Monday, April 27, 2009

Down Time for Dad

I do my best to keep my kids involved in activities and learning. I keep them in Scouts because it teaches them good social values and more. I take them to museums to see new things and to expand their horizons. I take them to school events, sports events and parades.

How busy we have been has crept up on us slowly. At first they were participating in Awanas on Wednesday nights. Then my daughter was old enough to join Brownies so I helped start a troop so she could attend. The next year my son was old enough to join Cub Scouts so all of a sudden we had three nights a week where we had activities.

Recently I decided that they needed more exercise and to learn to participate as part of a team. I decided to sign them up for soccer. I have a girl and a boy, a year apart, and didn't think much of it. I heard howls of discontent from them but told them they needed the experience. I told them this year they don't have a choice but next year they can choose to continue. After their first game they were excited to play soccer.

The worst of it for me was that I hadn't realized I was near my full capacity when I signed them up. Between two nights of Scouts, a night of Awanas, and now two soccer practices through the week and two soccer games on the weekend, I am beat. But I still have to fit in two jobs and housework.

Through the week I get only an hour and a half of "me time" on Wednesday night while they are at Awanas. I have slowed down the activities we do on the weekends they are here because I need a little bit of rest. On the weekends they are gone I now sit around the house and do basically nothing. Kind of like a slug, but with even less action. I need the time to rest and get ready for another two weeks of activity.

We as parents want to make sure our kids are involved, learn about community spirit, learn about life and about people, and in general turn out to be good kids. But doing that can wipe us out. We have to balance our needs against what we're doing for the kids.

Dual parents can take turns shuttling the kids to activities or watching them at home but they have to make sure to make time for themselves as a couple as well. I have heard of parents in the neighborhood trading off babysitting as well.

How do you other parents, especially single ones, handle it? Have you tried something to give yourself some time?

No comments:

Post a Comment