|How can you not buy a cookie from a kid with a smile like this?|
Wow. It has been really busy.
In the beginning of the year, I made a promise to myself to improve the balance among my kids' and husband's needs, my own needs, and the other "stuff" that needs to get done. As part of my personal fulfillment, I have been getting involved in more things: things that I am passionate about like yoga and teaching, and many things I am doing because they are the right thing.
In April I definitely felt the surge in the number of activities on my priority list. Suddenly I find myself trying to squeeze in lesson-planning, exploring grants, and writing sponsor letters into an already busy week. I'm on hiatus from jogging (my saddlebags definitely know this) so I can write during those quiet early hours. Yoga -- thank goodness for yoga -- has been pushed up the schedule to 5:30am and weekends so that I have more time to help at Ryken's school.
By adding more "me" activities, the kids are definitely getting less choice in what they do with their time. It's true that our family does a fair share of running around -- school, a couple of afterschool classes, library storytimes-- but I have always been an advocate of having a good amount of unscheduled time. And lately I feel like "our schedule has us," not "we have a schedule". Kids need to do things that make them feel balanced in their lives, too, As much as adults, kids need time to decompress from their days. When my kids come home after school, they love to relax with toys, books, drawing, and board games. I can tell when they are thoroughly enjoying their down time by the lengthy periods of quiet time and the soft clicking of Legos and Trio blocks and the intermittent squeaks of busy pencils. But they've been getting less of this lately.