Wanna Watch Me Chat?

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Image courtesy of Gigi Ross aka @KludgyMom!

Today, I participated in a Google+ Hangout with several other mommy bloggers where we discussed how we help our kids follow their bliss while managing a sane schedule for ourselves.

Gigi Ross of KludgyMom was our moderator.

If you spend eleventy-twenty skillion hours shlepping your kids around, or if you struggle with other issues around managing your children’s extracurricular activities, you’ll want to listen to the conversation.

We broadcasted live at 1 pm EST/10 am PST.

But you can watch it here:

How do YOU balance extracurricular activities in your house? Which is more important: school or extracurricular activities? How do you teach your kids to enjoy the thrill of victory but press on despite the agony of defeat? How do you gauge the right activity level for your kids? And seriously, how do you get everyone everywhere and still make dinner? 

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25 thoughts on “Wanna Watch Me Chat?

    1. Thank you! I think I’ll be representing a child of the older age demographic, as Tech is almost 14. But I don’t remember my mother being as stressed out about this stuff as I am or as other parents appear to be. How did you balance things? Did you ever worry that your kids were missing out on other things because they were so honed into their activities? That’s a concern of mine as he gets older and as to make difficult choices.

  1. 1) My girls are soccer only. No conflicts – unless you count band concerts and the occasional school play.
    2) School is a priority – and sports are a great thing to hold over a kid’s head if school isn’t going well.
    3) Kids make the transition from win/euphoria lose/disappointment 3.4 million times faster than grownups.
    4) I know the activity level is good when the kids fall asleep fast and is perhaps too much when they threaten each other’s lives. Or mine.
    5) Dinner? I bow to the holy 3 of the grill, the crockpot, and pizza.

    1. I kind of wish there had been a daddy blogger involved in our chat, but Gigi’s chats are “by women for women.” I think you have that extra thing that we don’t have. That said, I think sometimes dads are more chill about activities. The video is now up on my blog, you know, in case you’d like to check me out. 🙂

      1. I could have done like Tom Hanks did in “Bosom Buddies” and posed as a woman. Remember that show? I’d be quite a homely woman, though.

        I mean, not that I’ve ever tried.

        We dads are chill to a fault, sometimes. But I’ll take chill.

        Definitely going to check the video out. You, without a hat?

  2. Sorry I missed the chat! We homeschool, so our day is structured a bit differently. I have friends who also homeschool, and they’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to cram so much into each day. I was the same way for a couple years, until I started realizing I was gone more than I was home!! We made a list of all the activities and decided the following as a family:
    1) The kids would pick one sport/semester. We didn’t care what it was; they just needed to pick something that interested them. The kids have stuck with Tae Kwon Do for years now, and it’s worked well.
    2) School is more important to us.
    3) Personally, I’m not one for the “everyone gets a sticker just for showing up” philosophy. There are some things the kids need to do “just cuz,” which is a real good character builder! Enjoying your accomplishments is also celebrated around here – it’s fun!
    4) Crock pots! They’re great for those busy days when all these rules sometimes fly out the window. 🙂
    I may have skipped one, but this gives you an idea of my attempt at staying sane! I think our society sometimes over-stresses the idea that, unless our kids are booked to the gills, they’re “missing out on something.” As adults, we’re missing out on something all the time – life is about choices, and balancing what works for you. 🙂

    1. Hi D:
      It would have been interesting to have had a homeschooling momma in the mix! If you don’t subscribe to Gigi’s blog already, you might want to check out KludgyMom. Gigi does a great series by women for women — and you might like to sign up to write a guest post or participate in one of her #BonfireChats. I’m sure as a homeschooling mom you’d bring a unique perspective to the table. If you watch the YouTube video above, you’ll see how respectful everyone is to each other and what a great moderator Gigi is. Like you, I’ve always tried to keep things “chill” with the extracurriculars — but now that my son is VERY involved with his one sport, well — that ONE sport has kind of taken over! And I only have ONE kid! ANd, like you, school is more important for us than any extracurricular. I wrote a post called “Please Don’t Give My Kid A Trophy” a loooong time ago. I’ve linked to it, so you can check it out, if you’d like. I have always HATED that dreaded mentality: participation = winning. I think we all have unique gifts, but we are NOT all equal and we do a disservice to kids by not teaching them to recognize their unique strengths. I mean, I might want to be a Super Model and do all of the training, but I’m 5’6″. It ain’t happening.

      1. I’ll definitely check out KludgyMom, and thanks for the link, Renee! I’m the same way – please don’t give my kid a trophy just for showing up. When they get to the “real world,” their boss won’t stand by the door every day, handing out a trophy simply because my kid showed up for work. That’s what they’re supposed to do! And I do understand the one sport taking over. Our two are involved in Tae Kwon Do, and lessons are twice/week, plus the extra effort needed to prepare for testing. Sometimes the effort is its own reward, and this is a great lesson for kids to tuck away for the future. And those failed goals? I sometimes think they’re the best way to learn compassion for others. See you at Kludgymom! 🙂

  3. I liked it … but I do want to know what was happening in private chat during the google hangout.

    I have found that it depends on the season, literally. When the kids were smaller it was all about the oldest … soccer and football. The two youngest spent their time in carseats, diaper changes on the fly and dinners on the go. My middle one has little interest in sports and if my youngest had her way, she would be scheduled for two activities per day.

    BUT I wanted so badly to yell through the screen as I heard that those yoga classes that are getting put to the side for the sake of the kids’ activities … NEED to happen!!

    Yes, we have chosen parenthood, and that means ensuring our children get what they need … but happy mama makes happy house.

    1. Hi Naomi! Notice, I was quiet during that part of the conversation. Personally, I don’t feel I have to give up much for my son to participate in his activities, but I have an older child, and we are in a good place financially. Kerry said she has help from extended family (which I didn’t have), but I was able to employ babysitters when Tech was younger. It sounded like money was an issue for Natalie, and her desires are definitely being sacrificed right now with 3 little ones at home. That’s hard, but that’s her reality for now. I wished she lived in my neighborhood as I would gladly watch her kids for a few hours a week so she could catch an activity she wants to do sans kids. And I agree with you, we do need to fill ourselves up to stay happy for our families. My involvement with our local Chabad has taught me that lesson!

  4. Hockey season was maddening this past year: the Reds played 1/2 apart, overlapping games, separate arenas. Thankfully, other parents waited once Matthew’s game had ended until I trudged back with Luke. Supper was always snacky stuff: kielbasa, grapes, crackers, bananas etc – and eaten in the car on the way TO hockey.

    Soccer season this year is a bit later, so we eat a light supper at home first. Then, I schlep one kid to one field and then haul ass to another field with the other – they’re scheduled for the same time. Again, I rely on the kindness of other parents to keep Luke while I snag Matthew (or vice versa, depending on the week) and come back.

    That said, grill and crockpot are the best inventions EVER. Like, ever, ever.

    I may moan and carry on, but honestly? I love it. I love watching them, the chaos, the rushing, the look on their faces when they’ve learned something new or their team scores.

    1. Thank you for the nice feedback via email. Meanwhile, if you haven’t signed up to do this with Gigi yet, you should. I was a blabbermouth, but — as you can tell — not everyone went on the way I did. It was really a great experience. I’d totally do it again. Maybe we can rig it so we’re on a panel together! 🙂

  5. Damn! I’m sorry I missed you on this chat! I hate when I get so behind in blogland that I miss important people/events in real time. I will watch it and cheer you on anyway!

    1. I learned from your mishap and was super anal proactive. Tech and I tried a Google+ Hangout first, so I’d know how to do it. I’m technologically impaired, at best. It was a great dialogue. Very fun to do. Gigi is an incredible moderator, as you know.

  6. I really liked a point one of the woman made (can’t remember who) about activities keeping kids out of trouble (hopefully)! I had not thought of that point before . . . I know it’s seem obvious, but I hadn’t!

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