After school activities with larger families(9 Posts)
Have only posted a little before. Still debating #3.
Would like to know if/how you keep up with multiple after school activities (sports, music, dance) with 3 or more kids?
My kids are 5 and nearly 3 and already enrolled in a music school so within 3 years they will both potentially be having 2 music sessions a week, probably with my luck on different days, and the oldest does swimming at an ungodly hour on a sunday morning. If they all turned out sporty and musical I can see a real difficultly fitting in the needs of 3. If I add a 3rd in, is it possible to keep up - or does clashes mean one kid always loses out?
Also I still work almost full time (I'm available after school 2 days a week). Those of you that do the after school activities, do you work and use nannies, au pairs, or did you just resign to not working?
(p.s. currently quite keen on #3, so looking for reassuring tips)
I'm in the same position as you - available after school two days a week. Currently DS1 and DS2 do football on a Wednesday and Friday. DD is only 2 and I take her to a local toddler group on Thursdays. That's pretty much it. We prefer weekends to be family time (and there's always something to make them busy) so I tend not to commit to clubs etc then, although I know it's likely I will have to as they get older.
Mine are 10, 8 and 6. I work flexibly from home so tend to stop at school pick up time. I'm lucky in that generally as long as the work is done I can do my own timetable. In terms of clubs they do brownies, guides, beavers, swimming, dancing and afterschool (but still at school) netball, football and Spanish. Some clubs they do together, sometimes they need to ferry someone else or wait for someone else to finish. We bring reading and homework with us. The oldest one can now happily be left at home so for some runs it is only one child inconvenienced by the other. Your age gaps would be even bigger so when the youngest started afterschool activities the oldest would be off to Secondary and getting themselves to activities (except maybe in midwinter). They would also be able to stay at home and do homework.
All of their activities are local, it would be hard if one of them had to travel far. They don't often moan and if they do then I remind them that the others have to wait for him to do x or y. It is busy but easily manageable.
A friend of mine just enrolled all four of hers into the same activity but it didn't work for us. So far DS1 has martial arts on Friday after school. They have a side room so families can sit and wait. On Saturday morning, DS1 and DS2 do swimming. DD1 and DD2 are younger so they sit and wait with me on the benches. I take things for them to do and snacks while waiting.
Once DD starts big school she will also start swimming and next year when I start working full time, DS will switch his martial arts to Saturday afternoon. I don't know what else will happen but the swimming school has a bus that picks up from school.
I've 3 but only one in school so far. I have purposely not enrolled my 3 year old into extra curricular stuff yet as I don't think there's any rush.
DS does swimming on Saturday mornings and DD1 will join when she turns 4 and DD2 eventually (she's only 10 months). DS not mad on it so I might let him quit in a year when he's well able to swim. Then he can start another activity which DH can bring him to on foot while I bring DD1 swimming.
DS also does tennis after school and is starting football on Saturdays at 4pm which is s time we wouldn't be doing much anyway and DH will bring him.
I think it will be a challenge when they are all school age but I think you have to be realistic. They can't do everything and as much as we want to give our kids the world, it can't be at the expense of our sanity! DS dying to do karate but it's just not possible at the moment. And he's only 6, maybe he can try it at 8, 10 or 12. There's plenty of time.
My plan is they can do as many after school activities as they want as that just means a different pick up time. For other stuff like swimming I will try to co-ordinate so they're all at the same time. Beyond that we will take it on a case by case basis and decide based on how much the kid wants to do it, how often it is, what day/time, how much effort it takes/how much dragging the other kids around it involves etc.
I'd like a fourth and certainly wouldn't let activities stop me. They will get so much more from a sibling than activities!
I only have two, but DH has 4, so at the weekends we have 6, with his 4 mostly with their DM in the week.
The reality of a larger family is that they can't pick and choose their own activities to the same extent that children from smaller families can. They kind of need all to be doing the same thing at the same time - if you can afford it. DSD1 was allowed to do all sorts of activities when she was younger, and settled on a couple that she really enjoyed. The younger three just had to do the same activities that DSD1 had chosen.
They can do different things within the school day (lunchtime clubs), and now that they're older they can make their own way to and from places a bit more, so one of them is staring to develop more different interests of his own. But my own DC have definitely had a freer choice of activities, as the logistics aren't so hard with two.
That said - some activities are done largely because kids enjoy socialising. And with a big family I think they don't necessarily feel the same need for socialising.
I have 4, 3 of them do activities. The youngest is only 3. Dd1 does cheer 3 times a week, dd2 does drama and football, dd3 does swimming and gymnastics. I can't deny its hardwork ferrying dcs about but I'd do it for one or two so i'll do it for my 4. Other thing is its expensive.
Oh and 2 dds have a tutor on a sunday morning.
Mine are 8, 7 and 3
Dd1 does modern and tap dance luckily straight after one another. Also learning to play flute but does that during school hours
Ds does Beavers and football
Dd2 does pre school ballet
Eldest 2 also do after school activities which just mean's pick up and hour later
Luckily I'm back from work in time for school pick up. But I have to work every other weekend, so if ds has a football match the sat I'm working can be abit of a rush sometimes
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