The Overscheduled Parent


I suppose I should start out by saying “Hello, it’s me…”

In case you’ve been wondering, I didn’t fall off the planet. Rather, like many parents these days, I got busy. And not normal busy. Stupid busy. And now I’m back, a year later, wondering how I haven’t written anything for a whole year. I’ve had a lot to say, that isn’t it. It’s just the idea of sitting down at the end of the day and trying to put into coherent words any of my thoughts usually ends up with, “um, no, thank you”.

More than ever this past year, I have been drowning in small stuff. And big stuff. And medium stuff.  Work, volunteering, sports, household chores and more sports. Not my sports, but the kids sports. Me? Sports? No time. I’ve been sitting on my butt in cold arenas keeping Tim Horton’s in business. Figure skating, synchronized skating, house league hockey, select hockey, select baseball indoor training… and the four different boards that Rich and I sit on between us because we want to be involved in the kids’ lives. Why four? Because clearly being on one board was not stupid enough.

It’s true, we’ve become  THOSE parents. The ones we said we’d never be. The disdain I used to feel when I watched those crazy, overscheduled families flying from one activity to another, “OMG, I am NEVER going to do THAT!” I’ve been eating crow since I had kids, folks. Eating lots and lots of crow.

In the meantime, we have 12 activities/practices a week. Last I checked, there are only 7 days in a week. Soooo… hmmm… math was always my worst subject but I’m pretty sure that’s ridiculous.

I’m not sure how families with more than 2 kids do this. Or maybe they’re smarter and just don’t do it. But between Rich’s busy work schedule and very long days, and me painting 9-3 each day (physical labour really does suck in your 40s), I have had to figure out how to be in two places at once most evenings despite my sore, tired body and overwhelming exhaustion. With science being my second worse subject, cloning has not yet been successful.  Thank goodness for friends and neighbours whose kids are also in a ridiculous number of the same activities and can shuffle one of mine along with theirs. Because it never fails that although one or both of my kids are on the ice every night, they’re never in the same arena.

Despite the craziness, the kids have rocked it. Won tournaments, earned medals, learned how to survive disappointing losses and developed great life skills right in front of my eyes. All worth every minute I’ve spent frozen in the rink.

So, will I do this next year? Um, not quite.  One sport each please. We’ll still be living at the rink, but hopefully the practice schedule will not exceed the number of days in a week.  And if anyone asks me to sit on another board, I’ll run screaming.





One thought on “The Overscheduled Parent

  1. You’ll never regret it, Julie. As you watch them reach adulthood and deal with life’s challenges and triumphs, you will see their parents’ commitment right there before your eyes. Also by then, you’ll have time to get back to your writing!!!!!


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