Growing up a middle child, I think I sometimes had major feelings of getting shafted (probably unwarranted!) by my parents…things like “Well, Tanya (my sister) got to do THIS and THAT, and I DIDN’T!” Bratty things, sure.
My parents were pretty awesome about hardly denying us opportunities, and for that I am forever grateful, but on those rare chances that I didn’t get to do something – and my siblings did – whoa, boy, would that make me mad, and sad, as a kid. And I certainly remember keeping score.
Flash forward to NOW: I have a real struggle balancing the crazy-activity desires of my almost 5-year-old and my 6-year-old. First it was karate for my son, the oldest. To make it ‘fair,’ but to also give my daughter a fun activity that was also exercise, I enrolled her in toddler tumbling. Well, martial arts was $125 a month, and gymnastics costs $200+ per session. We have also had Lego-building classes for Dylan, and craft sessions for Jordan. Then I recently took them both to a trial Spanish-immersion class. (I couldn’t take just one kid…could I?) Many activities we do are free, others are low-cost ($5+), and some are more long-term and therefore expensive. Sometimes, I will forego other 'luxuries' like date-night and a babysitter, if it means we have the extra money to sign the kids up for something. Is this normal? [Flag football is thankfully free in our town this year, but my oldest also did a summer reading program. So, I re-signed my daughter up for gymnastics, which she loves (and mommy loves the gym and the coaches!) to have a semblance of parity.]
However, God-forbid I don’t "even things up!" (I tell my husband they’re going to be in therapy when they’re older for feeling neglected, or that the other one got ‘favored.’) Am I overthinking all of this? My spouse sure thinks so, yet he is an only child, so sometimes I am like, “You can’t possibly get what it’s like to have to compete with a sibling!”
Of course, in reality, it’s probably me who cannot compete, and I need to cut myself some slack. I can’t possibly ensure they each do EXACTLY the same activities, for the same costs, for the same time expenditures. There’s way too much going on in this awesome area where we live – so many things to do and sign up for (Let's not forget the purse-practicality of it all: money is tight right now, and it doesn't grow on trees at our house. As much as I want to sign them up for literally everything, it's just not feasible financially).
I do want to make their social schedules somewhat comparable…Think this is impossible?
How do you manage to divvy-up sports sign-ups, excursions, after school clubs, among your children?