We were careful to limit her activities so the family did not get too overwhelmed. Then school and Girl Scouts started and we cautiously upped it to two. Girl Scouts and one sport at a time. She chose soccer, mostly, and things were fairly calm.
A full decade and 3 kids later, we still have the same rules — no more than two activities at a time. It sounds reasonable and leaves each kid plenty of time for free play and homework. Except that 2 activities times 4 kids equals something different every, single day.
Right now it’s volleyball and softball for the tween, breakdancing for the boy, and soccer for the kid. Next we’ll add basketball and Girl Scouts. By spring, we’re back to softball, baseball, and maybe track. We also made an exception for band every other week — after all it’s only twice a month, for 45 minutes after school.
And that’s when it spiraled out of control. One small, selfish exception (this band geek really wanted her kids to play*) has turned into “But it’s just twice a month, Mom!” Which is why the tween is now in student council. How do you say no to “It will look really good on college applications, Mom!”?
For now, our day to day schedule looks a little like this:
Monday: Volleyball for the tween; Band for the boy (sometimes)
Tuesday: Softball for the tween; Girl Scouts for two
Wednesday: Library Council for the teen; Soccer for the kid
Thursday: Softball and band or student council for the tween
Friday: Breakdancing for the boy
Saturday/Sunday: Sportsball games; Girl Scout field trips
And that’s the story of how I live in my car.
*Also? She chose the tuba. The tuba! Who wouldn’t want to see a tiny 10-year-old carry around a tuba!