Parenting is full of conversations based on what you want for your child. Sometimes you fall into a routine and lifestyle naturally. Other times, it takes hard work, dedication, and discipline to create a flow that works for your family.
My husband and I are raising two girls (4 and 7,) and our third girl is due in April. A few years ago, we had quite a simple conversation while vacationing in Florida about our family. It was one of those loose conversations that seemed effortless and simple, yet it has shaped our family ever since.
You see, I was tired, overwhelmed and feeling lots of guilt about how to create the best childhood for our kids. So often we get so busy that we forget about what matters. It was on that trip that we dreamed about doing family activities with our kids. Being on vacation made it easy to see things more clearly and categorize the problem. Parenting is no joke. It has its ups and downs. We are faced with little and big decisions every day.
I am not here to tell you how to parent. However, I want to share with you the profound change we have made.
No more feeling guilty that I am not signing up my kids for every Tom, Dick, and Harry extracurricular activity out there. I am proud of Rochester and all the happenings they have to offer our kids and us. I mean seriously, the list of options is insane. But, let’s be real, before we know it, our calendars are jam packed and I just want to barf, cry, or hide in my bed. I think sports and activities are lovely. I don’t look down on my people for having their kids/families signed up for stuff. I just know what our family needs…..and it is TOGETHER TIME.
Being married to a Pastor is busy. We host A LOT. We give our time a lot. We love hard. We need rest. Then there is the whole running two businesses out of our home thing. Having a hair studio and watercolor shop is crazy; the boundaries are hard to create, this mama gets tired. I work at least 2-3 nights a week and have ministry 2 nights a week. That leaves us with maybe 2 nights “free.”
So what works for us? Family sports and activities.
From May to September we go boating ALL THE TIME. It is our thing. We throw gatorade, La Croix, carrots, blueberries and chips in a cooler, slap on sunscreen, throw on our hats and hit the lake. We bring friends 90% of the time and create memories. Our kids wakeboard, tube, wake surf and swim. We teach them how to be bold, fearless, and how to have fun.
Once November comes, our family lives at Welch and we go snowboarding. We invested in the gear when our youngest was 2 years old and her sis was only 4. We shopped around and found the best deals for all their board gear to ride. We get 4-5 months in the winter to ride….AS A FAMILY. (This year, mama isn’t joining as much, with a baby on the way, but I will be out next year.) We meet friends and family at the hill or just have a great time together.
We love teaching our kids a skill that they can use when they are adults. There is nothing wrong with organized sports, and I am not saying my kids won’t ever be involved in one. But, for now this is our normal and we will continue soaking every day up with our kids. We love seeing them grow and gain confidence. My husband is an excellent coach and way more patient than me. We love that we aren’t sitting in waiting rooms while our kids are in a class that we aren’t allowed to watch and enjoy. We get to be a part of their process in the little breakthroughs when they get it.
I want my girls to be brave and strong. I want them to push past stereotypes and show people they can do anything. As their mom, I have had to overcome fear and learn these sports as an adult when all I wanted was to sit back and enjoy others doing them. I want them to see me challenged, excited and making health/fitness a priority.
Do you have a sport or activity that your family loves? Do you dream of having a day off together where you can all enjoy the same thing? Please share! I would love to hear!