HOW do children these days find time to just be kids?
With so many extracurricular options available, children are involved in multiple sports, clubs or groups, playing instruments and taking dance, singing or art lessons.
Never mind the kids, where do their parents find the time?
I am a working mother and it’s a struggle just to get mine to swimming lessons and dancing on time.
I have told my girls they can do two extracurricular activities a week and one has to be swimming (for obvious reasons).
The other is their choice.
But they are constantly asking me if they can also do gymnastics, soccer, Little Athletics, hockey and the list goes on.
I’m all for my girls being active and involved, but there is seriously not enough time in the week where we could fit it all in, let alone paying for it all.
By the time I finish work, pick up the girls, get home and help them with homework, it is
time for dinner and then bedtime.
Because, if my girls are not in bed by 8.30pm, it is emotional chaos the next morning.
I guess it is easier for stay-at-home parents.
My mother was one, but I still don’t know how she managed to get just me to all my sports.
At one stage, as best I can recall, I was doing judo, gymnastics, softball and dancing at the same time.
She must have spent every afternoon just driving me places. Never mind my two sisters.
In the end, I had to quit a sport because it became too much.
Not just for Mum, but for me too.
Although I loved competitive sport, I also enjoyed family time and needed time to relax
and unwind after school.
Mucking around with my sisters, going for a bike ride with friends, swimming in the
pool or sometimes just being on my own and reading a book or writing in my diary (which
is hilarious reading now).
I think that’s important for children.
They already spend six hours of the day being physically and mentally challenged at
school and then they are made to do more work at home (don’t even get me started on
They also need wind-down time – and be allowed to be kids.
Kids these days are expected to be good at everything and are constantly striving to be the
best and beat the best.
But it’s not sustainable. They will end up burning out and putting impossible expectations on themselves.
I know, because I did.
Life isn’t all about achieving, achieving and over-achieving all the time.
I know; I have to keep reminding myself.
Sometimes, you just have to stop and smell and the roses.