This blog is just my outlet for things mostly homestead related, but today’s post is not directly in that vein.
I have this blog linked on my Facebook and Instagram account so I won’t name names. Our freshman daughter had a volleyball game last night. We all went and cheered her on when she was in and cheered for her team when she wasn’t.
After Lexi’s games were done, shandi took the boys home and I stuck around because Lexi has to stay for the varsity games and we live about 15 minutes from the school. I also think it’s good to be “seen” at school events as it’s a small town and we will still be the new people for 20 years.
Anywho, I was sitting next to parents who have daughters in Lexi’s class as well. And as we are talking, it hit me how bad of a parent I am or we are.
I think maybe I’m just from an old school thought process. I don’t believe that my children have to spend every moment of their lives participating in extra sport training or competition.
I was talking to a co-worker the other day that has children who play multiple sports. This co-worker said they have something going on nearly every night and weekend. Guys, I get it. Some kids are natural talents and may get a scholarship to play a sport in college or beyond, but the vast majority just won’t.
What happened to kids getting to be kids? Is it a badge of honor to see how much “stuff” your family can be doing? Is a kid playing travel sports year-round, having a personal coach and doing something every night somehow going to be a better person?
When I’m around parents that are just going, going, going all the time, I just feel so selfish for myself and my children. Who knows, maybe it’ll be different when the boys start playing sports, but I doubt it.
I want them to play outside. I want them to wander the woods and get dirty. I want them to observe nature and recognize how to track and animal or start a fire. Of course, I want them to follow their interests and passions so maybe they will want to play sports year round and constantly be training. I don’t want to force my passions on them…but I also don’t want them to be caught up in a life that is only focused on sports.
Don’t get me wrong. I love sports. I loved to play. I want them to compete because I think it is an important part of a child’s development to understand that team mentality and to accept defeat as well as they do success. But I just don’t want them to miss out on some other interest or passion that they would’ve otherwise discovered had they been home building or exploring.
My co-worker said they mostly do it because if they don’t, their kids won’t be in the same social circle (the other kids are playing for this travel team so ours needs to or they won’t remain friends). I can maybe see that angle a little bit.
I had a very tight group of friends from elementary school through today. We are still close and will be until we die. So I want my kids to have a good group of friends. But I didn’t stop hanging out with my friend who made the basketball team when I didn’t. I didn’t stop hanging out with my friend that thought playing yh trumpet in the band was cool.
Kids should get to be kids. I just can’t bring myself around to the thought that spending time in some random sports complex is better for them than going fishing with papa (father in law), helping Nana with a project (mother in law does not have a low-gear or off button), or otherwise spending time with their family.
I do love our life and hope dearly that the kids all will appreciate the life we have on the homestead. But I accept they might not. I won’t force it on them. But I also refuse to have them spend their childhood only playing sports.
Maybe I’m just trying to justify the fact that I, me, myself, don’t want to spend every moment lugging them around to sports. I surely don’t. But when I think back to my childhood, sure, I had some good memories on a sports field…but I have a lot more elsewhere.
And of course all of these thoughts don’t have to be limited to sports-only. If the boys decided they liked band and theater, I still wouldn’t want them spending every moment limited to those areas.
Maybe there is some benefit to kids that are constantly participating in activities. And if there is, I’ll reconsider my stance…but you’ll be hard-pressed to convince me.
I protect our family time. We don’t often do things outside the homestead. It’s somewhat financial, but mostly it’s because we are living that life we don’t need a vacation from (I saw that line and love it). We enjoy spending time at home together. There may come a day when one of the kids wants to devote themselves fully to some activity away from the homestead. If they’re truly passionate about it, I’ll probably support it completely. But I hope to walk that balance between and active child and a child.
I welcome any thoughts on this either way. Thanks for letting me ramble.