Without a doubt, when big man was a baby, I joined a variety of groups for my own sanity. These continued, I had more babies and there were more classes. At the beginning of the this year we were paying out for 3 children to swim, two to do a pre school music class, one after school rugby, one gymnastics class and 2 football classes. It was a lot of money and a lot of time. Family time at weekends was cut down by football and swimming and something needed to change.
I know that big man wont be the next Olympic gymnast. I know this as I sat talking to one on a train back from the Olympics last year and they are in an elite club at the age of 3. I know that given a few weeks he will be happy in football or rugby. I know that I will be much happier. I have never enjoyed going and on the basis that at the receptionists window there is a notice saying that no verbal abuse is tolerated, I hope you can see why. I know that if he continues with gymnastics, it will get to a point where they want him to go more than once a week. Taking 2 small children into hot a packed room that smells of feet and expecting them to sit still for 45 mins whilst big man does his class is ridiculous.
So why do I feel so guilty? Of that I am not sure. I am not prepared to spend my entire time ferrying the kids from one club to another at such a young age. Do lots of after school activities make a happier child? I don't think so. Swimming lessons are not negotiable and the boys have been told that these will continue until they can swim properly. I'm not sure what I mean by properly, but I am pretty sure that I continued until I could swim 50m. To me it is a life skill and that is why it must continue. To be honest, our holiday could have ended horrifically if middle man had never had swimming lessons. For now, at the ages of 5 and under I think it is acceptable to say they can each do one other class.
So the decision has been made. No more gymnastics. He can chose to play football or rugby after school where not only do I not have to take the younger boys, but he has the added advantage of playing with his peers. I think it is the right decision, but I still feel bad about it.