bal·ance - establish equal or appropriate proportions of elements
This is our second article in a series of self help, how-to guides which give you realistic tips and information on living a balanced life. Please read Tip #1 - Practice Daily Reflection - here.
I live out of my car....
Well, it feels that way most days. As a busy mom of 3 with my own business, it feels like I live out of my car some days. I have young children, so when I drop one off at school, I then take the other to preschool and the other a doctor appointment - you get the idea. I'm going in all different directions, all the time. I have the potential to 'drown' in our schedule. I could schedule something for my kids every single night after school and on weekends.
I grew up in a nice community and attended a great school. My parents were middle class, work-their-fingers-to-the-bone type of people. We were not affluent by any means but my parents SACRIFICED everything to provide for my brother and I the best education they could afford in a safe, clean, nice community. This community had everything you could ever want your child to succeed in, extra curricular activities galore. You name it, they had it.
Growing up, my parents gave me the opportunity to join one of these activities per season, per year. I remember thinking that it wasn't fair for me because all of my friends were in EVERYTHING - all the time. So for one year, I took piano lessons, the next year I wanted to try the guitar, then the year after I tried voice lessons (musical theme maybe??). Why I didn't just stick with one? Not sure. My parents could not afford any more than that and even that was sacrifice for them. I am SO thankful because it is a life lesson I now use with my own children.
Balanced Life Tip #2 - UNSCHEDULE - only enroll your children in 1 (max 2) extra curricular activities per season.
It is extremely important to my husband and I that our whole family sits at our kitchen table every night and eats dinner together to talk about our day. We have made this priority - it is essentially priority over everything else. If something will interfere with that time, we usually choose not to do it. Of course there are exceptions to that but that is how important that time is to us. Over our dinner conversations, we have conquered fears together, come up with plans to stand up to a school bully, laughed our heads off and spoken to each other face to face. My kids are extremely close - this would be one of the reasons why - they know each other.
We provide our kids with the opportunity to enroll in 2 activities per season. This enables us to maintain our family time and not spend each night away from home. We also try to streamline by doing these activities on the same night. Also, if we had 2 activities for one season, the next season we'll bring it down to 1 so we can have a break for a bit. (Seasons refer to - Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring)
-try to have your activities fall on Monday's - you will generally get an 'extra' day off on statutory holidays. Most clubs will honor those days for their staff as well and you can get a break too. We love those days!!
-choose something that requires physical activity. Get your kids exercising and moving - 2 birds, 1 stone!
-choose activities that invest into their skills and future (for example - swimming, sports, music, etc)
-expose them to different activities but streamline by eventually focusing on one or two that they love and seem to be passionate about
-cities and communities often offer subsidised program costs for mid-lower income families to encourage everyone to get active. Check with your particular area
-save all receipts for when it's time to do your income tax (Canadians get a tax break for any child fitness activity - great incentive!)
How to do you schedule activities for your kids? Do you have a limit? What works for you?
Click HERE for my Etsy Store!!
Reblogged on Wordpress
Sarah is a mom with a degree in Personal Training & is in love with all things balanced.