Being busy when the kids were young was my sanity saver. I had a husband that travelled and 3 babies under the age of 4 which meant I was over whelmed with diapers, bottles, naps and crying – both theirs and mine!
Getting out of the house and going to the library, out for a coffee play date, to the YMCA for a swim or the park for fresh air was the only way I survived it. I found out early if we sat around at home the babies got bored with their surroundings, were more fussy, clingy and impossible to entertain. Going out may have taken more energy to get us all packed up, but we were a happier crew on the go.
Who Says Busy Is Too Busy?
For years I was told I was too busy, my kids were too busy, we needed more down time, it wasn’t right keeping my kids on the go so much. Despite how busy we were during the day, they still had 10 hours of sleep a night, they were fed healthy meals, they laughed, had friends and I was a happy Mama being out of the house and on the move. I didn’t know if ‘they’ were right or if I was wrong, but I knew being busy was good for all of us.
Why Busy Is A Good Thing
Fast forward 10 years and I now have an active 11, 9 and 7 year old and have perfected packing 3 kids for 4 activities in one evening while serving a healthy dinner in the back seat of our mini van. I have busy active kids and am grateful now that they so easily manage being active and on the go.
I have seen the flip side. My kids texting with their friends has opened a window into other families houses and I see a lot of “I’m bored,” “I have nothing to do,” “want to go hang at the park” and texting drama from their friends with maybe too much down time on their hands. There are countless articles written about how much screen time is too much, how to manage your kids ‘gaming’, how to encourage kids off the couch or to put down the electronics, how kids are less active now and how childhood obesity is on the rise.
I don’t worry about that with my kids. They have a paper route that has them out delivering papers 3 days a week after school before going to horseback riding, dance, gymnastics, swimming lessons and music. During the summer we do 5km runs and triathlons that our business sponsors and our family participates in. In the winter we ski every single weekend. And still they beg me once a week to take them to a local charity, Sew On Fire, so they can volunteer putting together backpacks for less fortunate kids around the world. They ask for more. They would rather be out with their friends at all their activities than at home on the couch. And I am OK with that.
We do have plenty of down time. Trust me when I say no one floats in our pool on a hot sunny day like I do and no one is more excited to have all 5 of us snuggled in front of the TV with a big bowl of popcorn to watch our favorite shows than the kids. It is one of their favorite things, to hang out together AFTER a busy day of being active.
As soon as they complain about being too busy or stop asking to be enrolled in activities, or I see their school marks suffering, we will slow it down . . . but somehow I don’t see that in our future!