Overscheduled or Overhyped?


April 15, 2011 by themommahen


I said I wouldn’t do it. I shook my head at those who did. And now I’ve done it. Wednesday tumbling, Thursday tee ball, Friday playgroup, Saturday soccer. And my kids are only 3 and 5. (and 6 months, but so far he’s not signed up for anything. Oh wait, yes he is in a sense because he gets hauled around to everything his big brother and sister do.)

I said I wouldn’t be that kind of parent. (Oh the things I said that about. Ha!) And the truth is, it just happened. When we lived in Chicago, we did everything through the Park District. It was cheap, close and pretty laid-back (except for the registration period, which was crrraaaazzzzzyyyy). If the kids didn’t feel like going one day, no biggie. At the time of our big move, they were doing soccer, tumbling and playgroup. Soccer was once a week, tumbling was twice and playgroup was Tu-Fri but completely optional and something we/our nanny did with the kids when we wanted to get out of the house in the mornings. (Picture a gym full of toys for kids from 6 mos-5. Awesome in the winter months.)

So then we were a few weeks from moving and the conversation with my then 4yo girl and then 2yo boy went something like this:

Girl: Mommy, when we move, can we still play soccer?

Me: I’m sure we can find a soccer team for you to play on.

Girl: What about tumbling?

Me: I will look and see if there’s tumbling down there that you can get into.

Girl: And playgroup?

Boy (realizing what was going on and jumping in with a very serious look on his face) : Yeah, and playgroup?

Me: I’m not sure if there’s a playgroup like y’all do, but I will look around.

Girl: I really, really, super-duper want to play soccer and do tumbling because I will really really miss it. And I’m going to miss my friends and my school and I’m never going to make new friends and…

Me (my Momma Hen completely awoken): I PROMISE you I will find a soccer team, a tumbling class and a playgroup. I will personally make sure that you have the best, most perfect friends in the history of friends and I will find fairies and leprechauns to play with you too, complete with a supply of pixie dust and a pot of gold. Anything at all you want, your father and I will get because we are SO SORRY that we are turning your world upside down.

Okay, so that last part, I didn’t really say, but you get my drift. Finding a couple of teams and classes was the least I could do. And then today I saw this article, which made me feel a little better, at least.

So I found the activities, and they’re great. Except the boy turned three and the bashful fairy visited him on his birthday, dropping off a heaping helping of shyness. Shortly after he decided to end his tumbling career and can only occasionally be bribed to participate in soccer with the end-of-practice snack.

The girl, on the other hand, is happy as a little lark. But she keeps asking me about the fairies and leprechauns.

So what’s your take on the overschedule debate? Are we putting too much on our kids or is it just one more thing us Momma Hens and Daddy Roos have to worry about?

4 thoughts on “Overscheduled or Overhyped?

  1. Anonymous says:

    We are, just this very weekend, starting Ez’s first scheduled activity: swim lessons. And I did get up and get in line AT 5:30 IN THE MORNING to get him registered for said lessons (if that doesn’t make you feel like a crazy mom I don’t know what will).

    But so far that is all. I am *praying* that he doesn’t get interested in baseball because if I end up spending all my weekends at baseball tournaments in Kansas I’m going to be pissed.

  2. Larisa Spillman says:

    Corinna, I feel ya. I used to be a crazy momma on park district registration mornings. For tee ball, some parents would CAMP OUT. Needless to say, this season is the first we've played tee ball. I giggled at your comment about baseball tournaments. Is Kansas the only place they play baseball out there? 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think they play baseball here in Denver too. But all the parents I know whose kids get very involved in baseball end up spending their weekends in annoying places. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for chess club.

  4. […] Forget whether you think this is healthy or not, good for them or not, or whatever. I just don’t know how to expose my kids to all the activities or sports that are out there, without overloading them or pushing them in a direction they don’t want to go. […]

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