DFP


FB

People Who Complain They're Busy, But They're Busy With Stupid Stuff

Does that title make sense?  I doubt it.  Let's see if I can explain.

OK, so you know those people who complain about how busy they are - but it's not with work or anything really "important"?  It's more like, "Oh gawd, I'm sooooo busy, because Eustace and Duncan and Dorset have Tae Kwon Do on Mondays, baseball practice on Tuesdays, violin and cello on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, soccer all day on Saturdays, baseball for the OTHER team they play for Wednesdays, and Kumon on Fridays."  My head wants to explode just reading that.

A few years ago, before I had any kids, I was showing a house to my client and on the wall of the kitchen the home owners had a schedule with different colors for each kid.  They had four kids and from what I could gather each child participated in 2-3 activities per week and didn't get home from their activities before 9 PM on most nights.  These were elementary and middle school aged kids.  When did they eat dinner?  When did they do their homework?  What time did they finally get to bed?  When did they have time to play with their Ponies and Legos or ride their bikes?


Right then and there I decided 2 kids max and only one activity per child at a time.  Forget them, I couldn't take that kind of schedule!

I get that you want to have a well-rounded kid.  I do too.  I want my kids to try a lot of things and figure out what really interests them.  And, let's face it, there are SO MANY things they could try:

Soccer
Baseball (many kids we know play on multiple teams - why is that?)
Basketball
Football
Golf
Tennis
Racquetball
Swimming
Cheerleading
Ice Skating
Dance (Ballet, Jazz and/or Tap, Interpretive, Water Ballet, Competitive Jazz Aerobics)
Swimming
Gymnastics
Tae Kwon Do
Karate
Fencing
Hockey
Kindermusik
Art Classes (Painting, sculpture, drawing, pottery, etc.)
Computer Classes (Animation, robotics, programming, etc.)
Instrument lessons (Violin and piano seem to be the dominant ones right now)
Math Monkey
Kumon
Foreign Languages (Spanish, French, Chinese)
Scouts
Daisies

Just to name a few.  And I know I'm missing a bunch.

As the parent, though, I feel I have to draw the line and make the kids choose just one - MAYBE two - things at a time.  Eustace can't be a violin prodigy, a soccer star, a math whiz and an Eagle Scout - can he?  Especially when he's got two other siblings who want to do that much too?  When does it become a bunch of shit you're just running your kid around to just so you don't have to entertain them?

I actually overhead a mother the other day complaining that school was taking away from her children's activities.  Her direct quote was:  "I don't know how the school expects Elmer to get all his homework done when he's playing on 3 baseball teams right now.  It's ridiculous how much work they send home for him.  What do they do at school all day if he has this much to bring home?  We just don't have time for it all.  We're far too busy!"

Ummm....Isn't school kind of like a job?  Shouldn't school be the first on the list and then if there's time they can do the rest?  I asked her, "Why is he on 3 teams?  Isn't it more important for Elmer to study so that he can go to college or get a job someday?"

She looked at me like I was speaking Japanese.  "Elmer needs to stick with baseball, because that will be his job someday.  Elmer is well on his way to being a professional baseball player."

I did not know this woman, she was a friend of a friend.  Our mutual friend gave me the look that said, "Jennn....don't start with this lady.  I would like to keep her as my friend so keep your big opinionated mouth shut."

I obediently clamped my mouth shut and excused myself from the conversation before I literally slapped this idiotic woman upside her head.

This is not unusual.  You go to a party in this town and you hear stupid shit like:

"We have Eloise in Girl Scouts, Kumon, advanced hairbraiding, piano and she has real potential to be a professional racquetball player.  We can barely get her reading done every night.  The teacher wants her to read 2 chapters a night on top of all the homework!"  


"Oh I know!  Nellie's teacher told us that her math is suffering this year, but honestly, when is she going to need it?  She really wants to focus her studies on synchronized swimming or Chinese Calligraphy and you don't need math for either of those.  It's so hard when she's so involved in so many activities she loves.  Besides the swimming, she is taking ice skating lessons, basketball, and Italian cooking.  Her Chinese Calligraphy teacher thinks she has a beautiful technique.  We're thinking of bringing in a Chinese Calligraphy Master for her to study with over the summer if we can find some time between Equestrian Camp, Lego Masters Camp and her private pottery lessons."

It's not just the kids' activities that everyone's complaining about.  I also hear a lot about busy schedules that the moms are keeping these days.  Friday night I was at a school event I had a hand in planning and this is what I heard from one of the moms:

"I just don't know when you found the time to do this, Jen!  You work full time and you take care of the kids.  How did you get this done?"

"Eh.  I had a lot of help.  It was a big committee.  I'm tired, no doubt, and I'm glad it's over.  I need to start learning how to say 'No' more."

"Oh I know!  I'm always being hit up to help with this kind of stuff.  They think because I'm home and I don't work I have time to put in on this kind of stuff, but I really don't!  I do morning carpool, so we're out the door by 7:50.  I pick everyone up and drop them off by 8:15.  I head to the gym for my 8:30 Hot Yoga class, do that for an hour, cool off with a swim and then meet the girls in the cafe for an organic smoothie.  We usually wrap up around 11 so I can hit Target and Whole Foods - can't get out of either of those places for under fifty bucks, am I right, Jen?  I check my voicemail and email about this time and realize I have about 30 messages I need to return, so I pull over and do that.  Once I'm done with messages, I grab Seamus' dry cleaning and head to Michael's to get all the supplies I'll need for whatever class project Eugene seems to have due every week - don't we just live at Michael's, Jen?  Then it's about time for me to run to the courts for my 1:30 tennis lesson with Alejandro - who, by the way, is ah-may-zing.  After an hour of staring at Alejandro's butt, teeheehee, I mean learning new technique from Alejandro, I head home to shower and get some dinner ready for the kids.  After all, we've only got about 35 minutes to eat as soon as they walk in the door before the first activity of the evening starts.  Most nights Seamus and I are running in different directions with kids.  Weekends are even worse with each kid having 2 or 3 games every day."

I stood there with my fake smile plastered on my face thinking to myself:  What is Alejandro so amazing at and when do you update your Pinterest account?  Because making time for Pinterest is way more important than shopping, I haven't been to the grocery store in a week, but my Pinterest account is ah-may-zing.  


Listening to her I realized, I spend my time being busy with far more important things.  I work several hours a day on my real job and then several more hours on my writing, but it's all from home so I tend to wander off my work and onto Facebook and Pinterest a lot.  The Hubs and I haven't sent anything out to be dry cleaned in 5 years so I can take off my list.  I try to do laundry every day, but it's a real chore and it never gets fully done.  I do go to Target a lot.  Mostly to return stuff I should not have bought when I was there yesterday.  I barely cook.  I volunteer a lot for many different things - it's a good outlet for my bossiness.  I watch TV most every day.  Our kids are currently doing soccer and gymnastics so I take them to those activities.  Most nights I work with my kid on spelling words, reading (he reads to me and I read to both of them), math homework, and whatever the project of the week is.  I don't work out.  I should.  But I don't have time (teeheehee).  Maybe I could cram more stupid stuff in like she does if I knew her secret.

So I finally had to interrupt her and ask, "What kind of drugs are you on?"

"Excuse me?"

"Drugs.  Are you one of those moms who pops the kids' Ritalin to keep going?  Are you guzzling Red Bull, 5 Hour Energy drinks or is it just straight up cocaine?"

"Oh my God, Jen.  You are hysterical!" she laughed and walked off.

I don't think those bitches will ever let me in on the secret.

If you liked this FOLLOW ME on FacebookTwitter and subscribe via e-mail (NO SPAM).

My new anthology I JUST WANT TO BE ALONE is out and available everywhere!!! (OK, just at these places, but still, there are several places where you can get it.) I recommend getting one for yourself and one for your friend who doesn't "read blogs" because otherwise she'll never know about this book. 

177 comments:

  1. We allow our kids one or maybe two sports at a time and one music. School always comes first. My twins are in fourth grade and have a lot of homework. I know the reason as I also have two kids in college. It is for the development of study skills, it is not busy work as some parents tend to believe. If the discipline to do school work first and really learn it are not first, it's going to be awfully tough to grow into responsible adults with jobs that they can support themselves with. I mean come on; is the career in syncronized swimming going to even buy groceries for the week??
    All parents are busy including me but we always have a proper dinner at the kitchen table together with no TV!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Guilty, guilty and guilty... my kids do too much, always have. But in my defense, school is their number one priority and if activities interfere, they are the first to go. Just had a conversation with a mom of an 8th grader who was incensed when I told her it would not be possible for her son to both play football AND be in marching band in high school. She actually told me she would just go to the SCHOOL BOARD over this issue, because her son was a "GIFTED! musician AND athlete"... yeah honey, him and 3000 other kids at our ginormous high school. I'm must wondering if he is "GIFTED!" enough to be in two places at one time, because that's what he would have to do in order to be in football and band. LMAO!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm not a mom yet, and won't be a for a few years, but moms like that piss me off. School is more important than all of those activities! No wonder people are getting dumber and dumber. It's cause of parents like these who encourage it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG if this wasn't so heartwrenchingly true, I'd laugh. It actually just gave me an anxiety attack reading it. Are all of these "moms" cut from the exact, same mold? Not me. I tell them that my child excels in SCHOOL. Yes, that's it. And one activity at a time is enough for a 10 year old. Jesus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I agree with you. Luckily none of my friends are that crazy...and this is not only because many of us do not have money for more than one activity once a week per child. My parents were the opposite of those "busy" parents - they didn't see a reason for any activity except for school and homework and helping in the household.
      Oh well... good night!

      Delete
  5. Sorry Jen, I just don't have time to "Like", "Email" "Share" or "Blog" this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I <3 you, Jen. You make my day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Organics- I don't know about your school, but when I was in high school, we had a couple of varsity football players in the marching band. And they were section leaders in there. But that was the only sport they did. They were full on music participants (in the symphonic band/wind ensemble and school symphony) and that was the only sport they did. They had great stamina, cause as soon as the half time buzzer rang, they ran off the field and grabbed their horn that someone was holding for them and marched on out onto the field with us. We also had some Dance Team girls who were in the marching band. They performed the half time show, ran to their instrument and marched on out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except nowadays, at our large public high schools, the marching band does 2 a days just like the football team for 2 weeks before school even starts. They want the same commitment as everyone else... total and complete. It's like a cult. ;)

      Delete
  8. Can I just say...I LOVE YOU!!!!!! You are my "Soul" mate I swear! I wish I had a tape recorder on me (do they still make tape recorders? Maybe I should have said digital recorder? Or do they still make those either? Maybe I should have just said, "Whip out my iphone (but I don't have one I have an Android (the poor man's iphone) and record these people sometimes". But my all time favorite is one of my best friends (I can't dump her she has been in my life since well...forever) who has a step-son and two children of her own under age 2. Now, I know kids under age two are hard and lots of work but she has been complaining about being "busy" before she any of the three kids and now it is just horrible. Meanwhile, I have two kids (one 1st grader at a private school that thinks all parents should be there volunteering with their checkbooks at all times but you are not allowed to have an opinion about anything that goes on there and a 22 month old special needs child with a team of 10 doctors) so I know busy. I can't imagine what my friend will do when she has 3 in school and all in activities. Bless Her Heart is all I can say. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've seen calendars like that - but not here! We only have one child, and he's in one activity outside of school (Karate). It sometimes seems that he doesn't do enough - some of the boys in his class play hockey 5x/week PLUS whatever other activity they do. And I wonder why they always look so tired.

    ReplyDelete
  10. See, I have an 8 yr old and 3 yr old who do NO extra-curicular activities and I feel like a horrible mom, when these other mom's tell me how much their kids are doing. Now in the summer I will get them involved with more. I think.... unless it disrupts our weekend treks down the shore. I guess the oldest is old enough now to get involved with something, and as soon as I figure out what that is, I am right on it..... I think

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a 4th grader and 1st grader. Neither of them are in any activities because neither of them have expressed an interest. Well, the 4th grader just recently said he wants to play baseball. The point is, I didn't want to force them into a bunch of crap that they probably could care less about. When they're interested, I'll support it. But school will always be first priority.

      Delete
  11. School is #1! Fancy Sports only if my kid wants to do it, we limit it to 1! dh and I are not parents that want a fancy scholarship to Miss America or NBA, MLB, etc etc. Kids should play outside, play baseball in a dirt field like we used to as kids. Then I can say .. sure my kids played that.. Outside!

    ReplyDelete
  12. School is the top priority in my house - no negotiating. If they have homework on the night where we have an activity planned, we don't do the activity unless the homework is completed neatly and correctly. No extra activities for my children unless they are directly school or church related. Makes me feel like a drill sergeant most of the time, but I will not have my kids skating through life with no education.

    I am also a stay-at-home mother, but who has time to go workout, go drink smoothies and go look at Alejandro's ass? Not me, I'm too busy picking up the toys the kids miss, running them to school because they go at different times, figuring out what's for dinner, entertaining the youngest while the two oldest are in school, all while pursuing a bachelor's degree with online classes from home. Not to mention the piles and piles of laundry and dishes my family seems to create for me.

    My kids need time to play and use their imaginations ... isn't that what being a kid is about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:51

      Yes! Thank you! DH and I want our 3 yo daughter to PLAY outside and use her imagination. We're not in activities yet, but are currently considering gymnastics IF she shows enough enthusiasm for it. Not because I want to brag to the world how my 3 yo will be the next Olympian! We're not the Braggersons and we never will be. Already distanced ourselves from people like that.

      The Jeneral - I salute you! Great post, great blog! It's my new favorite and I will share! Keep punching!!

      Delete
    2. I think it's a little sad the way we are bashing parents who have kids that are interested in a lot of activities. Do you know that their grades are suffering? Do you know that they are exhausted? I have a 15 yo who has done gymnastics for 12 years - 12 hours a week. She is an officer on student council, a member of the Key Club, on the track team and plays in the orchestra. She is also 2 years advanced in school and quite likely will be her class valedictorian. She gets 8 hours of sleep every night, more on the weekends. She goes to sleepovers and the mall. She is a Leader in Training at the Y summer camp. I have had to occasionally run interference with a coach who didn't get that school is always our #1 priority, but you do that once, and they know you mean it. I don't care if your kid does one thing at a time, but don't assume mine is screwed up because they choose differently.

      Delete
  13. let's see..boys have done soccer and girl has done dance..and then swimming in the summer because we have a pool and it scares the bejeezus out of me...that is enough to keep me tired

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is the first year my kids aren't doing ANY extra activities and i gotta say.. it's been awesome. I honestly think these parents schedule this stuff so they don't have to deal with their kids after school. Sorry, just my opinion. Unless my child says, "Mom I REALLY want to do this.." I don't sign them up.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My kiddo is involved in only ONE activity and that's it. Even with the one activity I still think that he is overwhelmed sometimes. It is VERY important to us that we all sit down and eat dinner as a family, at the table, not on the go.
    He's been trying to get a play date with one of his friends but the friend plays hockey 6x a week and has no time for friends. Sad, if you ask me.
    AND-the other thing I found out is that parents judge you and your kid just because he isn’t involved with more things. Drives me effing crazy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. I am with you. Dinner as a family 5 nights a week!

      Delete
  16. Wow...just WOW. I know SO many people like the ones you named above - some VERY good friends of mine. I've tried giving them subtle hints that they need to slow down & def need to say no more, but they just don't get it. They equate being super busy w/ being worthwhile. I, for one, do not like when I am that busy. I tend to overlook the important things - like spending time w/ my family & close friends, having quiet time, going to church, giving my time to causes I really care about, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I must be the worst Mom on earth! We have NO, I repeat no extra activities, the girl would love to (she's 8) however, I have explained to her that school comes first, the boy is too young to care (thank God!) and his future is as a comedian, so no worries there. The girl has learning disabilities, so she struggles with school, she needs the extra time on homework. I work 4 nights a week and am in school full-time, this limits extra cirricular activities. My kids play outside with all their friends, or with their toys or do other kid things. On the weekends we do family stuff and try to squeeze in some fun, but that's it. We actually spend time together, some of it consists of doing nothing, I'm okay with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that activities are wonderful for kids ~ it can really help w/ social skills & building confidence. I feel that confidence trumps academic skills any day. Academic schools are important but its the multitaskers that can excel at something in addition to being on the honor roll who will really separate themselves. I don't know if my kids will ever be on the honor roll but I will do my best to try to get them there. Its great to find a sport or activity they excel at & I have seen kids on my daughters teams who have had learning disabilities etc perform well . It's a good distraction from school however I still prioritize school as the focal point. My kids activities come before family activities. I am a coach & I generally have my daughter in 2 - 4 activities a semester if you add girlscouts sometimes 5 . And I work part time & go to the gym 6 days a wk & many times my family members try to come to a game or 2 and when we are not doing activities we are seeing family, at the beach, or going to museums.Kid things do include doing structured kid activities ~ I know everyone can't be an athlete but its not a bad thing to sign your kid up for a sport where they are running around a few times a week following directions & getting the commrodary of belonging to a team . I am not picking on you ~ I am just a huge advocate for sports/organized activities as both my husband & I played sports at the college level. My husband also interviews a lot of people & they do look for extra curricular activities on the resume in addition to good grades at a reputable college.

      Delete
    2. oops . . .meant to say Academic skills are important (3rd sentence)

      Delete
    3. Completely agree with this. And we do spend time with our kids. We eat dinner together as a family every night, almost always at home because my husband is an excellent cook. My kids don't watch too much TV or spend too much time with video games or on the phone texting. My 15 yo girl also has a lot of friends who are boys, but not interested in a boyfriend. Those are the things I see that are different between her and her classmates who are less active, not less family time.

      Delete
  18. This is why we have a huge doctor shortage at hospitals in this country. Kids think they are going to grow up to f%&$#n super stars! Its not like it used to be when a surgeon was a star without being on reality TV. Education and college were what you cared about not water Polo that teaches kids nothing. What happened to the parents who don't want to live off there kid?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I used to be guilty of this!! My problem was volunteer stuff..... I didn't know how to say no! I learned, it only took about 4 years...

    We still have activities (just not as many) but school has ALWAYS come first, even when we were "Busy"

    And these days, who isn't busy.... we're just busy different ways.

    ReplyDelete
  20. my son takes swim lessons at the pool near our home and the swim team (ages 8 and up) begin swim practice in the morning at 530am 5 days per week and an alternate time on Saturdays. I saw a sign on their board which said, "Earn your New Year's Day off!" I am sure that meant they needed to swim an extra 2000m that morning. I mean, are these parents under the impression that they're raising the next Michael Phelps or Summer Sanders? And, just who can get their kid anywhere by 530am? Not us.

    ReplyDelete
  21. OMG right? Fuck those trophy wives in their crossovers pretending like they have any real work to do. Why don't they try working 40+ hours and then cramming all that lounging and shopping into two days instead? As far as the drugs go, I'm pretty sure it's all of the above to keep up the pretty plastic smile she's always got on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. northwesternbelle - You should scroll down and read my reply to "gayla", as much of it applies to you. The only thing I would add to personalize the post for you is about your really classy first comment of "fuck those trophy wives" - right back atcha! You clearly have issues. I've got to go now, as I have a shitload of lounging and shopping to do before my kid's drugs wear off on me.

      Delete
    2. Shawna LOL ! I have been that Stay @ Home Mom (I drive a mini van though & hot & proud of it ~ Ha ! But I have also worked full time & part time . .. And trust me ~ the stay at home job is the hardest ~ I am reposting a comment to someone else but I think it could apply here as well : I think that activities are wonderful for kids ~ it can really help w/ social skills & building confidence. I feel that confidence trumps academic skills any day. Academic schools are important but its the multitaskers that can excel at something in addition to being on the honor roll who will really separate themselves. I don't know if my kids will ever be on the honor roll but I will do my best to try to get them there. Its great to find a sport or activity they excel at & I have seen kids on my daughters teams who have had learning disabilities etc perform well . It's a good distraction from school however I still prioritize school as the focal point. My kids activities come before family activities. I am a coach & I generally have my daughter in 2 - 4 activities a semester if you add girlscouts sometimes 5 . And I work part time & go to the gym 6 days a wk & many times my family members try to come to a game or 2 and when we are not doing activities we are seeing family, at the beach, or going to museums.Kid things do include doing structured kid activities ~ I know everyone can't be an athlete but its not a bad thing to sign your kid up for a sport where they are running around a few times a week following directions & getting the commrodary of belonging to a team . I am not picking on you ~ I am just a huge advocate for sports/organized activities as both my husband & I played sports at the college level. My husband also interviews a lot of people & they do look for extra curricular activities on the resume in addition to good grades at a reputable college.
      Delete

      Delete
  22. This is so hilarious! I am a mean mom and only let me kid do 2 activities per year and they cant be at the same time. He cant go from baseball to football/wrestling to basketball and start over. nope. Pick 2 for the year. Thankfully right now baseball is it. Girl is in Ballet and she hates it (this is her first year and she wanted to try it out). After her June recital she will not be registering for next year. (YAY!)So baseball is it for me unless boy wants to try football this fall. They are involved in church activities weekly and school is too important. I work full time and sorry but my sanity is important too. I have read your list over and over and still have no idea what Kumon is so? I fail. Guess I could google it but I dont really have time...*snort*

    ReplyDelete
  23. First let me say that school does come first in our family. We spend many nights reading, helping with middle school subjects (it's funny how fast you forget about integers). Next, I encourage my children to be in activities as I think it teaches them a lot about working with others and gives them a sense of accomplishment when they've made it through whatever season we are in. If that is wrong, I don't want to be right! :)
    I think it's hilarious though. I know a woman who constantly bitched about her schedule because, "oh, I have to get my nails done on Monday, then I have to get my haircut on Tuesday (which is an every two week thing for her), then I have to go look for new items for my home on Wednesday, meet with my trainer on Thursday and hopefully on Friday I can make it to the store." All of this and her husband cooks 90% of their meals and does 95% of their laundry and they have NO kids. I just sat their in amazement everytime she'd say this which was about every other week.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am disturbed that in no examp;e did any of the moms make time to feed their chilfren's spiritual side which is more important than anything they will do in any other activity. I understand most of you will think I am some kook but I assure you I am notand I learned to rely on my Heavenly Father the hard way, I am quite hard headed you see. Being aformer College athlete and semi pro athlete i thought I could do it all myself. Guess what, you can't Get your kids in some kind if spiritual training. Notice I didn't say religeon. I hate religeon but I love spirituality. Think about it for awhile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you Jimbo. My son does basketball (2 practices + game/weekly) and attends a scout like group for kids where he is learning about the Bible and how to believe in something other than himself (this was an extremely hard concept for my 5 yr old).

      Delete
  25. I leave the house before my neighbors who are SAHM and usually get home after them. Their driveways are always the last to be shoveled-how the fuck does that work?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I remember being horrified when my neighbors were all upset I had missed t-ball sign up for my 4 year old. My kids have always done ccd, maybe a sport or instrument and Scouts... More than enough I think but I still feel like I am allowing them to be "slackers". You can't have fun capture the flag games after school because there is nobody around... They are all at lessons and practice. The other thing I totally do not get is games on Sundays and the latest thing I heard lacrosse games at 10:10 pm on Saturday night!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. You are one lazy %^&*^* !!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. LOVE YOU! This is the conversation I recently had with some friends and even had a little convo going on FB about it. I decided my first graders didn't need to be in an activity every session just because their friends were doing it. And frankly, I was irritated every time I had to leave at our normal dinnertime to go to some practice for one of the kids while dragging the other two along. So I told my daughter "no, you will not be tumbling again on Thursday nights...you want to tumble and cartwheel, go out on the lawn!"..and I told my son "no, you're not signing up for flag football, you couldn't handle the 'contact' of basketball without crying....you can stick to baseball".....I have many friends who have their kids in so many activities that basically just takes them from school to practice to bed....rush the homework, forget about a quality dinner with family and in between they are attached to video games or tv. With the unseasonable weather here this winter I've been kicking the kids outside everyday when they get home to get some outdoor playtime before settling in for homework and dinner. No interest here (basically on my part as the mom) to schedule our lives to the point where they forget how to just 'be kids' and play with their imaginations!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Right there with you Jen, I'd personally love to bitch slap an acquaintance for this very thing. Her three self-absorbed children (narcissism runs in the family) are in at least two activities each and are far superior to any other child either academically or activity wise. Her house is a pigsty and her kids no doubt believe that The Cracker Barrel constitutes a home cooked meal, but I suppose that's the sacrifice you make when you are grooming the next Bruce Lee, Britney Spears, and Justin Beiber. God forbid her kids spot a mirror, the posing will make you want to vomit. My far less superior child gets to participate in karate (in lieu of physical therapy) and the occasional fun engineering class. He eats a healthy home cooked meal on a clean table and heads down to the stream to fish with friends when the weather is good. He's a good kid and a nice thoughtful human. I'm waiting for the day that narci-mom catches me in a foul mood and begins her "my kids are so special" banter. Cannot wait to tell her that her kids are the most inconsiderate, non-gifted, no manners children that I've ever met.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Another awesome post. I'd like to point out some coincidences I've seen with this epidemic of over-activitied children:

    1) the number of young adults on "Intervention" battling an addiction that came about when their dreams were crushed because the did not become the athletic/entertainer star they'd planned on and found they had no real education or life skills, including making themselves a sandwich or cleaning their own toilet.

    2) the number of these families who also own every video game system under the sun, possibly because when the parents are done running the kid from place to place they drop exhausted and let the child entertain themselves rather than enjoy some quality time with their evenings like board games or reading books together.

    3) the number of women who stopped working when the children were infants and needed someone to care for them fulltime and now do not go back to work while the kids were in school on the grounds that "the children need" them to get them from place to place or bring them forgotten items to school, even to the extent that their husbands have to get two or three jobs to support their lifestyle choice (especially when a judge says so when the guy finds himself broke from her spending and exhausted from doing all the cooking and cleaning!), and

    4) the number of entitled children ordering their parents around like servants who exist only to do their bidding and spend their money on them, and pretty much ignore any adult who isn't of use to their agenda.

    Could be coincidence. Then again, maybe not.

    ReplyDelete
  31. People just like to fill their schedules with crap so that they can SAY they are busy. Moms want to beat all others moms in the "busy" category. "Oh you think YOU'RE busy?!? Well I have to do this and this and this and this and this so don't even TALK to me about BUSY!!!" These are the same moms who act like having kids is SO. HARD. They'll say stuff like, "OH, just wait until Mac is 2 years old! You think you have it hard now, JUST WAIT!" It's constantly about trumping other moms. Well, I'm sorry. Having kids is not that hard. OK, maybe their whining is annoying, but I signed up for it, and honestly I don't think it is that hard. But plugging 13 extra hours of crap into your schedule every day is just STUPID! Lighten your load, and you won't think life is so hard, super mommies.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I admit to a color coded calendar but not b/c my kids are too busy - I'm just too scatterbrained to notice the calendar if it doesn't have pretty colors on it:) 3 part time jobs and 3 kids mean I tend to forget who is where and which job I'm supposed to be heading off to! Love my Mondays at home...

    ReplyDelete
  33. It's so nice to know I am not the only "mean mom" out there. I have 3 children, 2 of which are school-aged, and we have the 2 activities a week rule too. School is #1 in our house too. Call me selfish, but I want to spend more time with my kids than car rides to and from activities.

    ReplyDelete
  34. School first, then one activity per kid, per season. If they don't want to do an activity, FINE BY ME! My 7 year old always wants to do a sport, my 10 year old always wants to do something drama-related, but my 5 year old could care less about any of it, and the baby...well, he's a baby. His big activity is chewing solid food. I'm with ya, Jen!
    http://amysreallife.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm with you!! I decided after we had our first that I wasn't going to spend my life being a damn chauffeur. Our first didn't do any organized activities until 1st grade (Cub Scouts and basketball and has kept with these for a 2nd year). Our 5 and 3 year old (GASP!) have not done any organized activities yet aside from preschool. I'm sometimes tempted to give in to the pressure (OMG - my 7 yo can't dive OR do the backstroke yet and my 3yo still needs a life jacket in the pool!!), but then I remind myself that I'll be too stressed out to be a good mom if we add loads more. Plus, seriously, when the hell are these kids doing their homework???

    ReplyDelete
  36. Yeah, I get the whole over achieving and over scheduling. We haven't done this so far and are letting our almost five yr old try one thing at a time.
    But completely off subject... I've never heard anyone else use the name Dorset! It's so cool, 'cos that is my daughters name. Off topic, but made me smile!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Check out www.racetonowhere.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. You could have just stopped at "People Who Complain They're Busy." We are ALL busy!! No matter what stage you are in your life, it seems that everyone is "busy," but we all have a different definition of it. My sister is in college (no kids) and complains about how busy she is, and I always think, "I'd LOVE to be as 'busy' as I was in college!" But I try not to judge because it's not a competition! I'm sure people with 3 kids think the same thing about me with my 2. I try very hard to refrain from advertising how busy (and "important") I am. Also, while I'm on my soapbox, people should know that it's rude to say, "I wish I had time for that," as if they have much more important things to do than whatever you did. We all have different priorities!! There is nothing worse (not literally) than staying up all night (2 hrs of sleep) to do something nice for your kid or someone else, just to have someone snark, "I wish I had time for that."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! Busy really is a relative term I think. I personally am capable of much more than I would have thought when I had my first son. Back then taking care of his appointments and daily stuff kept made me feel busy, but now I wish I was as "busy" as I was then.

      Thanks for pointing out the "I wish I had time for that" I'm guilty of saying that, but have been on the receiving end and it diminishes your feeling of pride for a job well done!

      Delete
    2. Wait, so if I wish I had time to do something, I shouldn't say so, because it's offensive to someone to wish that my life had different priorities? Goodness, I need a scorecard about things that are too offensive to say out loud anymore.

      Delete
    3. much like most things in day to day life it is HOW it is said. I've said it, meaning I truly wish I could have done that. It is the snarky stuff that bugs me. But I'm also guilty of that too. To be fair, it doesn't matter what you say, if you are snarky or condescending it will bug me. None of us are perfect. I really wish there wasn't this constant sense that we should be competing with each other.

      Delete
  39. I have one kid in swim lessons and another is a new potty user, who has insisted on using the potty 5 times since getting up at 8 this morning. It's 9:30. So obviously I need some sort of "boost", and since I'm not a big meanie, I'll let you in on the busy mom secret: coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  40. THANK YOU! *And, yeah, I hate Pinterest.... Go on, hate on me.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Even worse that getting this from moms in your circle is getting this from the in-laws. They are early 70s (act a decade older) and have been retired for over a decade.

    We have in the past tried to buy them tickets to Lincoln Center, Broadway, etc. and they never actually booked the tickets because they are "SO busy. We can't go in [that month] because I have my quarterly CT scan, and your father has to go to the podiatrist and get his nails clipped."

    Week to week they are busy with such time-consuming activities as getting a haircut and going to the bank. WHEW!

    They ARE involved with two volunteer activities (maybe 2-3 hours per week) but these are curiously never named as reasons for being busy.

    Fun tidbit: these are the same people who said to me three years ago (when my kids were 8 & 5) "Well, we're pretty much done with granparenting since all the kids are teenagers now." The other seven grandchildren were indeed 12-15.

    Some people like to imagine full lives for themselves I think. Alternate reality.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I often wonder if people consider what being so busy is doing to their kids. Think about the people you know or even the ones you don't who are successful. I doubt they will tell you how they ate all their dinners in the family's suburban and did their homework in the car on the way home from sister's period party only to crash around 10:30p in the bedroom they haven't seen all week.

    Separately I dislike that I'm made to feel guilty that we don't have our family booked out. I LIKE that we eat dinner together every night. I LIKE that we can have our kids in bed at a reasonable hour, I LIKE just letting our kids play and enjoying their company.

    I realize that these moms aren't trying to hurt their kids, that is a given, but as parents we have to remember they are just kids. Even if they hate it they may just be doing said activity because they are afraid of disappointing us. They also don't know the signs of doing too much and when to say no, that is OUR job to teach them.

    Love your blog!!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I only have ONE kiddo, and he's not even a year old yet...people already ask me what "activities" I have him signed up for! He's only 11 months for Pete's sake!!!! Not to mention that I work 9-10 hours a day and so does my
    hubby!

    We already have decided that our kids will have ONE activity besides school and church. School and church are non-negotiable. Basketball, dance, whatever, ONE. In the summer when school it out, they can add swimming. If I can convince the sitter to take them, because I will be working.

    ReplyDelete
  44. As a former teacher (left just before Christmas; I have now been a stay-at-home mom for the past 5 weeks), I can totally relate to those parents who have their kids more into outside activities than into their studies. I heard the reasons you mentioned during conferences!

    "So Mrs. E, how can we raise Johnny's grade?"

    "Well Mrs. Johnny's-Mom, how much time does he commit to his studies? I feel like his missing assignments and poor test scores are a direct result of not organizing his time well enough to get everything done."

    "Well Mrs. E, the winter really is a crazy time in our house...." and the parent will rattle off every activity Johnny does and at times what she and her husband are committed to as well.

    I had one father tell me that his son is an A/B student and a C is not acceptable. Since I am a professional I did not reply with, "In order to maintain an A/B average your son may want to consider moving reading our class novel to the top of his 50 other commitments.

    Thanks for shedding light on this :) I am going to send the link to my colleagues! So happy at least one mom gets it :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I couldn't agree with you more!! My kids were in 2 activities at the same time this summer and we all hated it. There's no way in the world they could be in that many things during the school year when they have homework and have to be up early. Ugh.

    I think that parents like that are trying to live vicariously through their kids. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  46. And here I was thinking I was the only mom who felt this way. I feel like I'm the only one whose kids aren't in a dozen activities. Sometimes I feel like I'm shortchanging them because they don't get to do all those things. But we have five kids, so not only would that mean absolute craziness for those after-school and weekend hours, it would really hit our wallets hard. We do one activity at a time and not even all the kids get to do something at the same time.

    My 4-year-old daughter is in dance, but since it's not very pricey, she does it every month until we decide she needs to try something else. Since it's not seasonal, it's kind of an ongoing thing. My two older boys (8 and 7) are finishing up a 6 week indoor soccer camp this week but I missed the sign up for the indoor soccer league that starts next so they won't be doing that. My 5-year-old hasn't done anything since he was in tumbling last spring. The other is only 11 months old so nothing for him yet. The three boys (8, 7 and 5) have tried flag football, soccer, basketball and baseball as well as art and Spanish classes, but these were all 1-2 months long and only one activity at a time. This year when basketball registration came around, they all declined and said they'd rather try something new, which is when I signed them up for the indoor soccer camp.

    Personally, I'm relieved the soccer camp is over. That made for a really chaotic dinner hour a few nights a week and I don't have the help of a husband, as his hours go from 8 am to 6 or 7 pm or he works the night shift that starts at 4:30 pm and ends at 1:30 am. Carting around five kids to different places is not fun, especially when one of them is an 11-month-old who hates his car seat!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I think even worse are some of my child-less friends on facebook (because that's THE place to say how busy you are, right?). "Busy day today. Clean the kitchen, do a load of wash, nail appt at 11am, lunch with my parents and then off to the dentist for my husband's appt" Really, you have so much free time that you accompany your grown husband to his appointments?! As a full-time working mom of 2 young kids, I really had to hold myself back on replying to that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you Lissa. See my post above.

      Delete
  48. And this is what I call a "Society of ills"

    My bear was in little gym and ballet --both once a week, then I added twice a week swimming.... then deleted swimming and littel gym and added TKD at 2 days a week, and finally decided a 4 yr old doesn't need all those "advantages". Nor does mommy. Now we do ballet, once a week and in the fall will add a once a week "german school class" because we plan to homeschool and want the language oppurtunity. :-) But having a full schedule doesn't allow for any family time and the spouses never spend time together. Don't know about anyone else but my DH is my best friend and I like being able to remember what he looks like.
    So we will remain one of those families that others say don't provide an enriching world for their kids.... even at 4.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I also wonder how on earth these people afford to have their kids in 5 different activities. I can barely afford for each of my 3 kids to do one thing each!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Yesyesyesyesyes.
    Yes.
    Seriously, I have so many moms that are so "busy" making their kids shirts for the 100th Day of School (really? That's an event now?) or baking and decorating cake pops for the entire soccer team that they just don't have TIME for things any more. I'm like "Um, you know that shirt is ugly and you can just buy Oreos, right? No?" I am way too lazy for all that.

    ReplyDelete
  51. So hate this, and hear it all the time. It is like a competition between the moms, I think. The more activities their kids are in, the better the mom they are (in their own twisted world). Then they have to report just how "busy" a life they live to everyone and anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Does anyone else remember "the good old days" when you came home from school, had a snack, did your chores and homework, then ran outside to play until the streetlights came on? THAT was my childhood and I'll never feel that I was deprived of opportunities. I got enough exercise running, skating, riding my bike, etc., and organizing games with friends taught me all the social skills I needed to function as an adult. THIS is what our kids need and I refuse to feel inadequate for allowing my children to do just that. Screw the expensive crap and endless "chauffeuring". My kids and I are much happier and well rounded without it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said!

      You sound like a Free Range Parent.
      http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

      Delete
    2. I agree and my kids LOVE free time, however, the neighborhood is empty because all the other kids are BOOKED solid!! Play is now done only when scheduled with their moms as "playdates" and good luck finding a frickin' opening in these kids schedules...geez! I'm just glad I had two kids close in age so they have someone to play with!!!

      Delete
  53. Full time working mother who does homework with kids every night and volunteers. What i don't have time for is clubs and lunches and tennis lessons and pinterest and TV. i have a few friends who don't have jobs and don't seem to do much of anything except play games on Facebook. then they complain how they have no time and are so busy. I would like to punch them. But instead, I just hide their status so I don't have to see how busy they are farming.

    ReplyDelete
  54. There are many studies that show Americans lag behind at soccer because our young players are way too structured way too soon. Creativity on the field is borne out of pick up games and free play organized by groups of children; in the US there's no time for that in between all the 'championship' games for kids as young as five.
    This system is geared towards parents' egos not towards what is best for kids. I'm sure other areas are the same way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I'm amazed that my kids are not "allowed" to go to the local park's baseball field and just find (or bring) some friends for an old-fashioned pickup game. Unstructured, no adults "coaching", just kids playing. Not allowed!! Why? Those fields are for the little league teams!! You can only play on them as part of an organized team!

      Delete
  55. awesome! If often wonder how people are soooooo busy and also think "what drug are you taking"? teeheehee.Seriously though. I have 3 kids. Their job/activiy during the school year is just that - school. I don't know about you all but realistically I know that they are more likely to go to college then be a soccer star. We do eat together at night, is it a super duper meal? Not necessarily but atleast we are all in the house. I do make time to spend with my hubby. I'm not a "soccer mom" and I am fine with that. I do have more activities during the summer. I'm not saying I don't let them have any activites during the school year. I do. But it includes - playing with friends (outside!, some churchy activities, although that only happens once per week). I think these days, people are trying to make up for the activities that they lacked as childern or trying to put on the front of the perfect happy family when in actually the parents are popping drugs and pulling their hair out. Looking back I am glad my parents instilled school in me. I have a full time job and do luckily work from home. I do hit this blog once per day (la-huv it!!)and sometimes FB. So there I am in a nutshell. Non medicated, apparently some times boring, bad mother who makes her kids work at school. Where a drink? hahah

    ReplyDelete
  56. BUSY is overrated bullshit.

    fact.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Go to YouTube and look up "shit stay at home moms say". You will laugh your butt off! It goes exactly with what you're saying.

    ReplyDelete
  58. here it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z_1AiZj6QY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    ReplyDelete
  59. Ok, have to say the SAHM bashing is going a little far on here. My feeling is this, if it works for YOUR family, MORE POWER TO YOU. What happens at my house would never work for my next door neighbor, and that does not mean either one of us are doing it wrong. It's a tough world these days, and kids are facing more challenges, obstacles, and competition than we ever did... my kids have always had a boatload of activities. My son is one of those crazy 5 a.m. swimmers, and also number 24 in his junior class of 950 kids. School IS our priority, but I also think kids need to pursue other interests. Sports are one of the BEST self esteem builders for teen/tween girls, and there is tons of research to prove it. My daughter plays multiple sports, and she has more self confidence than I ever did as a 12 year old. We have no illusions of sports scholarships or olympic medals, and could probably have put FOUR kids through college on the money we have spent on extracurriculars for our TWO kids, but it is what works in OUR house. And yes, I am a SAHM who knows full well how blessed I am to have the opportunity to BE at home... my mother worked full time my entire life and I KNOW how hard that is for everyone. So really, let's all try not to be so hard on each other as women... we're all fighting our own battles, whether yours are tougher than anyone else's is just a matter of opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are absolutely right in saying that your family and my family can't work under the same structure. Your comments don't sound to me like they come from the type of mamas I think these folks are referring to. You know the ones that imply that her child is somehow better than yours because she does more? And that because I don't have my daughter in 3 activities every evening that somehow I am a poor excuse for a mama? You sound to me like a SAHM that utilizes her SAHMness to her advantage and doesn't spend all day at hair and nail appointments and luncheons to discuss the fundraiser for the historical society that nobody really gets anyway. The previous comments, I have a feeling, wouldn't apply to you. And just let me say, that as a mama that works full-time outside the home, I appreciate hearing a SAHM express thankfulness for her good fortune.

      Delete
    2. I think did veer off into the SAHM bashing, but the original intent wasn't whether the mom was at-home or working but whether she was going around COMPLAINING about her busy schedule. Busy is a relative term...everyone thinks they are busy. Bitching about your busy schedule deserves a punch in the throat! You choose your own schedule...that's what I tell all those whiny moms. I am a SAHM. I choose to limit my kids activities to 1 in addition to school. I don't bash people who schedule multiple activities for their kids but if they DARE whine around me, I always point out that they are one who made that schedule. Either enjoy the crazy, chaotic ride or get the F-ck off!

      Delete
    3. It wasn't intended as a SAHM bashing. It was a bashing against EVERYONE who complains they're busy, but they're the ones scheduling their lives full of crap. My example was a SAHM, because that's who cornered me Friday night. I have working mom friends who are just as scheduled and complain just as loudly because they put in 40+ hours a week at a desk. I saw a comment earlier about childless people who do it too. I'm bashing all complainers, not SAHMs.

      Delete
  60. First world problems - hilarious :)
    My 4 kids had hardly any extra curricular activity (they have no interest in sports other than English ones rugby/cricket etc which practically dont exist in the home of the passive aggressive fleece monster where I live)and because of that I have 4 A students that have plenty of social time with friends rather than sctivity acquaintances. Can't stand how majority of the parents push their kids into activities when the kids are obviously NOT enjoying each one, because NO, little Johnny is never gonna be a pro ball player no matter how much you think he will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only have two, but they are in a lot of activities, and both are straight A students, 2 grade levels advanced. My son plays soccer, football and basketball, because he likes it, not because it's his career choice. My daughter is a gymnast and runs track, loves both but doesn't want to do it beyond high school. Wants to continue to play viola in college. You should not assume that because a child is active in sports, his parents are pinning their hopes on a professional sports career. Your children are A students because they devote the time to their studies, not because they don't do extracurricular activities. One does not exclude the other.

      Delete
  61. I feel that I will feel obligated to over involve my children. I'm not there yet. But I'm guessing I will be.

    I grew up as one of those kids who had a bajillion different after school activities. I remember having to eat and change in the car on the way to whatever I had to do next, several nights a week. My mother pushes me a lot to have my children do more, but I'm so exhausted just running after them... My 4 year old has ballet lessons and thats about all she does. My son's after school activities consist of 3 different kinds of therapy (he's autistic). I feel guilty though. Because My 4 year old is forced to come along to all these different appointments for my 8 year old and I'm afraid she's going to start to feel left out.

    I mean, already she sees speech, ABA, and OT as something cool that her brother gets to do that she doesn't. She's only interested in ballet right now, but how can I say no to her when she wants to play soccer, be in the band, and be in the school play later in life?

    I guess I feel like I'm overcompensating because I'm afraid she'll end up resenting me for not doing a good enough job at balancing my attention.

    blah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hang in there! Fair is not giving each of your kids the same or a balance...fair is giving each of your children what they NEED. Sounds like you are doing a great job of it. Your daughter is young and will understand more as she gets older.

      Delete
  62. Hey now don't be a color coder hater haha. Oh boy do I know the women you speak of! Please don't lump me in with them just because I have more than two kiddos:) my kids are allowed one sport/activity a season and school and family come first. And yes I have watched more than one ride the bench because of that! But they survive. Now someone that should be punched in the throat, a mom of two who won't stop complaining about how she has too much laundry to a mom of 8! Haha!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Jen, I love this post! This is my first time commenting. I'm an elementary school teacher and I run into this ALL.THE.TIME. Spring is the worst. That's when baseball, soccer, softball, and lord knows what else hits at once. The kids are either too involved, or they cannot get away from their video games. I have known a parent like this for the past few years...I have always heard about her kid's extracurricular activities, but I never hear about when she and her husband go out on a date together. Or spend some time together. I'm still a few years away from parenthood, but I like the one activity rule.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Kids have so much shoved on them outside of school now, it's insane.

    When I was in school, I was very much into dance. In order to be allowed to take more classes, I had to write an essay (I'm not exaggerating, my mom kept it) telling my parents why I deserved to take more hours. My dad then made me sign a "contract" that if my grades dropped at all, I would drop a class. School ALWAYS came first. Period. I plan on doing the same thing for my kids.

    ReplyDelete
  65. What the hell is Kumon? Is that a weird midwest thing cause I am quite sure up here in New England we don't have it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm from Lawrence and never heard of it! I live in Baltimore now and never heard of it! Agreed.

      Delete
    2. I live just outside Providence (RI) and have never heard of it, either!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:05

      Kumon is an extracurricular educational activity. My daughter went for 2 years for enrichment. Some kids go for extra help, some go for enrichment. The idea is that they are working at their own pace, not the pace of 31 other kids in their class. It's usually just math and english, but I think some centers offer foreign language as well. google it!

      Delete
  66. Being from Lawrence, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I'm so sick of people thinking they are busy when they are a stay at home mom. I'm a full time employee who has to travel 50% of the time for work, just finished my doctorate, wife, mother, and have maintained my friendships and other relationships quite well....and these bitches think they are busy because they have to meet for a fucking latte after a morning swim. Give me a fucking break. Stupid bitches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we're all a bunch of stupid bitches. That's all we SAHMs do... bitch about how busy we are because we have to meet for our fucking lattes after our fucking morning swims. This is after we bitch about how we have to get our fucking kids out of bed to get them ready for fucking school, when we'd rather just lay in our fucking beds until noon. And we laugh to our bitchy friends about the stupid bitches (we can call you that, too, right?) who actually "work" during the day (since we lazy stupid bitches don't lift a finger unless it's to lift our fucking lattes). Kudos to your superior life as a wife, mother, academic, jet-setting business woman, and a stupid bitch (I can call you that too, right?) whose life is so fucking perfect. Maybe one day I'll be just like you (actually, I was - but I gave up my 6 figure corporate job to raise my kids). If only I weren't such a stupid fucking lazy bitch. You are all class.

      Delete
    2. Sounds like you are too! And btw, I never said my life was perfect, I just said I'm actually busy with busy. :)

      Delete
    3. And actually I was saying that those people who act like that are stupid bitches, not all SAHM. I would never place every single person into one category...

      Delete
    4. Taylor S.08:25

      I'm pretty sure she was referencing the whiny women Jenn described, not SAHMs who actually contribute to the world. You wouldn't agree that tennis lessons and manicures are lame excuses? During school holidays, I experience life as a SAHM. Done right, it's demanding work, particularly to the mothers with infants. Keeping the kid fed/dry/happy, cleaning the home, running numerous errands, cooking, and laundry take up more hours than there are in the day. These wanna-be Desperate Housewives from the article are not busy, they're just dumb. Based on your response, it seems like you're an overly aggressive, unhappy SAHM. Might I suggest a job and some Xanax?

      Delete
  67. Also, it just occurred to me, the parents rushing their children to so many activities aren't actually spending any quality time with them - being in a minivan rushing around all the time IS NOT quality time. When do they snuggle on the couch, when do they have private conversations, cos we all know they have half a dozen other kids in the van with them. When do they just chill the heck out?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Interesting timing on this for me. I was JUST having this discussion with my husband when a mom I know made me feel guilty for not putting my 5 year old in Lacrosse. He already does Tae Quon Do twice per week, which I think is PLENTY for a kid just starting out in Kgarten 5 days per week.
    Someone told me about a good documentary/video out called 'Race to Nowhere' that supposedly addresses this issue as well. I plan to look into it.

    ReplyDelete
  69. This is why I love your blog! You get it! My son does 1 activity during school and 1 during the summer (Tae Kwon Do and swimming respectively). They're both 2 days a week. There's so many people I know who complain about driving their kids to softball, basketball, soccer, dance, etc. Kids don't know how to just play anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I think you secretly want the kids to take swimming lessons. Or maybe you want to? Is Alejandro available?

    ReplyDelete
  71. So, one sport is ok, right? Like, one sport that requires 25 hours a week of training? I understand where you're coming from and appreciate your opinion and am amused as always; however, I am one of those insanely busy parents. That said, my children both carry 4.0 grade points and choose to participate in many activities. I don't complain about being busy, I LOVE it. I love watching my kids in their respective sports/activities and wouldn't change it, but understand those people who don't like the crazy lifestyle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! My favorite thing is to watch my kids participate in their activities - sports, music, academic clubs. They are also A students. I'm not sure why the family watching one of the kids in a basketball game isn't considered "family time". Is it only "family time" if you are on the couch watching "American Idol"? We don't do that.

      Delete
  72. Oh- I think I started to become one of those moms- and then I realized that I couldn't remember the last year. We quit everything. It's nice to have nothing to do but be together. We'll start up with 1 activity per kid here in the next year. But, I'm done with not remember the last year because of all my productivity. Great post- Love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. Another great post. Let me just say that when I started to read it, I thought I wanted to punch YOU in the throat but then you started putting school up there and I got it. We have added in activities only as they have proved they can handle it. Unfortunately in third grade, my oldest is involved in piano, dance and basketball at the same time!! We have said no to other things (swim lessons, girl scouts, 4-H), but you better believe the minute her grades started to suffer she would be pulled out of those activities so fast. School IS the number one priority and I love that you said it!

    BTW, I want to punch parents that want to say they are too busy to help their kids read or do homework. I want them to come take a look at my schedule, yet we get it done!!!!

    I'm a mo too!

    ReplyDelete
  74. I. Love. You. Kinda judgy just like me. I. Love. You.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I HOWLED at "I haven't been to a grocery store in a week, but my Pinterest account is ah-may-zing". Best line!!!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Maybe it's because we live in the boonies, but I don't know anyone who has their kids in more than 1 activity. In fact...in my husbands humugous family we are the only ones who have our kids in anything. My 6 year old boy does hockey 1-2 days a week. Luckily they don't have games on Saturdays. My daughter is 3 1/2 and is in dance. She LOVES it. It's once a week. I enjoy doing those things for my kids...and they enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  77. we (society) went wrong when we started treating pre-school like college.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Love this post Jen! I too am a mom who works 50+ hours a week and we only let our 2 boys join one activity each. School is number one in our house! Not to mention, I simply can't AFFORD all these activities!!! There, I said it!
    So right now they are both doing scouts, but if they find an interest in something else, they gotta choose their fav due to budget restraints!!
    Those "busy" moms make me wanna barf!! Lol....

    ReplyDelete
  79. Oh, and my next door neighbor who gives me crap ALL THE TIME for having my kids in too many activities? Her kids play x-box 24/7 and mostly don't speak to each other unless it to call each other a nasty name or beat the crap out of one another. Mine? We don't even OWN an x-box (and I have a 17 year old boy), nor they they watch more than an hour of TV a day or drink soda. My junior in high school helps his little sister with her math homework EVERY night without being forced, and he assistant coached her soccer team. How's that for making memories with your siblings? So, call me and my overscheduled kids whatever you want, but I bet you would be more than happy to have them as your kid's friends or in your classroom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No kidding!! I am going to guess that most kids who don't participate in any extracurricular activities and whose parents both work 40+ hours a week are coming up with activities all of their own after school let's out in addition to their video gaming habits....much like the ring of 12/13 year olds who were stealing bikes out of garages at dinner time when most people were home a few weeks ago and were being chased down on foot and with squad cars through the neighborhood by 4 po po. What's that they say about Idol hands?????

      Delete
    2. I hear all the time from parents about how their kids don't get along. If my kids are not at each other's activities (not practices, but meets and such), they are texting me asking how they are doing. They are a boy and a girl, 4 years apart, and the best of friends.

      Delete
  80. The last line made me CRACK UP!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Are you SURE you are not just saying you live in Kansas? Sure does sound a whole lot like Trussville, Alabama.

    ReplyDelete
  82. One activity per kid here and I am a realist. We don't do activities the kids have no hope of using in adult life. Sorry kids...but you are going to be too damn tall to be a ballerina or a gymnast - so I'm not wasting our (family) time on that. Swimming is a life skill...we do that. Tennis is a sport you can play until you can barely move (I play with 70 yr olds who still can kick butt)...so we have 1 kid in tennis. That is busy enough for me. I think I would go crosseyed listening to a mom like you described...I would need a red bull just to keep up with her talking about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So the only reason to participate in an activity is so you can do it in your adult life. Very few adults are gymnasts, but it builds strength, endurance, character - all of which will be beneficial for a lifetime.

      Delete
  83. I told my husband he was fucking nuts when he wanted to sign our son up for a 2nd baseball team....one that travels, mind u. No WAY! Said I! That would mean that we were at the fields 5 nights + both weekend days for games. Where is the balance. During regular spring season we are there for 2 practices and 2 games and that, my dear, is plenty! We need balance for our kids. One sport at a time. My poor kid has to double up on homework and do some in the car, spelling words are learned while we drive, he aces his tests now, but he's just a 2nd grader. Trying hard to keep the balance. I work as a nanny, volunteer as needed in his school, am on the pta ....yeah no time at all cos there is laundry, cooking, lunches to make, dog to walk etc LOL Such is life Thanks for the laughs girl!

    ReplyDelete
  84. I have friends like you described and their hearts are in the right place...just not their minds.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Actual overheard conversation between two students at Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI): "I have Student Council, Drama Club, Dance Club, and I need to work out - when do my professors expect me to finish all of this homework???" I wanted to b!tch slap the kid!

    P.S. I thought you might enjoy this letter about the PTA Mom From Hell!

    ReplyDelete
  86. If you were speaking Japanese, you would be saying "oh, you have a job? Your poor children! When do you have time to take them to swimming, hiphop, Japanese calligraphy, English conversation, piano, and karate? You have to prepare your kids or they won't get into the right cram school and then they will go nowhere in life!"

    ReplyDelete
  87. Thank you. Again I could have written this...an probably would have eventually, but now I don't need to :D

    Anyway..ya know I don't even care if they want to run their kids all over hell and back everyday, just don't bitch to me about it. My standard response when these people start complaining is..."well..you coulda said NO" and that usually (UUUsually) ends the whining. I have four kids, even giving them each ONE thing to do, I still end up running all over the place, so I don't wan't to hear whining from those who have 2 kids that do 4 different things tell me about it. It's not nice for me to say..."well it's not my fault you're stupid.." so I try not to say that(shit happens sometimes). Common sense folks...common sense, it's a lost art.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Here in Stepford we have an extremely high amount of future professional sports players, professional musicians, Rhodes scholars and noble peace prize winners...or so I keep hearing. ;) My three underachievers will be focusing on going to college, getting a job and being happy well adjusted responsible members of society....in the real world. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  89. agreed. we homeschool and we still only do 2 extracurriculars per child and we don't start them into them until age 4. I made the mistake of putting my two oldest into irganized sports at the age of three and basically I was paying to watch them daydream and cry :)

    ReplyDelete
  90. We limit our boys to one sport a season. Even this became ridiculous when we lived in Dallas since sports were everything in the Lone Star State. Now that we are in Europe, only the die-hard ex-pat Americans try to maintain the same crazy schedules. I actually over heard a mom the other day say that she needed to speak to the principal because she was going to be pulling her daughter out of school a month early so that they could return to the US for her to play on her old lacrosse team (not a popular sport in this part of Europe). Therefore, he would have to send them her final exams and have them administered in the US. The school frowns on parents pulling their kids out a day early for Winter break. Good luck with that.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Hear, Hear! I like you, Jenn!

    ReplyDelete
  92. I used to work at a "Health and Fitness Center" - aka a gym. The trainers had a name for the women you describe, shared only with the Moms who felt like you do; they called them "Women who lie on their backs for a living".

    ReplyDelete
  93. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! I don't have kids yet, I teach for a living, and plenty of people I teach with complain about ALL THE ACTIVITIES their kids do... and then I talk to my husband and am like we cannot do it! He actually said that 1 activity at a time and school comes first! THANK GOD. Because I would have to have a whole pot of coffee, redbull for lunch every day, aspirin every 4 hours and prozac and a bottle or two of wine every night just to bring me back down... Yeah not going to do it.

    Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  94. we limit our kids to one activity at a time, and that takes up plenty when practice is four nights a week and then you have games! my husband's sister is just like this, always saying how busy she is and how much she needs her mom to come up to help her out when her husband is out of town...umm i'm sorry, but you stay at home and all your kids are in school, what help do you need??? oh that's right, you have book club and the kids have soccer, swimming and karate all the same night, so who would make you dinner?

    ReplyDelete
  95. I have an almost 4 year old and I threw the application for t-ball in the trash as soon as it hit his backback so he wouldn't see it and wouldn't want to play. Nothing organized for us until its something he a) knows even exists and b) actually wants to do. I like it that he digs in the dirt and wants to be a lumberjack. Hey, somebody's gotta cut down those trees! PS....my husband played college football and regrets that he started everything so early. His brother was a phenomenal athlete and got burned out. My child is in the 95 percentile of weight and 90th percentile of height...good chance he'll be an athlete like his dad's family, so I'm not a totally selfish mama...If he ends up being good in sports, I don't want him to quit in JuCo b/c he started at age 4 and is completely done. However, if he ends up being as coordinated as me, that won't be an option. We'll hope he takes to the book clubs (when he knows what they are and wants to join).

    Thanks for the awesome article. Total vindication. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  96. I was just having a similar conversation with someone the other day! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  97. I agree so much with this entire post! I also agree with the comment someone made early on about how those parents are the reason we as a people are getting dumber over time! So so true!!

    ReplyDelete
  98. Did you know Facebook has a "hide all by Pinterest" option! I hit that. Yay, Facebook!

    ReplyDelete
  99. This whole post is just so right on the mark, but what struck me most of all were the points about parents who think their children will have a career as a baseball player/tae kwon doe champ, etc. My kids are grown and in college, but I vividly remember shaking my head in disbelief at parents who genuinely believed their little darlings were on the path to college scholarships and more just because they could play a sport fairly well at 7 years old. Let me tell you, virtually none of them have found that to be true.

    As for my own kids, my daughter was the type who wanted to be busy all the time - my son not so much. We never forced them to do anything, and they both found their passions in high school (show choir for her, football for him), then never did those things again.

    Parents need to lighten up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My kids do a lot - but any scholarship hopes are pinned on academics. We do sports for exercise, teamwork, etc. After spending 12 years in the gym with my daughter, I can tell you, nearly every mother of a 7 year old gymnast thinks she's going to the Olympics. Five girls every 4 years, people. What are the odds????

      Delete
  100. Oh, man. My kid is only one and I want more than anything for her to be interested only in cheap activities that don't involve me driving, sitting, or talking to other parents for any more than a combined two hours a week. I'm really hoping she doesn't take up swimming. Those freakin' meets are like 6 hours! I may never even let her see a pool. Like in that movie, "Goodbye, Lenin" when a son has to make it look like Germany hadn't reunited so as not to startle his mom who went into a coma just before the Wall fell, I just might try to convince my kid that we live in prairie times and there's no such thing as Girl Scouts.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Our children are involved in soccer, swim team, chess, band, dance, and piano. I never feel overwhelmed and I have a few pointers for those who do.

    1) Double-up when you can. By that I mean, if your kids are close enough in age, put them on the same team. The great thing about chess and swim team is when we go to a tournament or meet all the kids (we have 4) go to their individual matches but we are all together in one central location for the day. Also, our piano teacher does all the kids one after the other and since there are so many, he even drives ot OUR house!!!

    2) Proximity. Every activity we consider for our kids must be close to our house. My daughter's dance school is less than 5 minutes away and the kids can walk to their soccer practices. I'm sure they would have liked to try hockey or horseback riding, but those activities were too far from home, so we never even offered them.

    3) Take care of yourself! Many parents complain of not having the energy to keep-up with their kids. It makes a world of difference when you are able to make time to exercise and eat healthy. I often squeeze in 30 minutes at the gym while the kids are at swim practice. -But that's only possible because our gym very close to everything else! *see #2 above! ;)

    This is not to say that we haven't had to drop things before. The kids used to do scouts, baseball, Lego Robotics and math team, but those activities lost out when pitted against others.

    I hope this helps a few who are struggling!

    ReplyDelete
  102. My two girls are now 18 and 20 years old but boy can I relate to your post! I always believed that kids needed to be kids - to play outside and do fun stuff - not necessarily structured stuff! They are now both amazing, motivated, inspired and straight A students because they are HAPPY and WELL ADJUSTED! I'm proud of the fact that I didn't push them to do all sorts of extra activities that honestly, I think stress kids out. Be there for your kids everyday, be interested in what they love to do and encourage them to be the best they can and be honest, compassionate individuals. That's what our kids really need.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Just stumbled here - and can I just say AMEN sister! School = job at our house, and one activity per child is the limit only IF grades are up to par. We actually may share a portion of a brain, as I know mine is missing a large chunk!

    ReplyDelete
  104. Taylor S.08:11

    Let me tell these bitches about busy:
    First and foremost, I'm a Mommy to a mobile, pterodactyl of a 10 month old. I'm an Army wife. I'm a full-time teacher. I'm a full-time graduate student. I'm a full-time graduate intern. I have a small photography business on the side. I have more social engagements than someone as nerdy as me should have. From time-to-time, I clean my house, launder my clothes (yes, my kid wears a potato sack some days), and buy groceries to prevent the hubby and I from eating baby food for dinner. If I had the kind of schedule you described, I would have scaled fucking Mount Olympus by lunch. My hedges would be in the shape of a Picasso painting. My toes would look neatly manicured, not like nubby Cheetos. If someone told ME they think THEY have a busy schedule, I would have punched them square in the throat.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Taylor S.08:16

    And PS - when I taught the rich kids in middle school (I've since upgraded to the poor ghetto high school kids; fewer activities!), I would often strangle the parents who dared to tell me that their kid's horseback riding/soccer/ballet interfered with my homework. I would then ask them to sign a release form that my Lawyer Daddy drafted as a joke that would protect me from liability when the kids failed the state test and my job was in jeopardy. So often, I felt like saying, "Listen, little Anita is fat and uncoordinated. She's not going to be a fucking Prima Ballerina. There's a smallllllll chance she could contribute to society with a decent job, so make her do her fucking English homework and give her a chance to grow up to be somebody I DON'T support with my tax dollars!"

    ReplyDelete
  106. I think we might have been separated at birth!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Anonymous13:31

    Thank you for saying this! I've had it up to my neck with moms saying, "Oh, I'm just busy busy all day!" Who cares!

    ReplyDelete
  108. A little late to this post, but I honestly take pride in not being busy. I figure it's the next big trend and that I'm ahead of the game.

    In truth, I'm just doing what my mom did. We had plenty of money to spend on extracurricular crap, but we only did music lessons and the occasional church league softball team. Now, we don't have any money, so the decision is made for us! We'll be weeding in the backyard and doing other fun things like scrubbing toilets. Is that busy enough?

    ReplyDelete
  109. Anonymous16:44

    I have 3 children that all play soccer in the fall and spring and basketball in the winter. The older 2 are both on 2 teams for each sport. We have practice or a game 6/7 days a week. I also coach their teams, am on the board of the sports organization, and am an active PTA member. My family and I eat dinner together every night, my childrens homework is done by 4:00, and they have time to play outside. They are both also on the honor roll. I also go to school full time. I am a SAHM due to being laid off thanks to the economy but my children were always this active. My children understand school comes 1st and although my son is convinced he'll be a professional soccer player, we as parents keep his head out of the clouds. Yes, I'm busy but I wouldn't have it any other way. They will only be kids once and seeing them accomplish something as with a team or learn a new skill and see their faces light up makes it worth it. Due to the PTA and being a board member I also know more about what is going on in my childrens school and activities.

    ReplyDelete
  110. "I do go to Target a lot. Mostly to return stuff I should not have bought when I was there yesterday."
    Couldn't be more true! I have a return sitting in my passenger seat right now.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Often times parents are enrolling their children in multiple sporting activities because it is seen a means to future participation and possibly excellence. However, enrollment in structured play, monitored by adult coaches and refs, fails to develop the same social skills that "pick-up" games provide. In a pick up game, the children learn how to deal with social organization, confrontation, consultation, and compromise. Instead, these skills are handicapped in organized play as difficulties are monitored and avoided by the adults. The sporting skills attributed to organized play can be just as easily developed in the experience of unstructured play by means of modeling, but the ability to deal with the difficult nature of social interaction is diminished.

    ReplyDelete
  112. I completely agree with you! Oh, and I would rather have my teeth pulled than listen to people like that, it would be less painful. :)

    ReplyDelete
  113. Guilty.... I have 3 kids, ages 12, 8 and 5. We are busy every day of the week, often with 2 or 3 activities on the same day. And it's not because I let each one do a million things, it's because what they do is so time consuming all by itself. My oldest plays football and travel baseball (thankfully two different seasons) but each one is extremely time consuming, often 5 days a week. My middle child is on a competitive dance team, so that is very time consuming. They both take piano lessons, but that is only 30 minutes once a week. My youngest takes 2 dance classes a week (total of one hour) and just started her first season of Tball (so only a slight overlap in seasons). So none of them by themselves does a ton, but when you put it all together it gets busy. But school always comes first. We have been known to skip a practice in order to get homework or studying done.

    ReplyDelete
  114. This whole story sounds something like out of this planet to me. I was poor, and my parents had to work a lot to provide the basics: food, clothing, and shelter. There was no money for many extracurricular activities. School was the basic and only priority. Did that affect my ability to get in other activities? Absolutely not! I was taught since early age that I had to make sacrifices, be persistent, and study hard if I really wanted something. And that is exactly what I did: I got my homework done in time and got good grades. I managed to be included in the local soccer team and the school running team, and later on I also got an old, used guitar from my neighbor. I learned how to play it at home, without formal music classes. I also got an old Yamaha keyboard from my uncle and learned a bit of music theory with it.

    I've always liked challenges and I absolutely loved reading, so this may have helped me. However, I'm very grateful for the kind of education that I received from my parents. They taught me the real value of things and of persistence. That was a lesson I will never forget.

    ReplyDelete
  115. I am most concerned about the fact that these parents all seem to be convinced that their child is "GIFTED" at everything. My kids are great. They are smart, they are funny and they are sweet, but there are also little. My daughter loves to dance, so she is in ballet: ONCE A WEEK. Do I expect her to go to class? Yes. My son decided he wanted to try Hip Hop, so we enrolled him. I do not know if either of them will be professional dancers and you know what? It's ok if they aren't. They are 5 and 7. I wish parents would stop trying to turn their kids into prodigy EVERYTHINGs. Both my kids have lots of interests and I hope they always do. Life is way more interesting if you can find a way to entertain yourself in every situation. That doesn't mean that every situation is a passion.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Love your blog! I enjoyed all of the post, but the last part made me laugh out loud (yes, I LOL'ed). Too many activities, too much focus off of school, and why are there competitive/traveling teams for every sport or activity?

    Thanks for keeping it real!

    ReplyDelete
  117. I know a couple of families like that and I know what it is...They don't want to spend time with their kids. They would rather pay someone else to entertain them. Also, I think for the Dads with sons that are in five million different sports throughout the year and push them so hard, they are making up for their failures. It is just too much fricking prressure on these kids!! I would rather have my four kids happy, healthy and sane.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Oh Christ! Reading that list made me dizzy with contempt for the 'SaHMBs"- the 'stay at home mom brigades'. I tortured my first child- now 24- with a million activities and camps. He had to move 3,000 miles away from his micro-managing mother just to feel some sense of self and independence.
    Now, I have a 7-year-old and a totally different, healthier attitude- albeit lazier, but... My guy goes to a private parochial school, not a Diocesan one- the difference here is the socio-economic factor..These little guys work so hard all day, tons of homework, etc...sometimes I suggest to him that we just say 'f- it' to our 'planned activity' and go home to ride bikes or sword fight or play legos..his imagination is crazy cool and he knows how to have fun. I rather he master his Jedi skills at laser tag over Tae fucking kwon do any day!

    ReplyDelete
  119. Can you please apply to Wife Swap????!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  120. Throat available for punching - I find myself complaining abt the schedule between my FT job and three kids in three schools A LOT, and I think "shut the fuck up, no one cares and if you don't like it become a secret alcoholic like all the other moms" but I can't SHUT. UP. This was a good gut check. I'd share drugs with you.

    ReplyDelete
  121. I'm fairly confident you and you would be the best of friends! A friend sent this to me today to read as I had just said, "man, anyone over all the shit their kids are doing? Can't I just enjoy one damn summer day without having to worry about what I'm forgetting?" I think having four kids will do that to you though. I get dumber by the day, the only thing keeping my brain trained are all those levels in Candy Crush Saga that I MUST beat. Thankfully they kids have learned to feed themselves, so I have some time to get that done.

    ReplyDelete
  122. oh...my...god HYSTERICAL. I have a friend that runs herself and her kids into the ground and she tops it all off with a winsome "ahhh my life is chaos but I'm so blessed!" And I think BULLSHIT. Your husband and you don't communicate about the most basic of things - your two teenage twins are narcissistic little gimme gimme gimme bitches and between your two younger ones you have a neurotic mess and a borderline sociopath. The school is after her about all the problems of homework not getting done but she ignores that for the more important social activities everyone wants to do or in case of the sociopath DOESN'T want to do. The kids live out of the car, they eat fast food EVERY DAY and she works full time on top of this as a teacher and volunteers for her church AND runs two girlscout troops because in her words "my children will miss out if I don't run the troop my self". I think I'm twice as lazy just to make up for the energy suck created by her wake. The only thing I hate more than mothers like this are the husband's of my friends who can't seem to do a fucking thing other than show up from work (or even the occasional work in one case) make a goddam mess, watch television eat and sleep while my friends work themselves to death at every other thing in their life and their children's lives including holding down jobs as well. I'm baffled by that and feel I would put that nonsense to rest PDQ but then again I'm married to a real man who raises his own children, cleans his own house and cooks an occasional meal. People say I'm spoiled - fuck that I'm smart - I picked a good mate and father of my children, we communicate and have what I feel is a very mutually happy NORMAL relationship. But I digress... I also get the look that says "please please please don't say anything, I want to keep this one!" when my friends can see the vein pop out and the tell-tale head tilt and eye twitch. If the stupid shit actually pores out of their mouth - they're fair game in my opinion. Awesome post - as usual

    ReplyDelete
  123. The secret is that people make time to do the stuff that they want to do and excuses for the stuff they don't. It is that simple. These women want to drive their kids all around creation (most like for the reason you stated -- so they don't have to spend actual time together) and go to the gym and have a perfectly spotless house. People constantly ask me how I 'find the time' to make costumes for the high school play. I had a woman ask me just two days ago how could I spend soooo much time to make costumes for a high school play and I'm thinking, "Lady, I cannot fucking WAIT to get here and start tailoring and sewing costumes. I love doing this." Housework and all that other crap I don't care if it EVER gets done. I only do it grudgingly like if we're out of clean plates or people's feet are sticking to the floor. So I am extrapolating from the stuff I have time for that these women must feel the same excitement about driving their kids to 100 activities and going to the gym and housework that I do about my artistic endeavors. Or they're just robots.

    ReplyDelete
  124. I feel like I'm always busy too and I don't do anything extra. No activities for myself, not even exercise. 4 of my 5 kids have one activity 1 day per week, and I make them on the same night so only tue and thurs. I also grocery shop during their activity once a week, we don't plan anything for weekends, laundry fridays, all day job, and church wednesday. I make homemade dinner 6 nights a week. How is it I have no time left when we don't really do anything and purposely overlap things??? Too much time spent on facebook and DVR I guess! LOL :)

    ReplyDelete
  125. Love, love, LOVE this post. I am NOT one of those busy moms, my kids were little slackers who never did more than one after school activity each season, and the one time I went onto a tennis court I almost ended up getting brained by a crazed tennis mom with a playdate vendetta against me. I actually know someone who was a stay at home mom who got a Nanny to help with her kids because she was too busy with her paddle games, mall runs, lunch dates and what not, she didn't have time to do her mom things. Puh-leaz. Thanks for calling them all out!!

    ReplyDelete
  126. Every time you write, I love you more and more! We are so much alike! My kids now ONLY get to do the sports they are SERIOUS about, like they think someday, they might go pro. Otherwise, we just don't do it. I like to SEE them each day and have time to breathe. Plus, when do these people play games with their kids? I already feel like a task master, how do these people do it??? I LOVE your illustrations. They always make me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  127. There's this one girl who is in my High School's Musical who is also in cheerleading and gymnastics. She is constantly complaining that she never has time to do anything and I'll stand there looking at her thinking, "And you're in 3 time consuming activities, why?" Cheerleading practice goes on until 7 P.M. and since we're going through dress rehearsals right now, the musical goes on until 7:30. Often she'll be running back and forth between practices, just barely making it on time for her cues. I would tell the director, but her is super involved with everything so if anyone says anything she'll know, and then she'll be harping on you saying, "Why are you bullying my child?" It's so annoying. Not to mention that said girl is really rude about everything and no one likes her.

    ReplyDelete
  128. The Glorification of Busy!!

    I shall put no other gods before my comfy chair and a good book.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Jen,

    You seem to be a very narrow minded individual. While you berate other mothers, you self admittedly do the same thing you criticize. You inflict just as much personal pain on yourself as the other mothers do, yet you claim your lifestyle is more important; simply because you work and the "other" mothers do not. I do not have kids, nor am I even married, but I cannot imagine your activities of pintrest and facebook are any more important than another individuals tennis lesson. I find it ironic that you belittle a person's daily activities while your "important" activities are just as mundane. Perhaps you should trade the pintrest time for the gym, causing you to become more healthy, and therefore abound with renewed energy (just a suggestion). And while I sincerely doubt my comment will have the slightest impact on you, hopefully at least one person will realize you missed the goal of what you were truly disappointed in; which was a parent's neglect of their child's education to fulfil their uneventful life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With all due respect, sir, I am afraid you have totally missed the plot of this blog post, too busy that you were in belittling its author.

      Trying to hit under the belt with your suggestions of trading an activity with sports, not-so-subtly implying that Jen's health needs to be improved (is it any of your business, sir?), and worse, implying that parents who do not cram their kids' schedule with extra-curricular activities merely neglect them... That is neither dignified, nor even decent.

      Oh, and please excuse the non-native English speaker that I happen to be, but unless I might be mistaken, it is "healthier", not "more healthy".

      Best regards.

      Delete
  130. As a gymnastic coach I become increasingly frustrated with the lack of motivation and commitment the kids have. Why? Because they are doing 15 other activities and this is just one more thing in their childhood resume. When I was a gymnast it was all I had and so I poured myself into it. Parents are exhausting their kids with all these activities and as a result they are subpar at everything. Help your kid find a passion and focus on that. That's my 2 cents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The voice of reason. Thanks for your comment, Michele, it is very enlightening. :)

      Delete
  131. Dang gurl you just punched me in the throat! Headed off to fix my life in my Iyanla Vanzant voice... Love your blog, hope i encounter a friend like you.

    ReplyDelete
  132. The fact that you didn't punch "Eugene's" mom square in the face says a lot about you! Way to control yourself in a situation you clearly couldn't be held accountable for your actions. : )

    ReplyDelete
  133. Ah yes, the glorification of busy. The rare occasion I get this way, I tend to want to punch myself in the throat, so this was just great.

    ReplyDelete