I'm not sure if this is something large families experience occasionally, or if we're just not doing that great of a job making things equal between our kids...but either way, life lately has seemed to revolve around only one of our four children. It's been the Tyler Bree show for quite some time, and I'm highly aware of the demands it has placed on our other three children. From less sleep, to waiting in cars, to less attention from me and Blake...it has been taxing on them and it's just not fair.
^^^ San Antonio Stock Show this past weekend ^^^
This time of year, competition season is just beginning, stock show season is still in full swing, and homeschooling her is a constant presence in the Jansen Family. We are busy with Tyler Bree stuff to the max.
^^^ Dress rehearsal last weekend ^^^
^^^ Rhinestoning for days...literally. ^^^
^^^ Getting ready for tap rehearsal. ^^^
Being the oldest sibling in my family, I don't remember having to sit through many of my brother's baseball games or extracurricular activities...but I see it often in other families and I know it's just the nature of things...or is it? Why do I feel so guilty about the three younger ones "sitting on the sidelines" while Tyler Bree does her thing? I know in reality she's the oldest, therefore, has more opportunities coming her way that the younger ones just aren't yet old enough for (which I'm sure will come soon enough)....But then I ask myself, what could we as parents be doing better right now?
Should I ask someone to watch my kids rather than having them sit in the car waiting for an hour or driving to and fro?
(Well no, because we are actually spending time together.)
Should I get them involved in more things so they can have their "moments"?
(We're already so busy.)
Should I homeschool all the kids so we have more time for other things during the day?
Should we cut out one of her activities?
(No, that's not fair to her either.)
I don't have the answers to these questions (yet), but I do know I want to continually be aware of the extracurricular demands placed on all of my children, whether they're influenced directly or not. This is just the beginning...I know that. My kids are still young and I probably have no clue what "busy" will look like once all four are involved in this and that. But I do want to make sure I'm super vigilant in protecting their time, feelings, and well-being when it comes to "supporting" their siblings when it may not be their turn to shine.
In my own personal reflection of "busy-ness", I know I need to cut out some things. As women, I think I know we stretch ourselves too thin, say yes too often, get our hands in everything we think we can help with, etc. Even so, realizing that we do this is not enough. Taking action and eliminating some unnecessary obligations (for me at least) is truly the way to prioritize my family, the gospel, and other relationships first. Not too long ago I made a priority list and numbered them in order. I love to refer back to it when I much need a reminder to put first things first. I challenge you to do the same if you haven't already....sometimes we think our priorities are clear, but when we actually put them to paper, it can be surprising!
Momma poll: How do you handle this kind of mom guilt when one kid's activities take "center stage"?