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I'm not complaining anymore since I have done this to myself now for the past several years but it's just amazing how sign your kid up for a sport like baseball and then patiently and quietly wait for the SCHEDULE to come DOWN on you and when it does, woe be to your other plans! You take it and accept it and meekly move everything else around. You think you are choosing baseball but actually it's you just choosing a new boss.

I thought I was not this person before all this. I thought I was in charge of my own destiny. Simpler times.

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If my kids don't get downtime, shit gets bad. If *I* don't get downtime, our entire life falls apart. I only pursue what my children ask for -- if they don't know something exists, they never ask, yay. (Also, a ton of the activities and programs available in my small community are impossible for working parents because they start at like 3:30/4pm -- which enrages me, but also makes these decisions easier because it's not even an option.)

My husband wants them to do all kinds of shit, especially sports, which I couldn't care less about, and which my eldest isn't interested in, either. I've said to him, fine, it's your thing, then: you're doing to do all the fucking schlepping, you're going to pack their bags with their gymnastic leotards, I'm not doing it. Interesting how quickly those plans fizzle when he is the one who has to take responsibility for them...

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Aug 26, 2022Liked by Claire Zulkey

Mine is just starting kindergarten but my current priority is getting him swimming well enough I can put him in the YWCA aftercare swim team that does pickup from our elementary school. Physical activity without me providing transportation, the dream. YWCA is also closer to my commute home from work than the school based aftercare so all sorts of potential wins there if we can get over the water is terrifying hump.

Kind of tempted to put him in piano lessons only because there's a woman literally five houses down from us that teaches lessons to basically our whole block and frankly if I don't have to drive or put shoes on I'm much more open to this activities nonsense.

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Aug 26, 2022Liked by Claire Zulkey

I think it depends to some extent on the kid. My 15-YO never did a ton of activities when he was younger, and did just fine. He went to camp every summer where he learned to swim/ camp/ canoe/ did basic sports, and during the school year he had just music lessons and outside of that mostly entertained himself. My 9YO, however, is HIGHLY sporty and HIGHLY competitive, and if he doesn't have some volume of intense physical activity every day he is impossible. So while we started out in kindergarten with basic town rec leagues (one practice a week, volunteer coaches), at this point we now have him (by his choice) in one intense sports league and one moderately intense one, year round, which means 4 evening practices a week and games both days of the weekend, sometimes tournaments all weekend. I NEVER, EVER imagined that I would be THAT sports parent, in a million years, but he just kind of led us here himself? I'm not going to lie, it is a huge time suck, and I often resent it, but 1) he ADORES it, and 2) it keeps me from having to listen to him beg me to play soccer/lacrosse/basketball all evening and every weekend. Plus I can knit and read on the sidelines.

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Aug 26, 2022Liked by Claire Zulkey

You had me at the title πŸ˜‚ I’d also add, just say no to YOU doing kid things. Like enough already!

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> β€œOne pro tip from my mom's turn as Girl Scout leader: there IS a way to make a night in a hotel count as camping.”

Hats off to this woman, my goodness. Legend.

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I am in the midst of this struggle right now. My 10yo doesn't want to pick back up with her pre-pandemic extracurricular (martial arts) (which breaks my heart, btw, but it's her life not mine, RIGHT?!?!?) and I'm trying to figure out if I run out and sign her up for something else, or just let it be. She has zero interest in sports, and has never taken music lessons, so in our community that leaves very slim pickings. I'm sat here every night at my computer being like SWIM LESSONS?? ROCK CLIMBING?? GYMNASTICS?? just flailing trying to see if there's an activity out there she would genuinely enjoy, that we can afford, etc.

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