Kids Activities in Your Super Busy Life

I observed two moms at a child’s birthday party who were complaining to each other about their super busy lives. Of course, you must know how hard it is for me to restrain myself from jumping in to help! No one asked for my help, so I respected that.

Both moms have 3 children involved in a number of activities. One mom works part-time from her home and the other mom runs a (very) full-time family daycare business from her home 10-11 hours each day, Monday thru Friday. Both moms each have a husband who travels at least occasionally for business.

One of the moms was so exhausted by last Thursday (her husband was on the road) that after the daycare kids went home, her kids went to CCD, they came home and had dinner, got homework done, she was physically unable to get two of her sons to soccer practice at two different places in different sides of town. The practices are scheduled on at least 2 weeknights until 9 or 10 pm, depending on the kid. This mom is up each morning by 5:30 am. Her boys are up at 6:30 and 7. Although the boys were upset about missing practice, she knew she had to stop the insanity; she was so exhausted that she could barely keep her eyes open, never mind drive each boy across town and pick them up later in the evening. She rarely, if ever, says no to her kids activities, but this time, she said that she pretty much had no choice!

The other mom explained how she was always multi-tasking to get done as much as possible but yet never seemed to feel that she was accomplishing enough. She told about how difficult it is for her to just watch her kids play ball and how she often brought other things to do with her so she didn’t feel guilty for just ‘sitting there’. Oddly enough, during the same conversation she joked about how someday she’d probably look back and regret that she didn’t really watch the game or connect with how her kids were playing.

In both cases, these super busy moms have a lot on their plate, maybe too much (but that’s not for me or you to decide!). I wonder if they would’ve learning anything by observing themselves in this conversation, if they would’ve done things differently, what advice they would have given themselves if they were the listener or observer.

I think it’s important to assess the activities that we and our kids are involved in. I often check with the coach or other representative even before signing up for something, to learn more about the practice and game schedule, travel involved, other expected commitments, the costs, and any other details I can find out. I let them know up-front about any potential conflicts I expect and how this might effect my child, the team, or themselves. Although I can’t possibly plan or anticipate everything, this cuts down on quite a bit. I also have my children choose an activity per season so that we can see how it works into the existing schedule. If it fits, we consider it, but if not, there’s more assessment necessary or the decision is made that they won’t participate in the new activity. I try really hard not to get caught up in the thinking that my kids must participate at the ‘extreme’ level or they won’t get onto the HS teams or into a good college. Consciously choosing activities based on the information we can consider helps us make better informed decisions.

Being really honest with yourself, your spouse, and your kids about your limits (and theirs) is critical for your sanity and well-being. Over-committing is never a good solution for anyone!

Best regards,

Coach Natalie

About The PriorityPro
Natalie Gahrmann, an international expert, empowers professional women to ignite their passion, demonstrate personal leadership and exude greater confidence. Her background in business acumen and leadership development is instinctively applied through 1-1 coaching, workshops and keynote presentations. She can help you gain clarity, focus and direction so that you accomplish more of what's important to YOU!

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