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In My Experience by An Over Scheduling Mom & Banana Chocolate ChipMuffins



It's not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.

Ann Landers

So, I don’t normally do this.

I know I am going to piss people off. I might even piss off my friends and family. L

But I have to say something. I feel like I have to stand up for myself and others like me. 

DISCLAIMER*** This is from my experience only. Nothing discussed here has been proven or is considered right by anyone other than myself. It is just my experience which therefore has led me to this path of becoming an evil parent that over schedules my children ;)

I have read article after article about the negatives of over scheduling our children. They will get stressed out and "they need free time to just be children."

Apparently kids that play soccer AND dance aren't having fun and aren't being children. Jeeze where do those poor kids even find the time to be stressed?

I hear and read all the pros of scheduling our kids and the cons of over scheduling our kids. There are way more cons out there. It is like we have to apologize to the world for teaching our kids the art of time management. It is just like when we decided to use cloth diapers. I had to defend my decision or justify it to almost everyone I met!!!  

Seriously. 

Making a conscience effort to make less waste, spend less money and use less harmful chemicals on our baby's bum led to being ostracized by new & old friends. For example, when HBear was 9 months old we went to library group for babies. We had just moved here and I was hoping to meet some new Mommies. When the ladies got to talking about diapers and I mentioned cloth…  Well let’s just say I didn’t make any new friends.

Ninja and I talked about raising kids waaaaay before we had kids. We really thought about things. We have revisited some of the same issues repeatedly and some even recently LOL.

I do NOT want to put my likes, dislikes, fears and dreams onto my children.

With that being said… I am a scheduler, a planner, a multitasker. I think this is an asset. I don’t think this just comes naturally. I think that it takes practice and skill. I hope to help my girls become organized and scheduled. I feel this will help them become successful in all aspects of their lives… And I want my girls to be successful in life, to be happy. In whatever it is they want to do, from janitor to musician, to pilot, to Dr. From plumber to mechanic to dance teacher to politician. As long as they do it to the best of their ability and they are happy.

This fall the girls are busy, HBear is in Yoga, Swimming, Acro Jazz, Guitar, the Gifted Program, Broadway and Brownies. 

SBean is in Music, Soccer, Strong Start and Swimming.

There are some things I find to be a necessity in life. We live between 2 lakes. I think it is necessary to learn how to swim. PLUS as my LunchBesty made me realize, lifeguards are needed everywhere. If you are a good swimmer and carry it through until the end, you can get a job anywhere you live. Bonus!

What it all comes down to is…

Being involved. 

Involved with school, activities, friends, work... having ties and responsibilities to something and someone else other than just yourself. It is about enjoying all the opportunities that are out there and having the confidence to take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. Of course I believe studying is important. HBear does "homework" every night. I made her a journal of opened ended creative questions. She writes a little bit every evening.  However, everything in life needs balance and I hope that by introducing her to music, art, sports, and meditation that she will be able to have likes and a life outside of the fictitious world of her books. 

I was an active kid. I formed bonds. I felt like I belonged. I gained confidence and I wasn't really angry at the world because I felt there were opportunities for me in it. In this day and age with suicide on the rise and girls on social networks disrespecting themselves, I want my girls to feel like a bigger part of the picture. 

Some people may think that it easier to just put the kids into activities and drop them off.

Wrong.

Ask any hockey mom up at 5 AM on the weekends if that is easier. Ask the dance moms that sits in the studio hours upon hours a week. That sew sequins on bodysuits after the kids are in bed, the dishes are done, and lunches for the next day are made. Ask her if it's easier!

Yes, it is hard to be in the van all the time, driving kids to activities. Yes, it is crazy expensive. Yes, I have to learn about sashays, back walkovers, the breast stroke, the Brownie Promise, the lyrics to every Julie Andrews musical, what a fret is, how to feather kick a ball, AND the ABC's of yoga poses but to me it is worth it. 

So to sum it up...

1. Activites = good. Pushing your kids to be the best = bad. Just because my kids are in scheduled activities does not mean I expect them to be the best or excel at these programs. Do I think HBear is going to be a Broadway Star? No. Does she think she is? No. Does she have a blast learning songs from Peter Pan and The Sound of Music? You bet!

2. If the kids show a dislike for the activity, they do not have to go back into it. But, they have to finish it. We do not end an activity in the middle, you must see it through until the end. This is a fact of life and everyone should learn that responsibility is yours and yours alone. 

3. I always make sure they are smiling! Last year HBear barely smiled throughout dance class. I sat down and talked to her about it. She said it wasn't fun anymore. She missed her old teacher but liked her dance friends. We all chose to move our girls to a new studio that provided the girls with their favorite teacher and a new fun program. If she doesn't like it at the end of the year, we can try something new :)

4. You know your kids best. Pick what will work for them. Perhaps your child is shy. Perhaps, acting class would help him or her come out of their shell. Perhaps your child loves to play badminton in the backyard. Perhaps some tennis lessons are in order :) Your child is just like you, you like to socialize with people with similar interests... find those groups for your kids. Help them make good friends early on and develop ties to them throughout the years.

5. There is no better relationship than the ones made in your very own home. Although we are very scheduled, our weekends are free. They are free for family. We are done our activities early enough in the evening to get in take home reading... together and have some cuddle time :)  

6. I also participate in activities. I believe that if the girls and their friends know me, they will be less likely to get into trouble later on. My Mom volunteered in all my activities and whenever we were about to do something stupid, even my friends said “what would Kathy say?” LOL Other parents knew my Mom. Their kids were allowed at our house. They told my parents if they saw me doing something I shouldn’t have been doing.  Already when I go to school I hear kids yell “Hi Mrs. M!” They respect me and know me. They will be less likely to treat my daughter badly if they feel like they know her and her family.

7. Busy minds are happy minds! I believe that by keeping active and social, there will less time to breed doubt and get into trouble. I found even when I used to smoke as a teenager… it was when I was bored. By staying active you keep boredom out of their lives and hopefully keep them out of trouble and making bad decisions. I would do anything that I think might have the slightest chance of keeping my girls healthy in mind, body and spirit. 

8. Being involved in different activities allows your kids to fail. Obviously they can't be good at everything LOL so by going into a program that they may find fun but may not be very good at will teach kids. It will teach them how to practice, fail, and gain the confidence to take the time and get better at something. In the end this will give them pride and a sense of accomplishment.

9. I am not judging you. If this is not your belief and you choose to raise your children differently, I don't necessarily think your kids are headed for a needle and jail LOL. In fact, I knew kids that were involved that still got into trouble later in life. I also have wonderful friends that weren't really involved in after school activities at all and became happy, contributing adults with wonderful families of their own. I am not saying that I am right. I am saying that when I take a step back and look at the people I grew up with, I can loosely categorize them and see a trend. Through the wonderful use of critical thinking and extrapolation, I believe my theory to true. I guess my kids are the true experiment LOL. 

10. Keep in mind... We did this to ourselves. Our kids are growing up in a world that is fast paced and scheduled. We need to prepare them for this. Yes, I remember playing outside by myself... It sucked. Maybe you remember it differently than me but I remember whining to my Mom that I was bored and her and her friends would all laugh and tell me to go outside and play. Parenting is no longer like this. We over parent, over compensate and over schedule. This is the way it is in 2015. There is a book telling us how to do everything! An article weighing out every parenting style. Everyone is watching and everyone is commenting. We can't go backwards so the only thing we can do is equip our children with the necessary tools to live the best life they can. 

So that when they grow up they too can fuck up their kids lives like we have :)


Last week SBean and I made muffins! I am so happy she is old enough to start actively participating in the kitchen :) Ninja and SBean are signed up to take a cooking class together next month! They don't get to spend much 1 on 1 time together and I am super excited they get to hang out together. It will definitely be... interesting BAHAHAHA

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Gather for Bread

½ cup margarine
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mashed banana, about 3 small or 2 medium
1 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tins or line with cupcake liners.

Mix together butter and sugar until creamy. 


Beat in egg and vanilla.


Mix in mashed banana and sour cream until well blended.


Add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until well combined.

***SBean turned on the mixer at the highest speed LOL the flour FLEW everywhere. It was wonderful watching her reaction to the mess LOL




Stir in chocolate chips.


Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Fill almost to the top. This will make for nice rounded tops. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.



Bake for about 21 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.




Savvy Southern Style

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