Let me introduce you to my kiddos…Sawyer is 7 (2nd grade), Knox is 4 (pre-K), and Thea is 2. Ryan and I were married almost 7 years before Sawyer was born. We had a lot of married time together. Most days we wonder what in the world we did before we had kids.
Before Sawyer was born we decided that we would make it a standard that no matter how many kids we had we would only allow them to be involved in one activity at a time. Totally easier said than done. Things were pretty easy until Knox got a little older and then came Thea. At this point my momma brain is getting pretty fried. If you remember a major part of the year I get to solo parent. We pretty much stuck to our one activity rule until last year. At one point Sawyer was playing tennis and baseball and Knox was participating in Karate twice a week.
Now I know there are many people out there who have more kids than me and they are ALL involved in something(s). I also know that soon I will have 3 kids participating in activities. But at this point I was becoming overwhelmed. When you factor in all of the day-to-day responsibilities, my extra activities, church, work, school, and kid’s activities I was hitting the breaking point. All of which helped me spiral out of control when I had the blow up with Ryan I mentioned in day 1.
This summer I began praying about what to do this fall with the kid’s activities. The options…
Sawyer: baseball, flag football, music lessons, nothing
Knox: Karate, gymnastics, nothing
Thea: dance, nothing
In my heart I knew our family needed a break and to remember how to be content at home. I also knew second grade was going to be a little harder for Sawyer, this was my last year to have Knox at home before Kindergarten, and Thea is just 2!!!
When you’re in the Word it’s not too difficult to know where God is leading you. You may not have the big picture answer but the steps along the way become clear. It was clear that we needed to minimize what the kids were going to participate in. The decision, drum roll, Sawyer would only play fall baseball through October, Knox would finish Karate in September and not add anything new through the end of the year, and Thea would not dance.
It was extremely hard to say no to the other things. They were all good and fun and we enjoyed them, but it wasn’t worth sacrificing our sanity to fill our schedules and leave no room for re-fueling. I and the crazies (my pet name for the kids) needed refueling.
I’m not saying this should be every family’s standard with their kids. I’m not saying it will always stay this way for us. What I am saying is it’s been a LONG time since I’ve felt this rested, this calm, this invested in my kids, this connected to Ryan, this excited to just BE at home, this open in our schedule to do things that are unexpected (like a REND COLLECTIVE concert), this available to minister to others.
There’s not a single mold to fit Jesus following families of the world. We are all different and have different capacities to serve. Look at your kid’s activities. Are they completely draining you and them? Are they really worth the cost (not just monetary)? Are you fulfilling your role as servants for Christ? These are the questions I have to constantly ask myself.