Wednesday, March 26, 2014

our normal ...

Swim.
Dance.
Ukulele.
Soccer.

Six days a week, I spend hours devoted to shuttling my kids from one activity to the next. Occasionally, we spend our entire day sitting on a pool deck. Or the soccer field. Or in the audience of a theater. And on the really painful days, we are so busy that I don't get to see any of it. Instead, I drop off one kid, only to get back in my car to pick up another. It's hectic. It's chaotic. It's our normal.

I'm confident that there are people who look at us and think, "That family is crazy. Always jumping from one thing to the next." And I'm sure that's what it looks like. But actually, we are quite focused. Our lives are scheduled and organized and I can say without a doubt that my kids love every second of it.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure it would be fabulous to not run around like mad men every afternoon. And I know my wallet would love all the money we would save if we cut out these extracurriculars. But, ultimately, it is our children's choice to do these things (and trust me, we say no to a lot of other things they want to join). They are finding things they can be passionate about. Things that keep them engaged and that bolster their self confidence. Things they really want to do now and things they talk about continuing as they age - a fact that lets me know we are making the right decision for our kids.

I've learned over the years that as much as you may try to escape it, you ultimately end up parenting a lot like you were parented. Patterns repeat themselves. J and I played sports from a young age. We were academic overachievers from day one. We learned the importance of practice, hard work and commitment early on.

Now, all these years later, I see the same things happening with our children. The characteristics of our youth that we fondly look back on are the ones we foster in our girls. We take pride in their competitive drive. We encourage them to push through when things get tough. We preach about commitment in all aspects of your lives, whether it be in athletics, academics or friendship. They are learning life lessons every time they step out onto the field, jump into the pool or perform in front of an audience. And they are learning even more about themselves in all the moments in between - in the moments when no one is watching.

Yes, we live a life that's hectic and chaotic and perhaps, even overscheduled. Sure, life could be simpler and less stressful. And I know there are a thousand other ways to go about raising your family. But, those other ways just aren't what we are about. This life is what we want. It's our normal.

2 comments:

Cook.Clean.RUN.Dream said...

I enjoy hearing about the raising of your girls. I have 4 kids (oldest is 16 and disabled, my only daughter. Then I have 3 boys closer to your girls ages). Anyway, I feel like I constantly struggle finding balance. I work full time, training for a marathon and trying to juggle motherhood with one of my children who constantly struggles in school. To make a long comment shorter, what is your homework routine?? Including, homework papers, spelling test practice, nightly reading? And how do you juggle it with three at the same time? Lastly, I've just been wondering, I thought you said awhile back that you were going to homeschool your kids, what changed your mind?

6 Pack Momma said...

I parent almost nothing like my parents did, but that is neither good or bad. I think they still did a great job & set some kind of great foundation for me to be able to rock parenting my 6 kids.


Anyway, I have 6....2 in high school, 2 in jr. high & 2 in elementary so I completely understand! I enjoy reading about how you are balancing it all. When I read your posts I'm just shaking my head....yep, yep, yep!