By Amber Davis
While trying to plan a summer vacation to visit my sister’s family I keep running into obstacles. They have been stationed in Hawaii for five years and I sadly, have not visited them. As much as I love to travel, the cost and anxiety of the flight have kept me millions of miles away from my BFF! Next month they are moving into a new home in Arizona! I am super excited at the idea that she will be much closer to me! The reality is that I probably will still only see her a few times a year. However, since the day we found out they were moving to Arizona we have been chattering about a big driving trip west. We will visit her family; see the natural wonders our country has to offer and drive back home! The 30 hour one way trip seems fun with four kids until I make an hour trip with them and they can’t even get along! UGH! Ideally, 2-3 weeks for this trip would work best. Finding that time is making me feel a lack of control in my own life!
Obstacle #1 – Our oldest daughter will be freshmen next year in a public school (which I love)! She is involved in band, 4H, 4H interstate exchange club, basketball, softball and is pondering golf. Basketball offers a mandatory home camp in June, just after softball winds down! Followed by an away basketball camp in early July which appears to conflict with 4H camp (that she LOVES), band offers a mandatory home camp in July for a week, followed by a mandatory away camp the next week! Just upon returning home from band camp she will travel with the 4H exchange club to Maryland! Another great club and opportunity for our daughter to meet stay with and interact with other 4H families from a different part of the country!
Obstacle #2 – Daughter #2 has less mandatory items on her schedule. At this point she only has a mandatory dance camp this summer, the home basketball camp and 4H camp if she chooses to attend (which she dislikes very much)! She is involved in volleyball and basketball but at this point it’s mostly seasonal!
Obstacles #3 and #4 – don’t really have anything keeping them from traveling!
Obstacle #5 – My National Conference for work and our family farm. We cannot plan much for June because of spring planting. Early July is wheat harvest so that holds up the process too!
I am sure some of you are offended that I can referring to my amazing children as “obstacles” which they are NOT! Their activities ARE! Combined with planning around our jobs, things get difficult!
I try to limit their activities and can site many positives of extra-curricular activities:
- Sports contribute to a decreased risk of high BP, heart disease, obesity
- Boost mood and help prevent depression
- Increase grades and social skills
- Dance / sports can increase you strength, promote posture and flexibility
- Dance has been shown to increase intellectual development
- Sports and dance increase self-confidence and promote team work
My question is this – Where do you draw the line between allowing those activities to control your life and you having control? Our jobs are extremely flexible but must be taken into consideration. The kids activities are the issue!
There are weeks when I feel like I rarely see my 14-year-old! People say “someday you’re going to miss this” Will I? Will I miss not having control of my life and my schedule?
I love watching my children achieve success in their activities but where will it take them in REAL LIFE? Yes, there are statistics that will answer this question too, however, can you tell I didn’t cheer, dance or play basketball as a child? Can I? Am I less of an adult woman because I didn’t?
I pray for courage to gain control of my life, strength to say NO, and the inspiration to find balance in our family life vs. extra-curricular life!
I ran across some good reference material when thinking through this question!
What suggestions do you have? What works at your house?
Feel free to share!
Amber Davis is a 17 year direct sales associate with The Lonagberger Co. and currently director for at Thirty One Gifts. Holding a degree in business administration and marketing, she previously worked in the business industry. After the birth of her second child; family took priority over work and she left her full time position. Now a mother of four, she believes firmly in direct Sales and the endless opportunity it provides! “I can’t imagine ever returning to a traditional 9-5 job,” she said. She firmly believes in doing what works for your family. She helps her husband on the family farm and writes her own blog: Adventures in Farm Life. This, she said, is a work in progress and mostly serves to share family photos. In her free time she loves to travel and enjoys volunteering.