With the impending arrival of Giraffe, I have had moments of ” How Am I going to juggle 3 different schedules?” Both Ally and Max do Kindermusik together on Mondays and swim classes on Wednesdays. Ally has an additional gym class on Tuesdays and the rest of the week we are free. We never do any classes on weekends simply because I hate to battle the weekend crowds. It might not seem like a lot but bear in mind they are only 4 and 2. I know children who have an enrichment class every afternoon of the week, I’m sure their parents have their best intentions in mind but does childhood really need to be all that structured?
As it is, Ally attends school 5 mornings a week, 3 hours each day. It may seem like play to us adults and mostly it is but I know she comes back tired after each school day. I schedule her activities later in the afternoon so that she has a chance to take a nap. Right now she seems to be showing a keen interest in dance, and yes, I could fit in a dance class for her since we’re free Thursday to Sunday but that would mean dragging the other 2 kids to yet another class. The solution? She either drops one activity and replaces it with dance or she waits till she’s 7 and takes it up as an after school activity. Truthfully, I’m quite happy for her to wait.
She’s at the age now where she wants to try everything, she wants violin lessons, dance lessons, horse riding lessons…. the list goes on and on. Not only does it all add up, it takes a toll on the entire family. It means having to drive her here and there, it means her siblings have to tag along and wait for her to finish class. I know some families can deal with that, I can’t. I need down time and I need afternoons where we have nothing scheduled so that we can jump into the car and head to the park if the weather is nice or just go out for ice cream if we feel like it. On days where the children have no afternoon classes, I feel so much more relaxed.
As Max grows older he’ll want to pursue his own interests as well. Logistically it’s easier to put him in classes that Ally is already doing, like gym but if his interest isn’t there then there’s no point as well. Due to their close age gap, I’m always on the look out for sibling rivalry especially if they take up the same activity. Thankfully they are usually in different classes so that’s avoided for now, and them being different genders helps as well.