We Fill Out Schedules Without Realizing What's Happened

Julianna Poplin on No Sidebar:

We fill our schedules without even realizing what’s happened. We sign onto things without knowing why we are doing them. We go with the flow of what other parents do, what friends do, or what our family does without stopping to ask questions.

Do we want to be doing what we’re doing? If not, why are we?

Our current schedule is my 8-year-old skating 4 nights a week, which goes with my wife working since she is the program director at the skating club. Friday my 5-year-old and 3-year-old have swimming lessons from 4:30 - 5:30. Plus Thursday my little two skate as well.

We did manage to free up Saturdays this year since my 8-year-old doesn't skate on Saturday, but my wife will be coaching some of the Saturday's.

Oh, and we have three x-country meets on Thursday's coming up.

I know I look at my schedule and don't like it at all.

Later Julianna asks us to go over three things.

  1. Motives
  2. Priorities and Boundaries
  3. Wait to say yes

So here goes:

1. Motives for my schedule

My oldest loves to skate and we want her to do what she enjoys. My wife remembers skating as one of the best experiences of her life. While I didn't skate, I had a similar activity, and we both want her to have that option.

Swimming, it's important to be able to swim in a city where it's regular to head out to the rivers and lakes for swimming.

My youngest skates because she wants to. My middle one doesn't skate because she doesn't want to, she wants to do swimming lessons.

X-country, is something I can volunteer with at the school and it's only two mornings a week for a few weeks then three evenings done before 5pm. I love the chance to have input into the lives of the kids at my daughter's school.

2. Our Boundaries

Before this year it was Friday night, but now my daughter skates on Friday and my wife will coach sometimes. In some ways I don't feel like I had a choice in this since my wife pushed for Friday skating saying it would free up Saturday. So far, she's done other things Saturday and I'm in the same boat of having the kids alone again for most of the day.

3. Wait to say yes

We did recently say no to soccer because while it would be technically doable, I'd have to dray my two youngest to skating until late at night. See, we only have one car and transit in town is passable, but nothing like Vancouver. I'd have to run around to make soccer work, and I spend much of my evening running around already.

So, that's my three things. I don't love my schedule but since my wife's work is tied to pretty much every evening that the family is split up...how on earth do we "fix" that? I certainly don't want to venture near anything like guys that say women shouldn't work if it affects the family.