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overscheduled

October 16, 2013

I always said I wouldn’t be that mom who overscheduled her child.

As a matter of fact, I distinctly recall climbing onto my soapbox and making superior comments like “Too much structure stunts creativity,” and “Let a kid be a kid. What’s the rush?”

This all occurred when I knew everything about raising a child. Which was obviously before I actually had a child.

She was too tall for gymnastics and too uncoordinated for ballet (she gets it from me). But swimming? I think swimming is her thing...

She’s too tall for gymnastics and too uncoordinated for ballet (she gets it from me). But swimming is her thing!

In any case, I’ve recently found myself mesmerized by mastermind marketers….

“Do you want to lay the groundwork for a good foundation in math? We can help your child. Enroll in Math Club today!”
And so I did.

“Do you want to give your child a competitive edge? Do you want her to swim like a fish? Enroll her in swimming classes today!”
And so I did. (Note: I was so mesmerized with this one I enrolled her twice a week.)

Love the Type-A-ness of her art supplies. Parallel and perpendicular. That's the only way.

Love the Type-A arrangement of Maya’s art supplies. Parallel and perpendicular. That’s the only way.

“Does your child have hidden drawing talent? We can nurture it! Enroll today!”
And so I did.

“Do you want your child to master strategic thinking and analysis? Chess Club can help. Enroll today!”
And so I did. (Note: I met with a bit of resistance on this one but upon promising to volunteer at Chess Club Maya was on board.)

After swimming and art we played Hermes golf at Time Warner Center. Clearly we both need golf lessons.

On Saturday, after a whirlwind of swimming and art, we played Hermes golf at Time Warner Center. It became clear we both need to find time for golf lessons.

I’m thinking that with her current schedule Maya is well on her way to being a well-rounded individual. Or a stressed out basket case.

Not really sure which way things might go.

But it goes without saying that if I find a class entitled, “Knowing When You’ve Asked Mom One Question Too Many,” or “Keeping Toothpaste On Your Toothbrush and Off the Sink 101,” I’d enroll her.

Today.

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64 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2013 3:48 am

    A good friend of mine (who is also childless) and I were talking this weekend about how parents these days are so particular with their kids and feel the need to parent a certain way. And then we stopped, laughed and acknowledged that we’re going to be the same way one day. It’s inevitable!

    • October 16, 2013 5:02 pm

      It is inevitable…funny how we don’t learn that until it actually happens.

      We turn into our parents. That’s inevitable too!

  2. seana permalink
    October 16, 2013 4:43 am

    It is quite the question to figure out what the right of amount of activity is. The kids kind of dictate it. My son played one sport. Nothing more-he didn’t want to. My daughter did everything…dance 3x/week, volleyball, drama, piano. etc…all while maintaining her grades. I used to hate driving her to all these things (bad mom for saying it). I was never so happy when my kids got their drivers licenses.
    I think they should make continuing ed classes mandatory for male adults (like Ali and my husband).
    Dishwasher 101-Learn to put those dirty dishes in the dishwasher
    Laundry-The essentials
    Learn to Cook-Finding out how to turn on your stove
    Wardrobe & Style-What to do with your clothes when you take them off
    I can think of many many more 🙂

    • October 16, 2013 5:04 pm

      This is unbelievably funny Seana. Especially Learn to Cook.

      Over here we’d need to really start with the basics like, “Turning on the Toaster, a How To.” Hysterical.

      I don’t love taking Maya to all the different activities but I only have one so I suppose I shouldn’t complain!

  3. October 16, 2013 5:47 am

    I’m trying to be cautious of over scheduling Rohan. But is it a bad sign if I’ve already started to layout what activities he needs to enroll starting next year till he is five? And have figured our summer and school year schedule ? Am I in trouble, coz he is only 2.5 and doesn’t go to school yet ?

    • October 16, 2013 5:09 pm

      I had Maya in school at age 1, but this is because I was working and had no other options.

      Everyone told me it was a huge mistake! I think 2.5 is the perfect age to start school – potty trained and everything.

      There is no perfect answer unfortunately.

      • October 16, 2013 5:59 pm

        Well he has been at daycare since 1 too. I’m already planning real school stuff (ie preschool kindergarten and 1st grade) for him. I should just wait a little I think.

      • October 17, 2013 3:18 am

        Oh I see. I think those things can wait too. But again, depends who you ask. 🙂

  4. Taking On Magazines permalink
    October 16, 2013 7:18 am

    Tae Kwon Do and Girl Scouts is all we can handle right now, and with her TKD schedule as she heads towards black belt testing, even that’s getting to be too much. That being said, you find me that toothpaste one and I’ll sign her up and ship her north to you so she can attend!

    • October 16, 2013 5:10 pm

      I think I might be on to a million dollar idea with the toothpaste class…

  5. October 16, 2013 7:26 am

    i’d let her decide if it’s too much, and pick her 2 faves 🙂 there’s definitely no need for a kid to be stressed. there’s plenty of time for that right haha?

    • October 16, 2013 5:10 pm

      Maya just joined a book club of her own volition so I’m thinking she’s not stressed at all!

  6. October 16, 2013 8:19 am

    Maya doesn’t look stressed out at all. I’m sure she will tell you if she wishes to stop doing one of the clubs or sports…I think it’s good you are enrolling her in different things. At least that way she will find what she likes/what she is good at.. 🙂

    • October 16, 2013 5:11 pm

      That’s what I’m hoping…give her lots of options and she’ll find something she LOVES and can stick with!

  7. October 16, 2013 8:38 am

    The upside is she is totally occupied and becoming well rounded. The downside is you have to take her to all of these places. In NYC I guess it’s Subway? I think it’s good to keep them off the couch in front of the TV or in front of a computer all day. Way to go mom!!

    • October 16, 2013 5:11 pm

      Mostly I make her walk everywhere…that way I can get some exercise AND get her to class AND tire her out!

      But when winter comes I’m sure we’ll be walking a whole lot less…

  8. nadia permalink
    October 16, 2013 9:29 am

    hysterical!! cant get over the hermes golf….go maya!! and her chess, math and swim club….she’s insane! so impressed;)) miss her!! xoxo

    • October 16, 2013 5:12 pm

      She misses you guys too!

      I left you a message…she loves the gifts you sent. You are the best. Thank you!

  9. October 16, 2013 9:58 am

    I think most adults find that all these activities are too much for a child, but as long as she enjoys doing it and doesn’t see it as work, enroll away. Kids have so much energy, we put limits on them, she’ll eventually figure out her balance later in life. You’re doing the right thing.

    • October 16, 2013 5:12 pm

      Thank you Nisha! I love this comment…makes me feel like I’m totally doing the right thing here.

      She has a ton of energy…that’s for sure!

  10. Lydia permalink
    October 16, 2013 10:31 am

    I hear you. My boys play football, ice hockey and soccer, plus swimming once a week, my living room is beginning to look like a locker room 🙂 And because they love doing these sports, they are actually becoming my bargaining chip. I told them that their grades have to be excellent (not just good) or they could forget about all those sports! Ha!

    • October 16, 2013 5:13 pm

      That’s a whole lot of sports…but boys need that otherwise they’ll drive you crazy! Especially during the winter…what on earth do you do with them when they can’t go outside?

      • Lydia permalink
        October 17, 2013 6:37 pm

        I usually let them play their 3DS/Wii or watch their fave shows or play board games or chess, since it’s also my recovery times from their sport activities 🙂 Then, when I get my energy back: it’s reading, writing & math time again! 🙂

      • October 18, 2013 6:57 am

        I guess I’ll be resorting to TV in a month or two as well! Maybe I should have let Ali bring the Wii from LA!

  11. October 16, 2013 10:45 am

    Have to give you points for being dedicated. Most of the times, when I haven’t enrolled the kiddo in one class or another, its cause I don’t want to schlep all the way to and from the class. But I guess once you get them there you are left to your own devices. For a 2.5 year old, a music class= me singing, a dance class= me dancing, art class= me doing art.
    I for one am looking forward to having a scheduled kid 🙂

    • October 16, 2013 5:14 pm

      The schlepping can be a pain but if I don’t schlep then I have to entertain solo. And that’s even harder than schlepping!

      And yes, after getting them there you have a minute to yourself and that’s worth it!

  12. October 16, 2013 4:53 pm

    Not to sound too much like a nerd, but the chess club will be helpful and interesting later on!

    • October 16, 2013 5:14 pm

      I love chess! I don’t think it’s nerdy at all. Actually, I am thrilled they are offering it!

  13. October 16, 2013 8:54 pm

    Maya and I are on the same wavelength with the art supplies. I don’t think it’s too much, usually you know they are when you tell them to go brush their teeth and it results in a two hour meltdown. I bet she is loving it.
    -Gina-

    • October 17, 2013 3:41 pm

      No two hour meltdown…yet. I’m thinking we’re doing okay then?

  14. October 16, 2013 8:56 pm

    I’d be happy having my kids playing out on the streets than enroll them into different classes except:
    1. ALL other kids living around are away at classes so no one is available to play!
    2. Streets aren’t what they used to be :S

    Love Maya’s art supply arrangement and her Hermes golf pics., but hey, miss seeing you in this post?

    • October 17, 2013 3:42 pm

      So sad the streets are not safe…really. My mom said she used to play until dinner and her mom never even knew where she was. Crazy.

      Now we need to keep our kids occupied in other ways to keep them busy / out of trouble.

  15. October 16, 2013 10:05 pm

    A bit of well-roundedness is a grand thing so long as it is well-roundedness you both like/approve of. My parents were soooo supportive of me being a well-rounded person who excelled at music but (for no apparent reason but that they believe a well rounded person should play violin and piano) yet less supportive of my gymnastic and dance aspirations. Why well-rounded meant music and not movement still confuses me.
    So go ahead and over schedule but if she decides she’d rather be great in Backgammon Club than Chess Club I say let her:)

    • October 17, 2013 3:43 pm

      I try to be supportive of everything Maya wants to do but I have to say that I’d probably be more supportive of music over movement. Not sure why? Maybe it just seems more practical? I have no idea!

      • October 17, 2013 4:40 pm

        Hmm, I don’t know! For my parents I think it had to do with them wishing they had had more music lessons as kids…

      • October 18, 2013 6:59 am

        I had music lessons when I was a kid…I wish I’d focused more and practiced now…

  16. October 16, 2013 11:37 pm

    this is something I always dread about – how many is too many? but as long as they are enjoying it and learning something from classes, its cool I guess, maybe?

  17. October 17, 2013 12:25 pm

    Oh man, I fear we may totally drop the ball on the “overscheduling our child” thing because we’re so ridiculously lazy. On the other hand, I have zero skills because my parents failed to enroll me in anything. Gah, you just can’t win with this parenting thing! At least Maya will have lots of skills to fall back on.

    • October 17, 2013 3:44 pm

      Don’t feel bad….I only recently picked up the pace on the extracurricular activities…you have a while to go my friend!

  18. October 17, 2013 12:28 pm

    Haha yikes I am the exact opposite. I have great plans for my kids, even if that means over-scheduling them! Let’s just say that at the rate my planning is going, my kids are going to be all-rounders to the max ;)!

    • October 17, 2013 3:45 pm

      I’m sure your kids will have your energy level and will be happy to be busy!

  19. glamorous glutton permalink
    October 17, 2013 1:47 pm

    Im sure she’d say if it was all too much, I bet she just loves the activities. GG

    • October 17, 2013 3:45 pm

      I keep asking her and so far so good. And yes, she LOVES the activities so far!

  20. willgoh2 permalink
    October 17, 2013 10:34 pm

    As an educator, and when I was childless, I thought I knew it all, especially how to NOT over schedule kids having seen the effects of it on the other end. But as life would have it, the Kiddo has speech therapy 2x, occupational therapy 1x, swimming and gymnastics also 1x per week after school. This doesn’t include the speech therapy she gets in school 2x a week! On Thursdays she’s double stacked with two activities after school. It’s crazy, we literally have on Tuesday late afternoons open. Not sure how we found ourselves booked like that but there it is. So far, she still seems to enjoy it and I’ve seen how she’s progressed so I can’t complain, though I could do with less driving.

    • October 23, 2013 9:39 am

      Kiddo has a lot going on! But as long as she likes it and you don’t hate the driving then I think it’s great.

      Hope the OT and ST are going well.

      PS: You can move to NYC and walk to all the activities. It’s a great way to muli-task and fit in the exercise!

  21. October 18, 2013 9:07 am

    Ha ha. I overschedule too, but I think it’s a great chance to be able to learn a bunch of different things. Plus, how can you resist that kind of marketing??

    • October 23, 2013 9:40 am

      I can usually resist marketing but when it comes to Maya? I find myself just mesmerized!

  22. October 18, 2013 1:13 pm

    I have the opposite problem. I know my kid needs to be in swimming, martial arts, and computer programming lessons, but with everything a good hour away, I never get around to signing him up for anything, poor kid! I think Maya will turn out just fine!!

    • October 23, 2013 9:40 am

      I had this problem in LA when the traffic prevented me from doing just about everything. It’s easier in NY since you can walk to most things!

  23. October 19, 2013 5:39 am

    ah the things we thought about parenting pre kids…the way I see it is better to have the boys at a lesson/sport than home playing on the computer, right? So they are organized play dates, out of my apartment and learning something. Did I make you feel better?

    • October 23, 2013 9:41 am

      Yes you made me feel better. I especially love how you refer to your apartment as “my apartment.” LOL

  24. October 20, 2013 6:05 am

    🙂 It’s all about balance 🙂

  25. October 20, 2013 8:00 am

    I loved the type-A arrangement of Maya’s art supplies. Gave me a good chuckle. Her and I would get along well. 😉 As for the toothpaste on/in/around the sink and not knowing where the hamper is, her and my kids would get along very well. I’ve been around your blog long enough to know you and I would get along extremely well. Bottom line, our families need to meet some day. Keep up great blogging. Hope you’re all doing well, Ameena. 😀

    • October 23, 2013 9:42 am

      We absolutely need to meet LeQuan! I know we’d get along, especially since you are another Type-A mom!

      Hope you are doing well too. Maybe you’ll make your way to NY soon?

  26. October 21, 2013 3:36 pm

    Maya is going to be the master of all trades, it is good that she is willing to do all those things! Although they all sound fun and I wish I can draw and have fun all day, sucks to not be a child anymore. Good on you for being a supporting mom!

    I know I will be the same kind of mom, I feel bad for my poor future kids already.

    • October 23, 2013 9:43 am

      Here’s hoping Maya can have fun as long as possible because the reality of homework will one day bring an end to most fun things!

  27. October 21, 2013 7:24 pm

    I think it’s awesome Maya’s getting to explore all of these things. That way if she finds something she likes above all the others, she can focus on nurturing that later on in life. I took dance, karate, piano, swimming, and tennis classes in my elementary/middle school years. The things I mostly do now are run and tennis, but I’m glad my parents allowed me to participate and experience those activities at a young age :D.

    • October 23, 2013 9:44 am

      I love tennis – I think it’s a great sport. It was easy to sign up for lessons in LA but finding an indoor court in NY ( a full court) seems next to impossible!

      Glad you stuck with tennis, I bet your parents are proud. 🙂

  28. October 22, 2013 4:34 am

    I plan to enroll my daughter into a lot of activities similar to what Maya has enrolled into. that is a way they get to meet new friends too and keeps them engaged creatively

    • October 23, 2013 9:44 am

      Good point Anita…Maya has made a few really good friends in these activities! It’s definitely helped with the move.

  29. October 28, 2013 8:36 pm

    As long as Maya is enjoying it all, that’s what matters, right? Hermes golf? Wow, i’m loving the idea of moving to NYC even more so now 😀

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