How much is too much? Choosing activities for the school year

It’s September already. SEPTEMBER! How did that happen and how is the start of another school year? This summer was a bit of blur for me…full of traveling and friends and family and activities galore. After the Covid summer of 2020, I was so excited to sign up for activities again…and I did. Tennis. Swimming. Soccer. Dodgeball. Ballet. Camp. 

Everything sounded like fun, and it seemed so simple to add just one more thing to our day. But if I’m being honest? I miss the gentle days of last summer when we really had nowhere to go and no one to see. We woke up late and took long hikes and bike rides. We played board games and soccer together. We sat on blankets and read books or had picnics at the park. Each day was our own. 

This summer was supposed to be the epic come-back after a year of laying low, but for our family, it felt exhausting. We were not used to back-to-back activities and it felt like a lot of pressure to have so many commitments on our calendar. All those months wishing and waiting for life to return to “normal” and it ended up being a shock to our systems when we finally jumped back into things. We got tired by mid-afternoon and crabby by dinnertime. We did TOO much. 

Looking at September, I’m trying hard to figure out where exactly I went wrong in planning our summer activities so I can do my best to avoid making the same mistakes. Do the kids each choose one activity? Two? Do we schedule their activities on different nights so we aren’t racing from one thing to the next, or do we schedule them on the same night so we have a few nights completely open? What is the balance between being comfortably busy and insanely exhausted? 

I wish I had all the answers, but it’s probably pretty obvious I’m still figuring everything out myself. With two kids, activities add up quickly, and there is only so much time after school. At this point, each of our kids will choose one sport to play this fall and they will also take swim lessons. I’m hoping keeping our fall simple will make the activities we DO do much more enjoyable. And if we have a night or two free? Maybe we can have a picnic dinner and play a board game a la summer 2020. 

If you have any tips or tricks for planning your family’s fall activities without losing your mind…please share! 

Enjoy this last month of summer!