Being a mom of five means chaos.
In my home, we find peace in the chaos. I have ADHD and thrive on being busy. Most people are amazed at our ability to survive our busy schedules. Every month I fill our calendar with dance practices, gymnastics, sports, and Girl Scout meetings at different times for each daughter. Many people think I am crazy for trying to juggle it all, but I have learned throughout the years as we’ve added additional children that it is OK to be different and to parent differently.
Every day I get in my car for school pickup and spend the next three to four hours driving all five children around to different activities. My two youngest are just along for the ride and to keep mommy on her toes. We have after-school activities every single weekday, and sports usually take over our weekends. My daughters all do gymnastics and ballroom dancing, and my eldest does both competitively. Then we add basketball in the fall and lacrosse in the spring. As you can imagine, we are always on the go.
From the outside, it may look like I am running a circus. But on the inside, my daughters excel in our routine, and they enjoy it. My children have struggled making true friends, and having organized activities helps them bond with others. Having amazing coaches who cheer them on and build them up has helped tremendously with the confidence they have struggled to build due to anxiety.
Having busy schedules with activities they love has shown them responsibility and teamwork. My children’s schedules are filled, and they are happy. I sign them up for all their activities, honestly, because they ask me to. Every single activity is something they want to do, and it gives them joy. Yes, this may not be what is best for every family, but it works for us. I want them to be busy in positive outlets so that they continue to grow and mature in environments that will help them flourish. They also understand that if they are no longer enjoying it, they can quit.
In my heart, I am also hoping I am building memories. Some of the best conversations I have with my daughters are in the car rides we take daily and after competitions when they either win or lose. I want them to remember that their crazy mom drove them everywhere and was there helping them explore new things as they found themselves and learned who they would become.
So, yes… we are never home. We are running from one activity in one town to another and still have to make time for homework when we do make it home. But we’re happy. So next time you see a mom running crazily from one place to another or unloading her car full of hangry children, just smile and tell her she is doing a good job.