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Town Square

Kid's Recreation = Mom's Relaxation

Original post made by Jennifer Fogliani on Oct 16, 2011

On Monday, my daughter, Josie, said she wanted to take a dance class. On Tuesday, she had moved onto gymnastics and by Wednesday she had no interest in either.

I had been holding off on getting Josie involved in any organized activities, like dance, soccer or arts. She was perfectly content dancing with me in the supermarket, playing soccer with her dad at the park and finger painting with her little brother at home.

Occasionally, I would go online and check out the various dance and art classes offered at studios near Mountain View. They all seemed like a big commitment – of both time and money.

Not sure what to do, I did what I usually do when a parenting dilemma overwhelmed me. I called my mom. She raised 5 children and always found a way to involve us in the right activities at just the right time.

"Why don't you call the Mountain View Rec Department and see if they have any classes for her age? Start with gymnastics. Every kid likes running and jumping around," My mom said.

First, I looked up if Mountain View even had a "Rec Department" (boy, I have a lot to learn) and was immediately taken to a webpage where I could download the Recreation Activity Guide for Fall.

It was filled with classes, even ones for preschool aged children. I was thrilled to see all the options. I was also slightly irritated that my mom was right again.

I immediately signed Josie and her little brother, Owen, up for the same gymnastics class, a bonus since that meant I got to watch while they both participated in their first class together.

What I liked best about the gymnastics class offered through Mountain View's Rec Department (besides the great price) was that it was only 3 months long. That means that in the Winter, I can sign Josie and Owen up for a new class, maybe dance or golf or cooking, and give them the opportunity to try a different activity each season.

The most unexpected benefit of signing up my children for a class through Mountain View's Rec Department was the joy that I got from watching my children run, jump and tumble to their heart's content. It's great watching them learn from someone else. I get to relax a little while my children follow the fabulous teacher around the gym and have a blast "in tow" of someone other than me.

Comments

Posted by Rosi, a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2011 at 8:37 am

Thanks for sharing! Your mother's wonderful advice was matched by your wonderful willingness to give her advice a try! As a grandmother of kiddies who have benefited to gymnastics classes, I heartily agree, that gymnastics for toddlers is a great idea. Enjoy!
:)
Rosi


Posted by Elaine, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I think you might be depressed or maybe misjudged motherhood and its demands and rewards. A common thread in all your articles is how you are always trying to find a break from your kids. Maybe you haven't noticed, but it's there. You whine when you have everything. Enjoy your kids now. Savor the time with them.

This article:

"I get to relax a little while my children follow the fabulous teacher around the gym and have a blast "in tow" of someone other than me."

Last week's article:

"Plus, while they slide, my husband and I sit on hay barrels, watch our children and actually have a conversation."

Two weeks ago:

"My husband asked if I wanted to buy a book for the flight. I laughed aloud and said I hadn't read a book on a flight since our oldest child was born 4 years ago."

Before you know it they will be grown up and gone and you'll have all the time in the world and regret writing these things.


Posted by Jennifer Fogliani, a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm

@ Elaine

I consider myself a very honeset person - my writing is filled with both the ups and downs of parenting. I think feeling overwhelmed and like you need a break is a very common reaction for stay-at-home moms. It's what I feel at times and so it's what I share with the readers.

My blog is also filled with plenty of positive experiences and memories. I look forward to one day sharing it with my children when they are older - knowing me and how open and honest I am - I am sure my children will be able to understand my point of view.


Posted by MammaMia!, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2011 at 6:38 pm

My goodness, must we be so judgmental? Any mother of preschoolers knows that opportunities to sit down for a few minutes are precious, and taking advantage of them doesn't make a mother's children any less precious to her. Smart moms take advantage of a little down time so they have more energy to devote to their little ones for the other 23.5 hours of the day.


Posted by Bubb mom too, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 19, 2011 at 11:15 am

@Elaine

Yes, we love our children, but they have so much energy. Far more than we do. Children demand constant attention. It's hard to even think your own thoughts if you have a "talker." It was years before I could even go to the bathroom alone. Everyone needs some me time. I do agree that sometimes we need to remind ourselves to enjoy this time while we can.

@Jennifer

You are not a whiner. You are doing fine! Get your breaks in when you can. A tired and stressed out mom can be a grumpy mom.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I sometimes wonder just what percentage of the world, or of which classes, can possibly afford the luxury of some "me" time. It's a purely American construct.