The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Pressure


They used to do the things that most families do: they worked and played, went to school, visited friends, enjoyed nature–and once in a while they just sat around and did absolutely nothing.

Monday: karate

Tuesday: soccer practice

Wednesday: karate

Thursday: soccer practice; boy scouts; board meeting; PTSA meeting

Friday: cub scouts; soccer game

Saturday: piano lessons; karate; soccer practice; guitar lesson

Sunday: everything we don’t have time for on other days, such as laundry, room cleaning, animal cage cleaning, noticing dents in wall, cooking meals that do not primarily come from a box, watching an entire movie with all of us looking at one device, grocery shopping, running, seeing friends, sweeping the kitchen floor, browsing dog adoption sites, reading books, organizing the silverware drawer, and reminding our kids that downtime is important. Which is a hard lesson to drive home on other days when so many of our interactions fall along the lines of, “If you are not in the car with shin guards on in 30 seconds we are skipping Christmas!”

I exaggerate. I save Christmas threats for real emergencies. Like getting to school on time.

I used to be the person who scoffed at essays like this one. “If you’re so miserable being busy,” I used to think, “Quit some of that shit!” And now look at me. One long blog post complaining about how busy we are when it’s completely in my control to fix the problem.

Except, when you have three kids and each kid gets to choose two activities, that’s still six activities to fold compliantly into the weekly schedule. And if one or two of those activities, soccer and karate I’m looking at you, require two or three attendances a week, then you’re screwed. That’s a whole lot of time for mom and dad to sit behind the wheel of a car.

I’m not actually looking for a solution. I know the solution: Do less stuff. I just want to complain a little.

Because, of course, I wouldn’t trade it.

3 thoughts on “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Pressure

  1. Canceling Xmas = the nuclear option. Definitely save that. You can remove device access more easily than canceling a holiday, no? My kids are under scheduled and I complain because they each chose an after school activity on a different day. But that gets me an extra hour w each of them solo every week. Which isn’t bad. With three I can imagine constant juggling. What would Mama Berenstain Bear Do? She always just frigging knows what to do.

  2. In our family, though, we regularly employ nuclear weapons to relieve stress. Real ones! Well, they’re real in the video game we play.

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