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I was truly confronted by the madness of it all when we were chatting to friends (with a similar number /age of kids) during the holidays about our timetable. We were talking about what happened each afternoon of the week in terms of carting the kids around. Our friend said, "Well, our afternoons are pretty quiet because we have a lot on in the mornings before school". I laughed. "Oh, we haven't even started talking about the mornings yet. They're completely full too". It was in that moment I suddenly thought, 'WHAT are we doing?!'. I actually felt embarrassed to admit it all.
Do you want all the details of our timetable? I don't think so - I feel tired just thinking about it. But let's just say that there was only one morning a week (Tuesdays) where noone had to be at anything before school and there was something on every afternoon after school and often going until 7ish at night. Obviously it didn't involve every child, but if three kids had piano lessons, the younger two had to be there too. And this was a normal week. Throw in a concert or two, getting them to extra rehearsals or an unusual venue and it all became an insane juggle.
Saturday mornings have either been tennis in summer or netball in the winter. Then church on Sunday mornings. I should have been listening more carefully when my 9 year old son said that he didn't want to do tennis because then he'd have to be up and going for something every morning of the week. Wise man. I wonder if I've been pushing an extrovert's timetable onto a group of (mostly) introverted people who need more recovery and downtime.
And this is all before any homework, music practice or sleep has happened.
Anyway, I'm over it. We're all over it. Now I'm working up the courage to start saying no as the school year gets started.