An after school activity a day will drive Mummy into debt!

Something that I do everyday is to get my news from the BBC Website and it was there that I cam across this article - BBC NEWS Education Join a new club: 'Am I bovvered?' - about why Teenagers are no longer attending clubs and groups as was the norm in the past and how they can now separate children into different categories according to if they go to out of school groups.

No kidding Sherlock? You mean shy children don't like to socialise with others? Jeeps, next you'll tell me that kids with a passion for a specific interest join clubs/groups to do with that area of interest... oh wait you do about half way down the article.

Couple this with a Tweet from Laura (Who I know from her lovely and funny and informative website and who is also on Twitter (I follow her you know, I like to hang out with the cool kids, hoping it might rub off some day) about the Rainbows uniform being rather erm expensive and you have me sitting on the sofa all night wondering about Top Ender and Baby Boy and if they do enough social activities so that they will turn out to be balanced, well rounded, individuals who will contribute to this world in the future.

In the past Top Ender has wanted to join Ballet lessons, (which we couldn't afford so we brought her a DVD), Horse riding lessons (she was too young and we couldn't afford it anyway), Cheer leading (we couldn't afford it), and join a theatre group too (yup you guessed it we could afford it either).

Every week however she does go swimming with Daddy and attends the Library with me and Baby Boy and we try to do at least one fun family activity together at the weekend. Of course there are other activities at home such as painting, drawing, singing, dancing, gardening, walking, reading, jumping and a lot of other things that ends with an "ing" and are normally exhausting for me, but not her.

In July Top Ender wanted to join Rainbows (a feeder group to Brownies as I understand it) as a girl in her class had come to show and tell with the Ready for Rainbows book. I looked at the budget that Daddy and I had drawn up and knew there was some manoeuvrability and we could afford it (at long last!) and so made the needed calls. It was almost the end of term and so the group leader and I felt it would be better if she started in September, which she will.

It was also at this time that I signed her up for some Swimming Lessons at the local pool. Top Ender can swim, it is just she doesn't have the confidence in herself, or rather in the water, and the "slowly-deflating-the-arm-bands" method wasn't working. Also I could afford this as the lovely Government scheme offering free swimming to children meant that the part of the budget assigned to weekly swim sessions with Daddy was going spare!

But what about Baby Boy? I should take him to a Mother and Toddler group yeah? Well the last Mummy that I made friends with became a bit odd and overly competitive (see my post here Baby Versus Baby) and this has put me off a bit, plus I'm actually really shy, but I bet you wouldn't realise it as fake it 'til you make it is my motto, (although I've been faking for about twenty years now and still not made it!) and I smile a lot.

I am going to be signing up for Mummy and Me swim lessons for him and I in September and maybe there we will meet a Mummy and Toddler who can be our friends (or maybe not!) so for now I have to be content with my children growing up being able to swim and just hope for the other areas to round off nicely.

So let me ask you what do you do? More importantly what do you think I should do!


  1. Don't try to sign them up for too much stuff now and don't feel guilty about it either. I remember Working mums post when her daughter got to "that age"!

    PS as a Brownie Guider can I say "get your uniform second hand off ebay"; it is usually in good nik and much cheaper and do you know the leaders don't look at whether your child is in new uniform or not and we don't judge you for it!! We positively encourage recycling :0)

  2. I think some people enrol their kids in too many things to be honest.
    You are right about everything being so expensive.
    I just had to buy a text book and a school jumper and didn't get any change out of 70 euro!

  3. Kelloggsville - will hunt on ebay before I buy anything then! I didn't think the prices for the new stuff were too bad to be honest, but I do prefer a bargin! Looking at your pic, I can now see that there is a very clear display of a Rainbow uniform going on!

    I don't think I feel guilty about not signing her up for things, but more about having to say "Sorry but No" to her which seems to be more and more as she gets older.

    Magnumlady - You are right! I know that most of her friends are signed up to four or five things and this just can't be good for them, Plus when do the kids have time to be kids or to learn to do things on their own?

    It is more Baby Boy that I am worried about as he doesn't actually play with any babies his own age.

  4. Sounds like you're doing enough! Just reading about that full schedule exhausts me!
    We had Sprite enrolled in swimming lessons, but nothing else structured. In fact, the only activity we've been doing for almost two years is story time at our local Barnes and Noble since it's free.
    Mostly, we do play dates with other kids or let Sprite make friends at the park.

  5. Sprites Keeper - Friends at the park! I didn't think of that! Today was a perfect example of that Baby Boy met a little girl a month older than him who he played with on the slide for twenty minutes before we had to leave. Guess I don't have to worry after all!

  6. Don't a lot of these places that offer activities usually have an open house day or maybe the first lesson is free? That way, your kids can get a feel for it without you spending any money! My older two were forever wanting to do something, but then they drop it like a hot potato when something else that peaks their interest comes along. I enter into these activities very carefully these days. Two a week at the most is more than enough.

    I've enjoyed reading your blog -- thanks for stopping by mine!

  7. Thanks Karen, I have never thought of looking into trial lessons. I guess I was worried that Top Ender would adore it or be a natural and then I would have to find the extra in the budget or waste a talent.

    Will most certainly look at this in the future though!


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