Our family loves sports. Our 4 girls have played and tried as many sports and taken as many classes as possible throughout their lives.
We have had an Irish dancer, soccer players, softball players, ballerinas, basketball players, karate girls. We have two mathletes, another that loved drama. Oh – and lets not forget track meets (which have to be the most boring things to attend EVER) and cross country workouts all summer long! So yeah, we are well rounded.
And the youngest kids have basically grown up being drug around all of Gods creation in their carseats with bottles and sippy cups being hurled at me, while I captained the damn mini-van. (Which I couldn’t WAIT to get rid of btw!)
Basically, when one season of sports would end, it would quickly bleed over into another, another sport, another insane schedule traipsing around town shoving fast food meals in our guts, putting thousands of miles on the car, to get all 4 kids from one activity to another. Rushing home to cram in homework and showers and bedtime, all whilst trying to maintain some sort of sanity.
For what? Heck, my parents didn’t just tell me NO, they told me HELL NO!
So this year, as the kids have gotten older and the softball season has become longer – bleeding into fall high school ball season here in Georgia, and with more than one kid playing sports all at the same time, and two college students with jobs and crazy schedules, when the basketball flyer came home from school I threw it away. Yep. It went straight in the trash.
When the rec department left a message to see if the husband would coach, I ignored the call. Everyone knows a UPS driver can’t do anything but work from Thanskgiving to New Years, right? Because Lord Forbid people don’t get something they ordered in 2 days. The world may end.
And when the youngest casually mentioned that their friends were playing basketball, I pretty much ignored it. While I love the popcorn you get at the basketball games – something softball games don’t serve enough of, I have had enough. (And dang those buzzers are more annoying that a gaggle of softball moms complaining about the coach!
And I wanted to enjoy December for a change. And not be out driving around before 7 am and in the car to after 9 or 10Pm nightly.
Lazy parenting, you say? Well…have I got news for you.
I realized a little late in life that the kids don’t appreciate all of this running around. They don’t care how much money you spend or how many activities you enroll them in. They are tired too. We build $1,000 playsets in our back yards and the kids never get to use them.
In our quest to become perfect parents, we are making ourselves insane! Yes, insane.
And while my kids will probably remember the time their baby sister wiped poop from her diaper on her car seat, or the drive we made into the middle of nowhere to find a gym and one of the kids literally had to take a poop on the side of the road. They may remember the ‘trophy party’ at the end of the year, the cupcakes they threw in the trash, the friends – there are lots of things they won’t remember.
While we totally suggest rounding out children and letting them partake in as many things as they want to, especially when they are young, there does come a time when the cup runneth over.
And mine was flowing a river, and I was filling it with foam from my own mouth.
See this December, I want them to remember the cozy nights watching the 25 days of Christmas with my 18 year olds who still Love Elf. I want to cherish those nights when I have all my kids under one roof, when we eat as an actually family, when we have time snuggle in bed, and fall asleep at 9pm if that’s when we get tired, and I am not stressing over finding socks and uniforms to wash at midnight, or micro-managing a daily schedule so tight, just so I can get in a shower and wear something aside from yoga pants. For what?
So, I said no to basketball. And I said no to volunteering at the school. And the kids, well…they really aren’t that sad. I want to enjoy our Christmas tree that sparkles. And bake some cookies that don’t suck, not because I feel I have to keep up with Suzie Homemaker but because I want to.
I want to be able to go places, and say yes to parties and get togethers with family. I want to stop being that tornado that comes in and out in a mad spiral and leaves again without really enjoying anything, but is somehow patting myself on the back for being what we all think we should be.
You know, the stuff good facebook posts are made of?!? LOL!
Y’all, I have seen the days when the kids graduate high school. I look at my sweet baby girls, about to turn 19 two days before Christmas and I can almost envision them being gone.
So I am saying YES to some of the simpler things. Saying YES to evenings that they might be bored. Saying yes to parking the car in the garage after school and letting it stay there. Picking them up in the car rider line without having to have a bra on, because I have no plans to go anywhere afterward.
I want the man at the gas station to unlearn my name. And I want the kids to have to stop saying my name 44 times just to get my attention because I am so overwhelmed.
After all, we are human beings….not human doings….
And it seems that we are teaching our kids the only key to success if doing something productive ALL THE TIME. When some of the most productive moments in my life have been sitting in the living room with all 4 of my girls, listening to Christmas music, and yes…listening to the fight about clothes. Saying a prayer at bedtime together.
I want to breathe. With my kids. And I want my kids to know – that it is okay every once in a while to take a break, that even Super Mom and Super Dad need that break. That time with family and loved ones is not wasted. And that, their success in life – doesn’t rely on them constantly doing something. That coloring, or being lazy, or not having a schedule actually feels good. Is good for the soul.
And I also dearly, want my girls to grow up knowing that at some point in life – the world will stop revolving around them, and they won’t be handed everything they think they are supposed to want, and that dangit – its ok for parents to call the shots and make the decisions without feeling guilty.
Plus…it’s not like we won’t be at indoor cages twice a week because God Forbid my girls forget how to hit a softball in 4 weeks. (Sarcasm)
So go ahead JUDGE ME! Nothign against basketball, but this year….its a NO-GO!