As I sit at yet another extra curricular activity, this time karate, I can’t quite understand how we got so busy.
Between the two eldest boys we have something on pretty much every day.
And it’s only going to get worse
It’s something I didn’t really consider when the children were little. Things fit nicely into the mornings when my husband was at work. Baby groups. Toddler sessions. Baby swimming.
There was no rush. No fitting things around school.
Now we have Mad Science on a Sunday. Karate for the eldest on a Monday and Wednesday. Karate for the middle one on a Tuesday. Beavers on a Thursday. And swimming on a Saturday. Squash lessons. Tennis lessons. Gymnastics. Running races with the QRS. We’ve done a few different classes, activities, sports and had to narrow it down.
Constant ferrying them around, and throwing money at various enterprises. Not to mention the time they want to go tearing around on their bikes, heading to see their friends. Roaming the compound.
The problem is the dreams seem to change on an almost daily basis. From becoming the next Karate Kid to being the fastest around the compound on my bike. And it is normally after I have paid out for a term, complete with necessary equipment
I don’t want to do karate anymore. I don’t like karate. Karate is stupid.
Oh no you don’t my boy.
You follow your dream for the time I’ve paid for sure. We don’t quit part way through when you were adamant you were going to be the next karate kid, one who Mr Miyagi would be proud to teach.
Therein lies my problem
How much is too much?
Is dragging them week by week to something they profess to hate a good thing? Will it teach them not to give up?
What about those non-negotiables, the one thing I insist on is swimming lessons. Do we take those away so they can do more of what they love? Like squash? More science? Gymnastic? Reading??!
And the fact that I believe that these lessons that they choose to do enhance their learning. That it is important for them to learn a sport, that sports are fun. I believe in the discipline of martial arts, the importance of making STEM fun, the need to swim, learning how to compete against yourself in running.
Which in turn I guess answers my questions.
Enough is enough I guess – and having them make the choice on what they cannot be without ensures that we don’t do too much.
But still. As I pile into the car to head to another karate session, down to the pool to swim, across to beavers, to the squash court, I heave a sigh and wonder what life will be like when all three of them want to do something….