Everybody’s busy-ness


Laura K. Silver is the mother of two elementary school-age children and a trustee of the Jewish Light who will be blogging for the paper’s website about marriage, child rearing, work, play, volunteering and whatever else is topical or strikes her fancy – she has no shortage of opinions. Silver is a graduate of the University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania Law School, and is the owner of The Paper Trail of St. Louis, a financial and legal concierge service.

By Laura K. Silver

My kids are over scheduled.  I once swore that I wouldn’t be one of those parents—I thought they were crazy—but lo and behold, here I am. 

I was the kind of kid who had piano lessons on Mondays, maybe a team sport during the week, and lots of free time to hang out with my friends.  I want that for my kids, but it doesn’t seem to be happening.  Am I to blame?  Yes. 

In these times, kids aren’t home all that much.  Whereas I grew up playing baseball in the cul de sac with the Meyer’s mailbox as first base, these days there are organized sports leagues and few pick up games.  If you want your child to be able to spend time with friends, your child needs to participate in them.  

My son loves soccer and has been on a team for the past year.  It’s three times a week in the fall and spring, once a week during winter.  (Yes, I agree it’s too much, but this is the way the league is structured and he loves it.)   He plays piano—that’s once a week plus performances three or four times per year.  His friends play sports and he wants to be on a school team because otherwise he misses out and when he’s free, they aren’t.  Am I going to say no?  I’m not.  Add another day per week for practice plus weekend games.

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My daughter also takes piano once a week and now she’s in Girls on the Run twice a week—a way for her to get exercise with friends.  Am I going to say no to that?  I’m not.  She, like her brother, wants to play sports, so she’s on a softball team.  Add a practice once a week plus weekend games. 

By the time we add this all up, I’m running like a lunatic every day after school and my kids are over scheduled.  They are happy this way and yes, it is my fault. 

So when people ask, “What have you been up to lately?” Basically, this is it. I’m not doing anything exciting, but I’m busy and I can’t do anything that involves an evening commitment. 

Until June—ask me then because my schedule is wide open.