I just shelled out a huge chunk of change so our two eldest girls would could do ballet next fall.
If it weren’t for some generous birthday money contributions, I don’t think we’d have been able to afford it. And it’s got me thinking about kids’ activities and which ones are worth the sacrifice (of money and time), which ones are actually a detriment to family life, and which ones are somewhere in between.
We have always said we wouldn’t let our kids do more than one sport/physical activity and one artistic/musical activity. Sounds fair enough, right? But here we are, barely able to scrape the pennies together for two kids to take a dance class, so how will we afford it when there are three ready to groove, as well as pay for their inevitable cello/trombone/interpretive finger painting lessons?!
Granted, there are cheaper activities than ballet (they ding you with the exorbitant costume and recital fees, then you need to buy the leotard and slippers and tights) but we want our kids to enjoy activity and the discipline of learning in a class.
I have found myself uttering, “It’s a good thing I’m going back to work in the fall so I’ll be able to pay for all this stuff!” but I really don’t want to fall into the cycle of working endlessly and spending tonnes of time away from the kids so that I can pay for them to be in countless activities where they are spending even more time away from me, you know?
How do you find a healthy balance in regards to kids’ activities and the time and money they demand?