Is it just me?? Am I the only one that seems to struggle to find extracurricular activities that fit in with a busy working parents’ schedule?? I swear, I must be looking in all the wrong places, and am looking for advice on where else to look.
Granted, part of my issue stems from the fact that on Saturdays, only I (as opposed to both Mom and Dad) am available to manage the kids’ schedules – it would absolutely be much easier if my husband and I could divide and conquer, but even parents need to have a life. My husband has a weekly commitment on Saturday mornings that precludes us from each taking a child to an activity. This is a problem only because EVERY Saturday activity that we have found (gymnastics, ballet and swim) occurs at overlapping times. I totally get it – the instructors don’t want to be booked up ALL DAY on Saturday – but it makes it difficult for us to plan.
When my kids were 3 and I thought they were old enough to start participating in group activities like music and movement, tumble-bugs, or even just a class where the kids run around like monkeys, the ONLY thing I could find was a mommy-and-me swim class. Besides the fact that I was self-conscious about letting people see my fat rolls squished into a swimsuit like a stuffed sausage, there was only one of “mommy” and two of “me” and the class required a 1:1 ratio of parent to child.
All other classes were at, like, 11:15AM on weekdays because, you know, all other “mommies” (or daddies, for that matter) don’t work. [Note the sarcasm]
The frustration has repeated itself every year since then – my daughter takes ballet on Saturday mornings, which is not the issue as several schools in our area have “fairytale ballet.” But my son has absolutely NO interest in taking ballet, despite being offered the opportunity.
So, I’ve looked around.
At our local YMCA, I’ve found:
- Preschool sports (varied classes): Monday 4:00, Wednesday 1:45, Tuesday 11:00, Friday 1:15…you get the point. Out of 11 classes, not a single one occurs after 5:30 on a weekday. Heck, none of them are offered after 4:00 on weekdays!
- Tae Kwon Do (which my son REALLY wants to do): Fridays at 3:15
- Gymnastics: (which my son also really wants to do) had a Saturday class but it was at EXACTLY the same time as B’s ballet class.
- No other classes for 5 year olds other than group swimming lessons.
At our local Parks and Rec, I’ve found:
- Soccer – 10:30 or 12:45 on Tuesdays
- Basketball – 1:15 on Fridays
- Spanish – 4:00 on Mondays
- Pottery – 10:00 on Tuesdays
Lather, rinse, repeat at all the other local sports/fitness/activity schools.
I am not asking for much because I recognize that part of my problem is that I am being inflexible in:
- Forcing my kid to take the SAME classes as his twin sister (as someone once said to me: “They’re twins…don’t they like the same stuff??”)
- Forcing my husband to give up his Saturday commitment.
I am TOTALLY willing to let my kids take an after-work-hours weekday class if one were offered but sadly, there are none. I suspect that this is because there is very little demand for a class, and offering a class probably isn’t worth it for the schools. But hell…there’s got to be other parents that face the same dilemma as I do and surely, we could fill one entire class?? I should just go create my own.