Hello there, Madame Woo here, ready to bring you another one. I am thrilled about this one, you do not know how much I need to hear that it is all okay. Let me be more honest, than I already am. I typically connect with a lot of different media, probably more than the average person. The popular does not seem to reflect me all that well. My true life, how I truly see myself. If I catch sight of women with multiple children in the media, it seems impractical, unnatural, or just downright underrepresented, to say the least. We know being a parent is surely not without effort, even if you have all the help in the world. After we handle the day to day as well we must put forth energy planning a few steps ahead. What happens to a mother when she is unprepared? Planning ahead is necessary, to this life of crime. It should not manifest more struggle but relieve the pressure, ease the tension. We do not need someone telling us what to do. Tips sure, every now and then is helpful. If I do not have the energy or the time to simply shave my legs then what makes you think I have time to listen to you. Again with the sacrifices, I feel I have been on this planet longer than they say I have.
It’s January, in a couple of months, my eldest will be turning 6. It is an amazing idea that I have been a mother for almost 7 years now, yeah I count the months I was pregnant too. They were there more than ever at that time. I have made it over that 5 year hump but not without getting knocked up again. I think those statistics are suppose to be pretty high. Almost a decade in and still feeling so unofficial. Maybe we live our whole lives being unofficial. I’m planning her birthday party just trying to make sure the basics are covered, so that she feels special and recognized. As she approaches 6, it’s seems more and more imperative to me that she gets involved in a extracurricular activity or organized sport. I have been wanting to get her involved in something since she was 4. I am a mother of 3 with very little means, so even updating wardrobes and feeding my children nutritious meals is taxing. Extending funds to eventually cover extracurricular activities for all my children is daunting. I want to be the best mother I can be but I typically stick with just the essentials, because of my current financial situation. I had to ask myself how important is organized activities? What do they teach? Can my child learn those lessons from a different avenue?
Extracurricular activities are there to overall get your child away from the television and electronic devices, help them learn, grow in a holistic manner, and expand your child’s growth and skills. Here I’m providing you with a basic list of extracurricular activities and some of their benefits. I just want you to be able to flat out see what the experts say about the benefits you are getting from several of the most popular formal activities. I get it, we do need to escape our children’s clutches, if only for sometime.
Builds confidence, coordination, kinesthetic intelligence For those unfamiliar with the meaning of kinesthetic, it means relating to the awareness of the body through sensory organs.
Responsibility, empathetic, competition, strength, make decisions on behalf of others, work as a team, exercise
Life skills, independence, self-reliance, follow directions, experimenting, cooperation, communication, math, appreciation for food, execution, basic life skill
Awareness, personal safety, fighting back, basic life skills, exercise
Mental & physical strength, cognitive skills
Self defense, self-respect, respect for others, self-esteem, focus, mind and body connection
Creativity, execution, independence
Relaxing, confidence, concentration, comprehension
Life skills, culture
Its fair to say that you can’t beat an organized group sport and a love for cooking. All of this not to say that if my child wants to pursue a specific activity that I won’t support him or her in their interest to so as much as I possibly can. Adding that to the list of things that I believe a parent should do in the grand scheme of things. However, my children are very young, although I want to help them with self-discovery I also want to respect the family’s situation. We can not stretch ourselves beyond our means. I have seen parents pay for their 1-year-old to take dance lessons. I think, are shitting me. Would a dance party in my living room suffice? I think so.
After a little bit of research, my mind was put at ease about my fear of providing, what felt like a missing link. You don’t always have to go with the flow of what everyone else is doing. Babylon is all about the status quo, let us all join in with the debauchery. You don’t have to feel ashamed of going your way and doing what is best for you and your family, in other words not keeping up with the Joneses or is it the Kardashians these days. I am pretty sure its the Kardashians, the real takeover. I consider a lot, my ability to provide for my children as a single parent. It is good to know and remind yourself that everything beyond basic life skills is not an obligation, especially at a young tender age. The most important thing right now is to build my child up with confidence and love. While also building up my family and our economic status. I now have knowledge that there are more than a few options that I can pursue with very little money spent. These are good for us all and our bonding as a family. As well as instilling some much needed useful qualities in my children and myself.
▪️Learn a language
The good news about not relying on or paying someone is creating your own schedule. You can select which day and times are good for you. You can do more than one activity. Try some of these things out, then invest with increase. The best thing about these options is none of them will be a waste of time or money if your children don’t take interest. Also, these activities are great for all-around ages and helpful for families with multiple children in different age groups. It’s not specific and can open an array of doors for all your children to enjoy. The thing you are going to need to pull this off is of course structure, which means much effort from you until the wheel gets turning. Whoever said saving money was easy? Devise a plan and set clear instructions for your child so that the big picture is realized. Is there anything worse than someone traveling down a road with no end in sight?
When it comes to crafts, pottery, sculpting, painting, and sketching try YouTube. There are great DIY projects, free classes, and how-to instructions. Let them find something that they like, shop for their own materials then attempt to recreate, this builds ingenuity. You and your children can learn together, don’t count yourself out. If you are feeling mischievous then hold a competition where everyone in the family votes for someone other than themselves.
Drama Club, pick a play, write your scripts, build your sets, create your costumes and perform them together. This one is my favorite, I hope that when my children are older they will sort of enjoy doing the more complex projects. I deep down wish for children like Sam has off of the FX hit show ‘Better things’.
Book Club, pick a thick book or a series, fantasy is always great. My kids love goosebumps, a classic goody. Sounds simple enough. You are going to have to get creative with this one. Change up the voices to portray different characters. Pick a book that will take a few different days to finish. It does the soul good to complete something over a period of time. This is great for helping middle-aged children develop their reading skills, as well. You do not always have to be the narrator. Also book club doesn’t have to be just picking a book and reading it. You can also design, write, and illustrate your own books. This is great for children just learning to read. The thing about some of these options is they can turn into lengthy projects which will teach commitment and execution and save money. If you have multiple children this is great because they can learn about cooperation. Play to their strengths let each choose a job to do to get the book realized. Who knows maybe it could be published.
Learning a language can be fun, if you have fun with it. Take a crack at all the free learning materials and work together to teach each other. Set aside an hour in the house when for that hour you can not speak unless it is in that language. Watch the conversation grow. Immerse yourself in the culture, cook food from the language’s place of origin at least once a week. Maybe even do fun facts over dinner.
No better time to grow than with your children. Let them remind you of how special it is to be youthful and innocent. Let them reawaken that spirit in you, so that you do not forget. We call ourselves grown as if because we have different responsibilities we are through growing and maybe physical we are fully developed. However, we still have so much more to learn. Be different, be the change you want to see. Enrichment is everywhere, it is not about how much money you have and how much you can give your children. It is about teaching them to think and live for themselves.
Lastly let me remind you that we all have natural talent. You may not have had the opportunity to develop or express that. You have something you do well, why not teach your child that skill. If there is a skill you have then by all means teach that to your children who are interested in learning. Even if it is playing video games or word searches. If you can swim take your child to your local pool and teach them. If you can play an instrument then rent or invest in buying and teach them what you know. Dancer, boxer, so on and so on. It’s great bonding and you also don’t have to pay an instructor.
I really enjoyed this, it was most therapeutic. My hope is that it blossoms and is fruitful from my family to yours. I do personally recommend that you invest no more than an hour a day and 3 hours a week on extracurricular activities. I know we are super parents but there is only so much time in a day. This is just to prevent you as a parent from getting burnt out. We are single parents and we have a lot on our plates, this is not to add stress but relieve stress while helping our children develop.
“a life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing”– George Bernard Shaw
Let’s just dive right in and do this. We were made for this, we are never given more than we can bear. We can’t give in to those negative thoughts of inadequacy because we are doing this on our own. We are good loving parents. There is nothing left to be said even with all of our mistakes. Even when we are not loving ourselves unconditionally, there is always someone there to give us that unconditionally love, our child. We must live to the fullest if not for ourselves than certainly for them. Peace is love, Madame Woo.