Wednesday, June 17, 2009

busy busy

It's the baby boomers who did this to us. They are the ones who took on as their responsibility the fulfillment their children's every potential, who micromanaged them, who hustled them from violin to scouts to karate, who supervised homework and television watching and friends. I taught the first wave of these kids at Elon and it's not pretty. They have never made a decision in their lives, have never had time to be bored, have never found success on their own. They've always been supervised. What this means as far as college is that once away from their parents, they go C-R-A-Z-Y.

So now generation x is parenting and having all these activities is not our parenting style, but they've been implemented and it's difficult to fight. I mean, I could just keep my kids home rather than doing toddler preschool and music class and gymnastics, but it's not like Frances can just go out and play with the neighbors because none of them are home; they're all at soccer and piano and swimming lessons. Trying to schedule a playdate is just absurd. Everyone looks at the calendar and finally we find 2 hours two weeks from next Friday. And both our kids are under 3!

I have this other issue, which is naps. The downside of having two kids under three is that eighteen hours out of 24 someone is asleep. (well, that's also an upside, but not what this post is about.) Clark still naps twice a day though he'll no longer do it on the go, and Frances has a long afternoon nap as well. What this means is that we don't have much time to leave the house, very little time for groceries or gym or playdates. Wanna guess what falls by the wayside? Playdates, which is my social time. It's a sad situation and today I nearly forfeited my zumba class at the gym (SO much fun as far as exercise goes) to go to a friend's to play (kids) and visit (grownups). Sometimes I feel like I'm making a mistake being so rigid with their schedules, but other times it's very clear to me why I do this. It does keep everything running smoothly. I keep reminding myself that soon Clark will outgrow the two naps and an entire morning will open up before us. BUT even when it does open up, am I going to be obligated to fill those mornings with activities??? I want to fight this deluge of busyness, but so far I don't know how.


Paige said...

I totally know what you mean! Between M and O's naps, we really can only go out after 3 and we need to be home a bit before 5. Reread Playful Parenting - maybe some words of wisdom in there re overscheduling. My feeling is to fight it, but I can feel the pull already. And I've definitely taken Ozzy to the park against his will so that I could have some adult/other mommy conversation.

Cali said...

I guess one of the big problems with so much activity is that it makes time feel like it's flying by. Can't we just hang in the yard with our feet in the kiddie pool while our kids splash and run around? But, given the state of things, we'd be doing that alone... no neighbors or friends stopping by, no one home to chat with on the phone. Instead we schedule.