29 October 2012

Doing too much

A cartoon in our paper recently, which is part of a series called ‘The Little Things’: a father arrives home from work, upon which the mother tells him “today we went to mainly music then swimming then fed the ducks and came home and I baked biscuits and roasted a chicken” (or words to that effect).

The title was ‘Doing too much’. 

Swimming lessons
Violin lessons

Sound familiar? It did to me, and I wondered if anyone would say that about me. Sure enough, when I saw Ian next he said, “Did you see that cartoon in the paper?” He was amazed at how familiar it was!

It's hard though, isn't it, when there is karate ballet tap jazz soccer hockey Spanish gymnastics music (instrument A, B and C) cricket tennis horseriding drama art cubs brownies.... all of which are absolutely fun and good for your children! 

Time to make mud pies - priceless.
But they are also expensive and exhausting. I for one now refuse to spend every afternoon taxi-ing children to one place or another, fighting traffic on the way home to an uncooked dinner. I learnt my lesson the tiring way.

I grew up with one constant thing - dancing - and the lessons, practice and competitions gave me enormous gifts. I don't wish I'd done everything else.

I want my children to fold paper planes, dig in the dirt, jump on the trampoline, build intricate lego cities, make huts, cuddle the cat and read books. I'd really like them to run wild with a flock of other children, but our neighbourhood's not quite like that, although we're getting closer to it.

More activities equals less free play and busy, poorer parents. The Milo New Zealand state of play report talks about children's desire for play and grandparents' comparisons to their own childhoods. You can read it here.

1 comment :

  1. That does sound SO familiar. I try to rein our activities in from time to time. Mostly I'm successful I think.


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