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Fayette-Mom: Just saying no to extracurriculars

Posted September 13, 2010 9:47 p.m. EDT

Jennifer Joyner

This year, I am taking a stand.

My children’s friends have tons of activities … soccer, tennis, golf, piano, dance … you name it. For a while, I tried to keep up. I signed my kids up for several activities, plus they had school and church activities.

It was way too much. My children need down time, and suddenly they had very little. We were constantly hurrying to one activity or another, and the kids were grumpy. So was I. Wasn’t this supposed to be fun? Why in the world were we doing this?

This year, I asked my kids: “Emma, do you want to do dance again this year?” She answered with an adamant “No.” She had no desire, and frankly, I wasn’t excited about paying the high fees every month, plus the cost of costumes and tap shoes. My son Eli is a little older than his friends, so if he played soccer again, he’d have to “age up” to an older team with no one he knew. He said no. And that’s fine with me.

They both have school every day. They go to choir on Wednesday nights and Sunday school. Emma is starting a Daisy group that meets every other week. And that’s it for now. We may revisit soccer in the spring when Eli’s friends age up. But for now, our afternoons are a little more relaxed, and we’re all enjoying it.

Well, except first grade homework (argh!!!). But that’s another post……

Jennifer is the mom of a five- and six-year-old. She gathers news for WRAL in Fayetteville and anchors two morning radio newscasts. Her food addiction memoir, "Designated Fat Girl," is published by Globe Pequot Press. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.