Chappy Wrap Blanket / J.Crew Demi-Boot Jeans / J.Crew Striped Boatneck Tee / Veja Sneakers via Anthropologie, Farfetch or Net-A-Porter / Hello Kitty Tee / Jack Rogers Sandals / Radio Flyer Cruiser e-Bike / Mitch’s Radio Flyer e-BikeHelmet / Noodle’s Harness, Carrier, Leash and Dog Bowl

We took a prolonged break from weekend sports practices so we can have days like THIS. ^

Lately Mitch and I about how a packed calendar impacts our family life. Whenever it happens, it’s born out of good intentions: to explore interests, to spend time with friends and family, to experience the city, to have adventures, to live a fulfilling life. And to be fair, when we make these plans, we typically have nothing else on the calendar, and they truly seem like great ideas!

But slowly, the calendar starts to fill up—overflow, really—and there we are again: unsuspecting victims of something so predictable it’s embarrassing. 😆 I’m also embarrassed to admit that we sometimes dread our weekends instead of looking forward to them because they’re so jam-packed. We can come out of them feeling exhausted rather than rested… and that’s not the point of weekends, right?!

As we see it, there are a few options to remedy this:
  • Option 1: Avoid scheduling things in advance
  • Option 2: Become serial cancelers
  • Option 3: Respect the calendar at the expense of our wellbeing
  • Option 4: Be honest about what we can enjoyably handle, and stick to scheduling “rules” (e.g. only one pre-scheduled activity per weekend)

We’ve knowingly and unknowingly tried ’em all, and also several different combos. 🙈 But Option 4 has proven to be the most helpful at this stage in life.

We’ve learned that sitting down and chatting about our calendar as a family is extremely worthwhile. When the girls get invited to something, for example, we look at the calendar and explain what else they have going on that weekend. And they make the decision as to whether they think they’ll enjoy it. And to protect everyone’s wellbeing, we try to stick to the rule that the family should have no more than one pre-scheduled activity per weekend. Does it mean we can’t attend every single birthday party? Yes. Do the girls care? No.

We’ve also learned there’s nothing wrong with being honest with friends and family and saying something along the lines of, “We’d love to but we have too much on our plates that weekend. Can we take a rain check?” Nine times out of 10, they get it. (Actually, I can’t recall a single time anyone’s been miffed!) Because they’ve been there too. Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with deciding to step back from activities we once enjoyed but that have become burdensome.

Most recently, Mitch and I realized the girls were often complaining about weekend sports. They wanted to recharge, play, and go on Chicago adventures. We were also a little tired of spending so much time inside sports facilities. So we didn’t sign up for May. And can I tell you? We had the BEST weekend. Yes, it was a little nutty with Lucy’s birthday, but we weren’t running around on fire. On Sunday, when we were supposed to be at a practice, we even spur-of-the-moment biked to the lake and had a picnic. (Noodle in tow! Don’t worry; she wears an attached bike harness!)

Btw: This is my new Radio Flyer CRUISER e-bike! Isn’t it amazing?! It’s so lightweight, and I’m absolutely in love with the classic look. It’s compatible with the kid/cargo carrier, too. (In case you’re wondering, I carried Noodle in her dog carrier on the way there, but my shoulder was killing me so she happily sat in the basket on the way back. The basket isn’t intended for dogs, but Noodle is under the weight limit and loves being curled up, so it works well for her. I just use a harness to ensure her safety and a blanket for comfort!) If you’re considering getting an e-bike, please get a Radio Flyer. They’re a family-owned Chicago-based business with the best reputation, and you know you’re getting a top-of-the-line product. We adore our bikes. They’ve changed our lives. Thank you for this incredible gift, Radio Flyer!

We’ll undoubtedly be back in this spot soon, having accidentally over-scheduled for the zillionth time. 😉 But scheduling intentionally, putting our family first, and reevaluating our priorities every so often DOES work for us. What works for you?! How do you balance wanting to do things but not wanting to do ALL the things? Tell me in the comments on Instagram or Facebook. :)


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