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Giving Up On Getting Out--The Challenges of Keeping Our Kids Active

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For the last 12 years I've spent all my time thinking about my children. Okay, perhaps some of the time has been spent thinking about some other things, like maybe one or two hours here and there. But the majority of my brain has been devoted to them, my two sons, whether directly by figuring out how to best support them, or indirectly, by creating a career in which I can support them.

One of my recent failures or perceived failures, if you will, is getting them up and out of the house on weekends. It used to be a mission of mine to ensure they were culturally sound, energized, out and about in the world, taking in activities, social opportunities, sports if they desired, museums, bookshops, etc., all weekend long.

Over the years, as they've gotten older and the toll of school and after school activities has become more rigorous, they are tired and want to just stay in during the weekends and I am so sick of trying to get them out that I've virtually given up on it.

Now and then my old fire returns and all of a sudden I'm practically swatting them with a broom and shrieking, "Get your shoes and socks on right now! We are going for a walk on the water!" And they'll sort of roll their eyes at me and it's terrible, truly.

The pure and simple fact is, gas prices are sky high, the work we do never quite covers the bills, the debt is enormous, we're exhausted, there's a mountain of laundry, the dog is antsy and there's groceries to purchase for the week and meals to be cooked.

So, sometimes I think "just sit in your room and watch YouTube videos or whatever."

I wouldn't let that go on for a full 48 hours, but 12 years ago, if you'd told me I'd have let it go on at all, I would have cackled my naive, haughtily superior cackle at you, and it would have been extremely unnerving for both of us.

For now, I am giving up on getting them out during the weekends, and they can make art projects and cook with me as they wish, or sit for hours by themselves in their rooms with books and video games, I have no strength left to fight it.
Perhaps planning a NYC field trip for three weeks hence and sledding in the afternoon will suffice.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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