Friday, February 17, 2012

Over-scheduled & Underpaid

That old stay-at-home-mom favorite question - "But what do you DO all day?!?" - has taken on a deeper irony for me recently, as I feel busier than ever with my newish job. So quickly do these toddler days fly by that I barely remember those sometimes endless (for me, at any rate) desk job days. Master P is just able to do so much more, and has so much boisterous boy energy now, that we're exploring a whole new world *cue Disney song* of story times and gymnastics classes and happy hours*, and this Type A Minus has enough of the "A" still to admit that I'm enjoying that.

(*Fine, I'm kidding about the happy hour - but the first person to build a playground with a spiked coffee bar for parents gets my vote.)

In fact, I'm surprised to find myself at risk of over-scheduling us - if I let it happen, we could have at least one class or organized outing to go to every day. It's one thing to keep up our "leave the house once a day" policy, which keeps both boy & me stimulated and happy. Isn't it entirely another, possibly crazy-making thing, though, to make all of those outings a scheduled thing - especially given that I have a 1.5 year old who can be equally entertained by things like standing in the yard watching clouds drift by?

With apologies to my Facebook crew, who has seen this one; this California girl still can't get over the weensy flip-flops.
Maybe it's because I'm more French than Tiger Mom, or still in recovery from some overzealous scheduling in my own youth, but I've decided to hang on to at least one weekday when we're free to stay home in our pajamas and do nothing more productive than feed crayons to dogs. Er, or something like that - point is, there is plenty of time for the wee CEO to develop interests and hobbies, in addition to the eventual school. There is only so much time, however, when we'll have the freedom to play as the day takes us.

I can't believe I'm asking this, as parent to newly minted toddler, but - anyone else struggle with this over-scheduling thing? How do you maintain that fun/free time balance?

8 comments:

Belle on Heels said...

Total non sequitir: the feeding crayons to dogs story reminds me that when my sister was a toddler, she would eat the tips off of my Crayola markers. Our guess is that she thought the pretty colors meant they were flavored. Yikes.

Kate said...

My nanny friends and I were just talking about this at the park this morning. I love having activities and places to go because being home with a toddler or baby can be lonely/tiring/tough/drive you crazy (ha). But at the same time it's nice to have a morning to just hang around the house and play. I like your idea of having at least one weekday to just stay home.

AEOT said...

Because we're gone all week and are at church every Sunday, I really, really cherish every second we have at home on Saturdays. I try really hard not to be busy on Saturday mornings or on Sunday afternoons. It's our time to catch up, play with Spencer, do laundry and house projects, etc. I am a definite home body, and I need that time to recharge. If I did stay home, though, I know I would need out of the house time, if only for my sake. I totally get the needing a day at home to play, be in pajamas, pinterest it up, and get stuff done, but I would have to get out the other days to see other moms and have some adult conversation.

LPC said...

Given that this is where my kids went to school, peninsulaschool.org/goals.htm, I think that you won't be surprised that I am on the side of unscheduling:).

The Preppy Princess said...

From one not experienced in this on a first person basis, but who watches friends and relatives cope with it *a lot*, the challenges of maintaining a sane schedule make perfect sense. When you think about the time required just for the 'everyday' stuff...eating, sleeping, playtime at home, bath, you have eaten up a ton of time. Add in a trip to the park and/or a walk, and you are beginning to bump up against it without any "outside" activities.

That's why you never hear me asking 'that question,' it always strikes me as incredibly ignorant.

Sending you a smile Miss Pretty,
tp

Europafox said...

Hey it's hard isn't it, finding the balance? We went through a phase where we would get invites to at least one or two children's parties a week, and all the parents would talk about would be what classes they were ferrying their children to - usually after a full work or school day. We've had a week where I've worked full time, C has been on a school holiday and either in 'holiday club', or on a play date, or at a grandparents, or at swimming.. we were coming in at 6:45 pm! So today he did what he wanted - jimmys. DVDs, colouring.. You've got to balance the yin with the yan! I need to stop my essays!!!

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

Easy fix to this? Add another pretty baby to the family! I'm having my own quandary right now regarding scheduling- juggling two, naps and lack of naps, activities and snotty noses that prevent me from going to the gym (not that I'm bitter about it...)

Meg said...

I am with you. It's great (necessary) to get dressed and be social BUT it is so nice to just hang home. Little ones are so good about amusing themselves and so filled with wonder - it's nice to let them fill their own time. Nothing like seeing you child be fascinated or thrilled by everyday things.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...