You’ve just gotten off work and as you get ready to wrestle through rush hour traffic on the commute home it hits you: You have thirty minutes to make it to the other side of town for your child’s soccer game. The easy breezy, unstructured summer days are long gone as parents everywhere fall into a pattern of carpools, soccer practices, glee club performances, football scrimmages, and piano lessons. If you’re lucky enough to have a child who can survive the average school day in one piece, there will inevitably come a point where they express their desire to nurture outside interests via an afterschool activity. In addition to understanding their child’s school schedule, many parents will have to navigate a series of interests that their child will experiment with to fill their after-school hours. Although your child is the one participating, mom and dad will find themselves adding yet another task to their calendar that involves picking someone up, dropping someone off or opening their wallets to nurture their child’s creative energy.
It’s important to take an honest look at just much involvement will be needed from you before allowing your child to participate in after-school activities. It’s not fair to make your child promises only to realize that you can’t realistically accommodate dramatic changes to your schedule or budget. It can be music to a parent’s ears to hear their child say they want to play the piano as opposed to spending hours Instagramming their way through adolescence. But you don’t want to get your child’s hopes up only to realize you can’t clone yourself or your wallet.
Moms, how do you balance your child’s after school shuffle?
Words By: Toya Sharee