Seventh inning stretch

Yea, we’re those parents. We took our kid out of sport before he ever really got started. Hard to do, but the right things usually are.

Being in France gave Scott and I a renewed perspective on family life, most importantly it made us reflect on this question: Are we being good stewards of the family God gave us?

We spend a fair amount of time in the van – school, work, after-school activities, church, parent’s day out, yadda, yadda. When we looked at the calendar and the number of nights we had baseball practice and games, it was another 3 nights/days of shuffling kids, juggling schedules, on-the-go dinners and stress-filled evenings. And, John Paul is FIVE. Not 15. I don’t care what sport or activity it is, 3 days a week for a five-year-old is activity overload.

When Will started school, we didn’t monitor the after-school stuff too much, because quite frankly, we didn’t have to. Now that we’re a quiver of 6, soon to be 7, the family landscape is very different. And, I’ll throw this in the ring for your thoughts, too much really can be too much. There’s no harm in sending the kids outside to play and hollering, “Be creative, just don’t kill each other.”

Quite honestly, I’m fed up to you-know-where with the secular world telling me my kids need to be in a 5-day-a-week all-day pre-school, or that they should be reading by the time they’re 5, or that after-school activities help build their self-esteem. What happened to our role as parents? Have we just decided to lay that responsibility on someone – or something – else? Not I, said the fly. These kids were given to Scott and I to form and we take that role very seriously. Even more so, now that there are more chubby cheeks to squeeze in our casa.

Wow, that soap box just popped up out of nowhere. Sorry 🙂 Moral of the story: If you think it’s not right for your family, then it isn’t. No excuses.

We’re looking forward to a spring full of weekends to camp out, take a day trip to the Hill Country, have a backyard BBQ with friends or just hang. Cause that’s what a being a kid should be all about…


  1. windermere on April 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Good call!! Honestly, these kids will only want to hang out with us for so long so we should not miss out on this opportunity to be with them. The only way to live life without regret is to make everyday count…we can’t keep them from getting older, but we can make sure that we made the most of everyday.

  2. Kelley on April 6, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    oops…I was signed in under a different account!

  3. Nicole on April 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Amen Kathryn! I SOOO completely agree with you – good for you for choosing to make your family first! Even with our kiddos we have lots of discussions about activities, commitments, etc. – and we limit them as much as possible. Family time comes first! Chat soon! So glad your schedule is a little more “free” now!

  4. Kraft on April 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Amen. My wife and I are still five months out from our first little one, but I like your thinking, sister! 🙂

  5. cathy on April 7, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I second the “amens” Kathryn! Being a step ahead of you on the parenting timeline I can tell you that the pressure to overschedule only gets worse. I feel like we are the only parents in town who have still managed to say no to the travel teams! Family time and just “being a kid” should come first… it is hard to have quality family time if you are constantly catering to the individual. In the long run your kids will love the time you spend as a family and the free time they have to be kids and explore. Our kids still love our family time more than just about anything else they do (and Paul is a freshman)! Hang in there…you will second guess yourself often along the way but you are making a great decision.

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