these days at all the pictures of kiddos selling Girl Scout cookies.
Our girls have experienced very little of that.
They’ve taken swim lessons the past three summers. The first summer they didn’t exactly love it, but they’ve had a great time the past two years. And the summer when they were four, they took a two-month tumbling class and had a great time.
It’s certainly not that I’m opposed to them participating in activities, but, as I’ve stepped back to assess our history to date, I feel fiercely protective of their time, and of our time as a family.
The girls are now in kindergarten, and our Monday-Friday are jam-packed. Their daddy is a teacher, so they come home with him after school. After a snack and a little play time with the kitties, they’re often just finishing up “homework” when I come home around 5:30. I rush to get supper on the table, and we are usually finishing our meal shortly after 6:00. If we’re lucky, we have time for a game or a book or two before we begin our bedtime routine at 6:30.
(Yes, our girls are in bed by 7:00! They seem to require 11 1/2 – 12 hours of sleep!)
On the weekends, I try to balance getting family errands done (groceries and laundry and cooking ahead) with hanging out with the girls. If the weather is nice, we love to go to the park. We try to head to the zoo or children’s museum every 6 weeks or so. And I block off plenty of time for unstructured play at home, and crafting, and reading, and snuggles.
These days, I just don’t see where we’d put a practice or two a week and games/events on the weekends.
I think our girls’ schedules are plenty packed as they are, and I have strongly mixed feelings about introducing anything else into the mix. Still, I can’t help but question if I’m providing them with appropriate access to trying different activities.
HELP!!! Are my kiddos “missing out” at this age? Does this get easier as kiddos get older (and don’t go to bed so early)? How does your family prioritize activities?
MandyE is mom to six-year old fraternal twin girls. She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.