life Parenting

still here!

August 27, 2019

I feel behind, having been swallowed up into a vortex of kids’ activities, work deadlines, student homework planners, and the like. A & C took a break from most organized activities last spring, having just moved here. They are now in about 83473 zillion things and I am not sure that was the smartest move. We spent this past weekend almost entirely on the move due to social events & activities. Is this what the next ~10 years are going to look like? I honestly don’t mind — I like to be busy and the kids just don’t do ‘hang around at home’ very well. But at the same time, I fear we have gone overboard.

Our after school calendar currently contains: art (A); ninja class (both); drama (A); piano (both, weekends); soccer (both); basketball (both, and this is on some evenings and weekends). School ends at 2 pm, so there really is quite a bit of time for them to do something after school. But what I forgot (or didn’t realize) is that when kids get older each activity tends to take more time. There are no longer just 45 minute sessions right after school, but games too. Drama programs love to throw in extra rehearsals. I will say that none of the activities are super intense — no 5x/week dance/swimming/gymnastics/etc. The soccer is just one weekly 45 minute session, not a league. They are just trying a little bit of everything that sounded fun to them.

But it’s still adding up to quite a lot. Maybe this spring I’ll tone it back down. Given the fact that we also have a toddler (who only has one activity, because I enjoy taking her to MyGym classes). Thankfully, she will not be dragged around too much (because most of the above are after school, or she will be home with a parent or our nanny). This week also contains Teacher Open House night (which Josh and I will both attend) and 2 PTA/volunteer breakfasts (one for G’s school, one for the big kids — both of which I will be skipping because I’m on call).

On the work front, I am also getting very busy. I have more ‘free time’ in that there is more flexibility to my days, but my to do list is long and sometimes feels overwhelming. I continue to feel like the role is a great fit for me, though — and at the same time, it’s stressful, because it’s so much responsibility AND it’s new!

That said, the next week will be (mostly) a return to my old work life, as I start a week of call. I am armed with a lot of childcare, and I haven’t been on call since early July, so I feel like I have the energy for it. There is an inconvenient tropical storm potentially headed our way over the weekend (when are they ever convenient!? but honestly with both parents on call, I’m not thrilled with the timing). Let’s hope it goes out to sea or at least remains firmly in the TS (and not the H) category.

fun fact, I have a cousin named Dorian!

Also, we saw Vampire Weekend! And they were fantastic. They mentioned that their last show in MIA was 6 years ago, and a quick blog check reveals it was actually 5.25 (OMG, the pic of C in that post!). I actually vividly remember going just a few months after having him because I was quite anxious about leaving him.

excellent show!

Well. G is up (6:35, not terrible) and anther full day is about to start. More (hopefully) later this week. I received my Erin Condren white boards and Hobonichis go on sale this weekend – very important topics of discussion around here 🙂

PS: Our BOBW episode this week is our 2nd birthday episode! We were hoping to have crossed 1 million downloads — and we haven’t quite yet, but we are close! What a fun adventure the pod has been – hoping for a least another 2 years!

THAT is a lot of downloads! Thank you!

10 Comments

  • Reply Claire August 27, 2019 at 7:48 am

    I am contemplating buying a Hobonichi Cousinn when sales start and would be super keen to see a brief rundown of any thoughts you have on the various covers and the full book versus the Avec. So hard to choose!

  • Reply Amy ~ Focusing on the Fabulous August 27, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Back off the activities! It’s too much for you and your husband and too much for them. You have a lot on your plate now and your sanity is important, too. The older they get, the more their brains are going to be working in school and the more homework they will have and they will need the downtime, as do you! Hang in there!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 27, 2019 at 9:09 am

    I love planners so am tempted to check out the Hobonichi ones since you rave about them. But I’ve been using a bullet journal and will get about 3 years out of my current one so I feel like it’s probably working well enough and has saved me quite a bit of money since the bullet journal is so cheap compared to planners. But maybe someday when my life is busier again (we have an 18 month old so no school/after-school activities to keep track of).

    Ufda, your kids are busy! I imagine that it’s hard to find the balance between having enough activities but not too many… We are years away from having kids with activities but that’s something I want to be really thoughtful/intentional about. Like you, my husband and I both work full time and we don’t have a nanny so I think our kids will be limited to weekend activities until they are further along in school as they’ll have to go to an after-school program. Unrelated, 2pm seems like such an early release time!!!!

    • Reply JESSICA August 29, 2019 at 9:19 am

      I’m also debating the activities. We have a lot of opportunities for fun activities that aren’t too serious, but how much is enough? Right now my boys will both play a sport on Saturday with a pretty play-friendly type league where practice and games are all in one. Then my 1st grader had a ninja/parkour class one afternoon per week. My pre-k guy does pre-kn3 days per week and the other mornings has an activity the off mornings – gymnastics and a nature class. I’m debating adding clay/ceramics class for my first grader bc he LOVED it last year but cant decide what is “enough”. That will be too evenings we would be getting home later. I work full time so i only do the scheduling of these activities, pick up on the evenings and the weekend shift. Maybe check with your cargiver on what they can handle?

      • Reply JESSICA August 29, 2019 at 9:22 am

        Whoops, didn’t mean to reply under Lisa’s thread 😉

  • Reply Omdg August 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    As you know we quit swim team this year because Dyl didn’t like it, and it was too much. She still does origami club after school (loves it) and piano, which she takes during school. We decided to keep doing swim lessons on Saturday for now, and will still do horseback riding lessons on the weekends as much as is feasible. I guess it’s kind of “a lot” but in reality origami is her only real after school activity during the week. I don’t feel like it’s too much, but I can imagine if we had multiple children it could get to be a lot quite easily. It’s ok not to have them busy all the time if it’s more convenient for you!

  • Reply Margaret August 27, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    To me that sounds like a ton of activities but then again we probably do just as much stuff just not organized (e.g. park or library after daycare, etc).

    I’m a meteorologist and LOVE that you are posting graphics from hurricanes.gov on your blog! Keep it up way to stick to official and reliable sources and not the internet rabbit hole of homegrown weather nuts.

  • Reply Liz B. August 28, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Absolutely LOVED this week’s BOBW episode! It was so fun hearing about the behind-the-scenes workings of my favorite podcast. I know it is a goal of yours to write a book, but have you and Laura ever thought of writing a book together? You both have so many planning, goal-writing, time-management, and parenting+working tips and tricks up your sleeves, it would be nice to have them in writing all in one place (as much as I love downloading and listening to BOBW episodes on repeat!).

    So excited about the Hobonichi sale this weekend!!!!

    I feel ya on the topic of being overbooked – back to school can be great in the “new beginnings” aspect, but can also be quite daunting…cheers to Quintile 4!!!

  • Reply JESSICA August 29, 2019 at 9:20 am

    I’m also debating the activities. We have a lot of opportunities for fun activities that aren’t too serious, but how much is enough? Right now my boys will both play a sport on Saturday with a pretty play-friendly type league where practice and games are all in one. Then my 1st grader had a ninja/parkour class one afternoon per week. My pre-k guy does pre-kn3 days per week and the other mornings has an activity the off mornings – gymnastics and a nature class. I’m debating adding clay/ceramics class for my first grader bc he LOVED it last year but cant decide what is “enough”. That will be too evenings we would be getting home later. I work full time so i only do the scheduling of these activities, pick up on the evenings and the weekend shift. Maybe check with your cargiver on what they can handle?

  • Reply Amanda August 29, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I’m a new mom so we aren’t into the activities quiet yet (though the number of organized things for the under one crowd is pretty surprising) but I grew up as one of three with a working mom and I think her rule (philosophy?) was great – each kid picked one activity per “season” and then there was generally something that all three of us were in at any given time (swimming, piano, etc). It was enough without being overwhelming and gave us down time for independent activities at home or play dates or spontaneous things too. As we got older (into middle and high school) we were involved in more things, but it was easier to manage with older, more independent kids.

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