I am listening to you talk with Cindy Rushton as I type. I got onto your site and saw that you are disabled. You said you couldn’t hold a job even if you wanted to. You sound very much like me.
We have 4 children…3 still at home and we homeschool. I have celiac disease, lupus, scleroderma, rhuemetoid arthritis and raynauds. I am on disability too. You made no apologies for not being able to work…. that one phrase has done more for me than you know. I hope to find tips from your site that will help us as we are living on one income.
I understand your sharing that you just don’t have the energy for some household activities. Do you also limit your outside activities? My kids want to do some of the homeschool classes but going out for one class can wipe me out for 2 days. My husband is in the National Guard and got back a few months ago from a year in Iraq and is now on the border doing the border patrol for illegal immigrants. Being mommy/daddy while he is gone takes more energy it seems. I look forward to reading some of your books.
Your website and your life story is a blessing,
Tawra: Yes, we do put a huge limit on activities. The reality is until about 20 years ago, kids didn’t do a lot of extra activities. We think they are a must now because they are available and because other people do them, but they really aren’t.
My kids are still younger (8,7 and 3) but we limit them to one activity at a time. Right now, finances are tight so there are no activities. The kids will be disappointed if they’re used to a lot of activities, but it teaches them to have boundaries regarding how much they take on and it helps them realize that you can’t do it all.
It’s funny because I was going to put my 3 year old in 3 mornings a week preschool and I ended up not doing it because when I went to sign up she said “we will have a concert on this date and this date. We are going to the donut shop here, Botanica (botanical garden) here, the zoo here, and continued to list about 10 other outings! I’m sorry but they are 3 years old! That is ridiculous! Of course parents are most welcome to volunteer for all these things. Nope! I don’t think so. I can’t do it all and it sounds like you can’t either. If you could maybe get another family to help out with taking them then maybe let them do one or two things but if not I would just say no. Don’t feel bad about it. In the long run, my kids tend to remember the seemingly ordinary times spent together more than most of the “activities.”
Even though this was written a few years back and Tawra now has teens in her home, she still holds true to what she said above. The kids do have a few activities but they are limited and very controlled on how many. Guess what they really don’t care. The same was true too when my kids (Tawra and her brother) were teens. They did social things but not things that cost. Tawra was very involved in one music group at school but she worked part time and paid for all she needed for that.
photo by: susieq3c