Hitting the Extra-Curricular Wall

Molly and Grace’s recital dress rehearsal from 4 years ago.
We’re hitting that extra-curricular wall.  It happens every time.  But my heart denies that it will.  At the end of the summer I want them to do all the things, and not narrow their interests.  I always think “this year will be different.  We will be organized.”  And then this year I had the brilliant idea of moving things away from weeknights and onto the weekends.  That way we won’t have all the rushing around and coordinating to do, plus late nights during the week.  Weekdays will be for play dates, homework, and baths.  It will be easy she (my inner, stupider me) said.
It’s Friday night and I am sitting in a Tim Horton’s typing this while Grace is at dance class, and we are staring down the barrel of a long weekend of chauffeuring the kids.  And I’m tired.  I think it’s the cold weather.  I just want to hibernate with books and coffee, not drive around the city, and pack SATURDAY lunches.  “Oh gee Tara, packing 6 lunch bags a day 5 days a week (OMG that’s 30 lunch bags – I think I might qualify for franchising deductions or something), let’s add a sixth day into the mix.
All 3 are in dance classes and swimming lessons; Grace is also in volleyball and Brownies (and she wanted to do gymnastics, but my good senses (and my smoking credit card) finally kicked in and shut that down); and Maggie has 3 hours of speech on the weekends.  I read all the articles that said that kids shouldn’t be over-scheduled, and I have mostly listened to that for Molly and Grace because I know they need a lot of home time to decompress, and to do science experiments.  I may regret this free time allotment when Molly blows up my garage.
But Grace begs to do the activities, and she has endless energy, and gets herself ready in a flash so it’s not a nightmare trying to get her to go to the activities.  So I say yes.  She is also my social butterfly and doesn’t want to miss all the fun with her friends.  She has a lot on her plate at home, so I say yes.  She seems to be doing well.  Her bedroom is another story – I think she was Dorothy for Halloween just so that she could use a tornado to explain the state of her room.

What is your philosophy for extra-curriculars?  Do you pile them on, or show some restraint?  And how does that relate to how you grew up?  Also have you hit the wall yet and want to hide in your bed instead of being the sports shuttle?  I don’t even know how hockey moms or competitive anything moms do it – tell me your secrets!!


  1. says

    Tara, Hubby and I are having this discussion tonight as we just received our daughter’s hockey game schedule which conflicts with our already scheduled time for piano and voice (our other daughter does voice). It’s so tough to try to let them try things and find what they love but balance that with sanity, money and parent work schedules… there is no easy answer!!! Sigh…

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