Monday, September 5, 2011

Obsession - Afterschool Enrichment Classes and My (I Hate This Word) Over-Achiever Habits

I don't think that Labor Day should end in an anxiety attack. But, of course, in my world, it does.

I cannot sleep. And it's not for some real problem like Somalia's famine or the country's economic caca. It's for one of my usual mommy dilemmas and it matters far more than it should.

What afterschool classes should Maya take this Fall?

Once upon a time I had a job that didn't involve screaming, "Lincoln!!! Leave that cactus alone or you will get a boo boo!!! A boo boo!!! See? It's pokey! Don't touch. I said DO. NOT. TOUCH. IT!!!!!" Over and over again.

I was the Literacy Director for an educational nonprofit that provided enrichment classes for public schools all over California. I developed curriculum for kids in grades K-8 in literacy, reading comprehension, writing, etc. I also hired and trained teachers as well as taught from time to time. 

It was a great job but, when I had Maya, I made the decision to stay at home because I really didn't make enough money to justify being away from my baby. I wanted to be home with my kids every day and we are fortunate enough to be able to make that happen. 

So, now that Maya is in school, I am really excited to see her have so many opportunities to learn and grow. The problem is, of course, finding balance.

She is an outgoing kid with a curious mind and a love for learning. And she's an awful lot like her mama, she's got a bit of the drama and arts bug in her. 

Sadly, public schools cannot offer a large amount of instruction in art, music, dance, etc. so we have quench those interests outside of school.

But how much is too much? 

She's in soccer right now and loves it. It's going to be one practice a week and a game on the weekend. She gets so much exercise in addition to learning the value of good sportsmanship, discipline, perseverance, etc. 

I also just signed her up for ballet and tap class. It's once a week with a recital in December. We aren't at the competition stage so it's not a huge time or mental commitment.

Then, her school is offering a music class. It would be once a week and she could learn to play the flutophone. (I think they totally made that instrument up. Or are they just trying to BS me by calling the recorder a fancy name? We don't easily fall for that shite.) 

THEN, Maya's been asking to take art class. So the city is offering a drawing class once a week for only five weeks at a time. 

If I'm going to be honest, I want her to do it all. I know so many people will gasp and say, "You are going to stress her out!!! Kids need time to play and just be free."

I totally agree! I want her to have time to breathe and relax and all that good shit.

But here are my two being me and one being Maya. 

Me: I am an over-achiever by nature. I never want to miss a thing. Every single weekend is jam-packed with activities and shit and I'm always stressed out. But I also have a lot of great memories and feel like a well-rounded individual. 

Maya: She's like me. She isn't into sitting around and relaxing. She always wants to be with friends and DOING something. If we are home, she actually has a hard time thinking of something to do by herself. It drives me a little crazy but it's her personality. She begs for me to put on television because she just doesn't know what else to do. I would rather her be busy in classes than asking me to watch freaking Dora. I hate that bitch!

Now, I know I could've totally made Maya that way. But she doesn't appear to be a stressed out child. And, because she seems happy, I do not want to hold her back from learning all she can learn. 

So do I let her try and do it all? Or do I make a parental decision to limit her activities and just encourage her to have more free play at home?

I'll be up all night, people.

What do you think is best?


Pink...HIS! said...

Do it all... come on Michelle! Maya will be just fine. I have two little girls and to be honest they have tons of after school shit n they are just fine. In the end, honestly whatever you pick will be fine. She will be awesome an amazing no matter what! I can only imagine what a great mom you truly are and we can only do our best. And can I say one more time I love your blog :-)

Jennifer said...

You are crazy!! But I do the same, every minute of my days are scheduled!

Michelle said...


I know I'm crazy. The art class was cancelled though so the fates have saved Maya from our combined craziness.