Enrolling your little one in fun classes is always a tricky path to get started on. I don’t know about you but I figured my baby was ready for a class around 8 months. I was so excited! I searched and searched and finally determined the perfect class – some music class relatively convenient to my house. I quickly enrolled the two of us in a session for every Saturday from late summer until Thanksgiving.
What great bonding, I thought! How fun to see what she’ll be like in music class and meet other babies! I really couldn’t wait.
But then we started going. And I realized that it’s a hassle to get to a class every single Saturday for so many weeks in a row, especially as a full-time working parent. I’ve got a lot of things to squeeze into one small weekend and eating up half the morning going to and from a class wasn’t always stress free. Then there was the reality of the fact that sometimes my baby just wasn’t in the mood for class or that half the class would be sick as hell, coughing and sneezing all over her, or just the difficulty in timing it with naps and getting her packed up and out the door to get anywhere on time. Before I get into how birthday parties and weekend visitors and other things eat into your ability to have a perfect attendance after you paid a bunch of money for this class.
Again, this common theme of nothing is at it seems.
But even after that experience, I still struggle with classes. Which classes should I enroll her in, how many is too many, which ones will she find fun before I cough up the cash?
And then the peer pressure. Suddenly on the playground you realize everyone else has had their kid in ballet and swimming for months. Should you have enrolled darling daughter in ballet? What if she is missing out on a great talent because I was too lazy and cheap to enroll her? Why is everyone else doing it and what does it say about me?
In those exposed moments, I have to dig deep within myself to find my perspective. I am a believer in there is a point to everything and less is more.
Sure, I struggled with whether or not to enroll my daughter in both swimming and ballet as the winter sessions were starting a few months ago. Until I focused on having to get her out of a wet swimming suit, dried off, dressed again and then get that head of hair dried before taking her outside, so as to prevent a cold, and then I realized I wasn’t charging down that path. What a freaking pain. Bath time is hard enough – I’d have to be a freaking masochist to want to face that battle twice a day.
And as for ballet, the sky high price of that class just seemed so outrageous to me for a two-year old who barely follows instruction on a good day, I just couldn’t justify it. Maybe when she’s four, but not now.
But that still doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle with it when hearing what others were doing.
Why do we fall victim to this? It’s just hard not to get caught up in it, I think. But I just have to stand firm. I keep reminding myself to view the world from the eyes of a two-year old. Those eyes are really different than mine and they get tired a lot faster. Down time and quiet time to balance out the chaos of school during the week – is more important to her than being carted off to yet another class, I decided.
But I think it’s a bigger picture issue. I worried that if I fell into the habit of over-booking and over-scheduling her at the age of two, what in the world is her life going to be like by the time she’s 12? This is where the whole “there’s a point to everything” reasoning enters my brain.
So in those moments of panic on the playground when I’m the only mom not taking my kid to some class, less is more, is what I tell myself. I truly believe less is more.