It starts from the time we donate our bodies to house and feed our children, and continues as they grow and we sign them up for sports, music lessons, dance and art classes. We use our free time driving them to and from all these activities and work extra hours to pay for it all.
When talking with some other basketball moms, I learned that some of them spend all five weeknights and their entire Saturday revolved around kids' sports~ every week. These women had full time paid jobs too.
None of them seemed too happy about it, but they all acted as if that's what having kids was all about.
I wondered if they ever think about playing sports anymore, or making music or art or dancing or doing any of the things they used to love?
Or do they just get to live vicariously through the next generation?
Not that I don’t enjoy my kids being involved in great activities. I love seeing them grow and have fun, and am happy to facilitate it however I can. But, I also enjoy participating in fun stuff too, not just watching, driving and providing funding.
Maybe I’m a wee bit selfish too, but I think it’s a mental preservation thing. I’m a more cheerful chauffeur, coordinator and financial sponsor for their lives when I get to have a life too. It's almost like a public service to keep me from being mean.
For me, it’s a matter of balance that’s worth pursuing.
I’m glad we have a lot of fun together~ making art, playing games, going hiking, all sorts of things. But sometimes, I want to do something for me, even if no one else is particularly interested, or it’s not geared towards young people.
So, starting next week, I’m treating myself to a photography class.
But, I’ve wanted to learn more about the art of photography for years. So, when a coupon for this SuperHero Photo course popped into my inbox a few weeks ago, I filed it in the “Hmmmmmm....” part of my brain to think more about later.
Naturally, I also had some of those “Oh but....” kind of thoughts with a bunch of reasons not to spend money on myself (yet I spend money on kids “enrichment” all the time, in addition to all the boring but necessary stuff like food, gas & housing.)
Then, I had my birthday and within a few days of each other I had several separate articles pop across screens I was staring at. They were about things like investing in ourselves, the importance of lifelong learning and the dangers of stress ~ all sorts of things that just said “Hey~ why should kids have all the fun? It’s my birthday! Go sign up for that class already!”
(Besides, I had birthday cash and a coupon that would expire if I didn’t use it :-)
My guess is that the kids will see me having fun and start asking about it, and in no time, they’ll be snapping photos galore too.
And even if they don’t, I’ll be learning some new tricks, connecting with other people and getting to do something fun & creative.
Those are good enough reasons for me.
I’ll be sharing my photos here and on the Facebook Page soon. Hope you like them!
What are you doing for yourself for enjoyment this summer?
I’m always inspired by hearing how other people keep learning and growing themselves, in addition to their families. Post your ideas in the comments below.