Three Ways to Cope with “Binge Activity Syndrome”

It’s 4pm.  If I leave the office right this moment, I will get to the kid’s school for their late dismissal. 

Shit – there is traffic.  Hopefully this teacher will take pity on me and not yell at me when I walk in late.

Phew! Arrived just in time to pick up my smiling artist children.  “We love this art program Mommy.  Look at what I created.” 

Mental Note – buy another BIG plastic bin from Target to house additional influx of art work that I will have no idea what to do with.

Off in the car we go.  Snacks and drinks consumed as we make it just in time to change for swim and baseball. 

Reach swim in time and rendezvous with the Hubby for child-swap off.

One conference call during practice and respond to emails before off to meet up with Hubby and second child.

Yeah for a base hit – game over and into the car we pile.  It’s time to go home for dinner and bed!

photo(18)For those of you with multiple kids, this routine is common place for you.  In fact, you can coordinate and execute this in your sleep.  However, without fail – there are those who simply shake their head in disgust for being so overbooked and scheduled.  In the times BC (before children), I was one of these head shakers.  But today, I apologize to all those who I mocked.  The fact of the matter is that these days, having kids involved in sports or the arts or community-focused activities takes a committment from both child and parent(s).   And when you have multiple kids, the activities only increase.

As children get older, so does their committment requirement.  Most sports have up to two games and one practice per week.  Have two children both participating in sports or activities and you can have up to six places to be in seven days.  And most often, there is overlap.

Burn-out and scheduling mishaps are bound to happen.  In fact, I have succumb to an illness I like to call, “binge activity syndrome”.  As of today, there is no cure, but we do have a remedy – rule if you will – that helps:

One sport or activity per kid per season and God help you if you try to join anything else!

It works for my family and so I share this with you.  3 Ways to Cope with Binge Activity Syndrome:

  1. Those of you about to embark on the after school activity journey, set up a limit that you can handle without going nuts.
  2. Carpool.  Carpool.  Carpool.   When the children reach around the age of 8, a drop off one way with a fellow parent scheduled for pick up the other way can free up time and hassle.
  3. Write EVERYTHING down.  Put all activity schedules in one calendar along with personal and work commitments and share it with your spouse or helper.  Hubby and I use Google calendar and sync our accounts.  Two sets of eyes are better than one and we have an idea of what is in store in the weeks to come.

Most of all, enjoy the absolute absurdity of it all.  Granted our kids will not be in the major leagues or dancing on broadway or competing in the next Olympics.  But they will gain confidence, friends, determination and lots of memories.  One day – I am sure – we will come home after work to an empty house and have not one activity to drive, carpool or cheer to make.  Serve your time now and just enjoy it!

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